I recently wrote about my decision to take a gap year. As I detailed, the reasons were varied but all concluded that this was the best choice for me. However, the question of why was much easier to answer than that of what - what should I do?
With the new University term a few weeks away, and some freshers already enjoying their very first taste of university life, many will be wondering; is it worth getting a job while away at University?
The government and advising bodies will no doubt try and convince you and your classmates that going to university is possible whatever your backgrounds or interests. Do not be fooled it is not that simple.
The aim behind this reform is to make sure no young person is left behind, that they have the skills to go on to employment and live a full life. This week saw Government introduce plans for young people who do not achieve an A*-C grade in maths or English at GCSE to continue to study the subjects post-16.
I've no idea whether it has, but unlike most items on FiveLive Breakfast, this one diid make me think. Why is it considered socially acceptable to say, 'I'm no good at maths'? It's a curious admission - for example you definitely wouldn't hear anyone proudly extol the fact that they were unable to read - yet Burden's not alone...
Michael Gove will no doubt be giving himself a large pat on the back today after pushing through reforms to force teenagers to re-sit exams until they pass maths and English GCSEs. This may seem like a good idea, but I'm urging you to look beyond these lazy assumptions. One size does not fit all.
As of this week, students will be forced to remain in education until they are 17 - a whole year after completing their GCSEs, and as of September 2015, the age will be 18. Is this a good idea? The simple answer is: No. Not everyone blossoms at school, and to force those who are desperate to leave and start work is surely detrimental.
What really gets to me at results time of year is how quick people are to judge those who have achieved well at GCSE and A-Level as academics and those who struggled as 'failures' perhaps 'only destined for an Apprenticeship'.
As the 300,000 A-level students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland received their results, the media was quick to announce the fall in the proportion of A-levels awarded top grades, for the second year running.
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?