With the A-level results in and university plans either scrapped or confirmed, the gap year exodus is soon to begin. Many young people will be seeking out character building volunteering projects in third world countries, determined to 'give something back' before years of hard study (and hard partying) take centre stage. But how informed a choice can anyone make about the volunteering trips on offer?
The idea that painters, writers, dancers, designers and musicians can exist on the basis of their creativity alone is misplaced and out of date. I am one of a small but growing number of creative who benefits from a scientific background.
Around 600,000 young people in the UK are on school holidays right now. That means unlimited sunbathing, chilling with mates and dreaming about exciting futures, right? Wrong. In fact, thousands of young people feel hopeless about life after school.
Students around the country have this week received life changing news. A-Level results have become one of the most important moments in a teenager's life, but does the burden piled on by these exams live up to the hype? And do the effects of that pressure on the individual last way after the results have been forgotten?
So to all the all new students fleeing the nest for the next few years, I would pass on this advice: start to give your future some serious thought. Although you will probably think that an argument over who gets the biggest cupboard in your new university digs is important - keep focused on the bigger stuff.
No matter how much you think you're prepared for these opportunities, there are always things that surprise you. As school leavers around the country prepare to collect their A-Level and GCSE results this month, I thought I'd share my advice and what I wish I knew before starting my apprenticeship.
There are options - more options than ever before - and those students clutching their A Level results wondering what to do next need more support to help them explore exactly what is available to them, rather than being rushed into a decision that just isn't right for them.
Some brains can't be measured in the confines of an exam hall or in an essay. Do you take in the world around you? Are you curious enough to ask questions? Are you engaged enough to have strong opinions?
It is always worth keeping in mind that disappointment can be turned into an opportunity. Life works out in different ways and disappointments like not achieving the A-Levels results you desired are part of life.
Good luck to students who receive their A Level results today. If you have achieved your aims, good on you. If not, please do not despair. The longer you live, the less important they will be. Take it from me, the exam results you achieve at school are no criteria for a successful career.