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.
In a recent article , the New York Daily News reported that 11 of President Obama's innermost circle were educated at Oxford University... Nestled at the core of the Whitehouse and the Pentagon and wielding the power to influence policy worldwide, they are evidence of one thing: a degree from Oxford or Cambridge commands attention on an international scale.
Whether you decide to go to university or not: you will have fun, you will meet people and make friends, and you will learn. Just make sure it is on your terms - and know that you do have the support around you, whatever you decide.
I cried a little. My mother cried a lot. My father, ever the pragmatist, just asked what I had to do next. I had no idea. I had a lump in my throat, and I felt ashamed. The only sensible thing seemed to go into school...
Clearing: if you've just missed out on your conditional offer don't worry, call both Universities and see what they say. I would advise you to write four or five bullet points down which you can refer back to when you're on the phone.