Education : One or the other?

So as of September I'll be finally leaving secondary school and joining what we here in the UK call a sixth form college ( not sure about what the US and other places call it). Ultimately it comes down to two choices and I've applied for both but with my parents on opposing sides and my friends being little help I was wondering if I could find a second opinion on here.

First a little background. I've always done well at school and have A's in the 5 GCSE's I've already completed and am predicted A's in all of my others ( except for 2 in which I'm predicted a B ). I've never had a single detention or any other form of bad behavior so I cant foresee that being an issue. My aspirations are mainly in journalism and particularly in reviews , something I enjoy writing online and at school but i understand how hard of a field this is to get into. In my spare time I play guitar and game ( Why else would I be here?) and at school I find myself most interested in History , Economics and English.

As for the options well the first is my current schools sixth form attachment where I'd plan to study English ( combined language and literature ) , Media , History and Economics at A level. Its a small complex but it has a high standard of teaching and is generally seen as being for higher ability students however it is apparently very much still an enclosed experience and doesn't prepare you as well for University , which I hope to go to , as option 2.

Option 2 is a local college where I'd be studying English Literature , History , Economics and Film Studies at A level. It is far larger than option one and seems like more of a social step up from secondary school however it accepts students of far lower ability and therefore I am worried that the classes will not be as useful to me. It is also slightly further away from me and seems less focused on individual students but it has better extra curricular opportunities like work placement.

My Mother wants me to go to option two and my father to option 1 and while I'm leaning towards the first one I'm still uncertain and so a second opinion would be greatly appreciated. I've applied to both just in case.

Sorry if that's a bit much to read but if anyone wants to voice their opinion go ahead

I went to 6th Form myself. Yes, it was a lot like being in secondary school, but the teachers (my 6th form was a part of my secondary school) don't treat you like children as much. I know people who went to (and are still in college), but I'm not really sure what that's like. The only people I know that went to college were people who didn't do that well academically, and most of them are still there, whereas I'm at university now. Mind you, that could just be down to the quality of my 6th form or the local colleges. The main difference that I can see is structure and independent learning. If you think you would prefer to go off and study more in your own time than in structured lessons then college may be for you.


You sound like me ...uh... 7 years ago.

I was also interested in journalism and specifically reviews. This led to me making a ridiculous descision. I studeied Film Studies and Jounalism in University. Clear choice for someone who aspires to be a film critic.

Here's the thing though, to work as a journalist, especially as a critic, you don't need any higher education in this field, or any field for that matter. Within 3 months of my course I was doing my dream job, and after a year I was bored and fed up with it.

I think English, Economics, History and Media are the best choices, because Film Studies is really a waste of time. You could argue I learnt quite a lot of (maybe intersting) things in Film Studies but absolutely none of it was useful, and you can pretty much learn everything you need to know about the subject on-line or in books. So, from experience I would really advise against Film Studies.

On one hand, I'd say don't worry about College too much, apart from in University, what you study and how well you do there is mostly unimportant, unless you are learning something practical that you can use in work... So in Economics you'll definitely learn something worthwhile but in the others, it's more preperation for the next step, which some people would argue is essential and others, like myself, would argue is sometimes a hindrance.

I'm not going to tell you not to go to university or college, but I am going to tell you that expereince is more important than education 100% of the time, so don't worry about college too much. I would suggest your first option, both because of the subjects, and because you will be challenged more and maybe you can talk about basic life experience based on the things you do there. Get involved in clubs and activities as much as you can though because that's what stands out more from college.

I never finished University... I'm a drop out and I'm proud of it. I have worked as a Warehouse Supervisor, a Prison Officer, a Card-Room supervisor and an English Teacher without ever finishing university and I have more job prospects and more money than most of the people in my town.

Education isn't what it used to be, so don't get too hung up on it. Always choose the challenging route though, you'll have more to talk about at the end of it all.

... I hope I helped.

Thanks for the help :)

College is a great learning experience, but what you actually study in class is largely irrelevant. If you plan on going to school, I strongly urge that you move to a campus, because the environment is truly what makes the experience so special.

Like Baldaros said, you don't really need a degree for journalism, what you need is experience. Get your degree is some subject that interests you, and join your school's newspaper. Journalism is one of those "yeah, but what can you do for me tomorrow," kind of fields, so they'll want to see clips and experience you can put on a resume, rather than some kind of fancy degree.

I never have taken a journalism class in my life, but by the time I earned my undergraduate degree I have five years of various roles and titles pertaining to journalism that I can put on a resume. Journalism is cool in that its one of those few jobs that you can actually perform while attending school and doing something else.


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