What happens when you leave school?

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As we know, school can be a tough time. Constantly battling between getting your homework done, having the latest trainers and persuading your parents to let you stay out with your friends just that little bit longer. Then, along come the dreaded GCSE’s, having to decide on what subjects you wish to take, hours of coursework and of course… the exams! The worry of disappointing your family and not getting the grades to go to college can all be very overwhelming.

Then just as you begin to give up hope and plan to join the circus. The sun starts to shine and before you know it, along comes the summer. Your worries disappear, your skin gets browner, hair gets lighter and finally you feel like an adult conducting your own life and social calendar. ‘This is great’ you think, ‘living my best life’ you say... slowly but surely the evenings get darker, mornings are colder, and your fluffy socks make an appearance once again.

Its time….

Time to plan the rest of your life, settle down, forget about your social life and get caught up in the mist of the corporate world.


Its ok to leave school and not know exactly what to do or what’s around the corner and if your anything like me you will continue changing your mind and second-guessing decisions all the way through your adult life – including dinner decisions which I still find most difficult.

Remember…. The world is your oyster and you really don’t have to have it all figured out.

You have SO many options as a school leaver. You might be deciding on which college to attend? Maybe you will get a trainee role in finance? Or, maybe you fancy going into the retail sector? The possibilities are endless so don’t put added pressure on yourself, because its ok to change your mind and change it again.

What did I do?

I loved secondary school, it really was the best time of my life to date (I wish I listened to my parents) – but realistically, who does as a teenager? I came out with good GCSE’s, good friends but had absolutely no idea on what I wanted to do.

My plan was to go to highlands college. I was looking to enrol on the Hairdressing course based on the fact I ‘Liked hair’. Looking back, I really should have done some research rather that thinking about pursuing a career with no real idea of what it entailed. In reflection, I can now say this career path really wouldn’t have suited me at all.

I sat down with my mum, we talked through my options and she thought Hautlieu would be my best bet. September quickly came around after the best summer I could have imagined! Back I went into full time education – this time, without the annoying uniform! I took psychology, philosophy, English Language and Art. Three months in, I realised college really wasn’t for me. The truth is, I had just had enough of studying! I applied for a Christmas temp position as a sales assistant in De Gruchys department store. Luckily, as my grades were good I got offered a permanent role in the accounts department. I was there for 4 years, I learnt so much, made lots of new friends and grew up A LOT.

When I left school, my plans and views changed so frequently. I didn’t end up following the path that was expected of me, Not only by myself but my peers and parents too.

Sometimes, life doesn’t happen the way you expect it to and that’s ok.

So…Where do you start?

Do your research. Think about your options, talk with family and friends. You have time and age on your side. If you feel like you need advice on your options, we at park are more than happy to help. We also attend the Freshers Fayre and Skills show which can give you a great understanding of what jobs are out there if that is the route you are looking to head down. Maybe you want to continue in education? Have a look at colleges and different courses. Think about your interests, can you make a job out of it? Your schools have probably given you lots of information on colleges and courses, but again it’s great to explore all your options.

Start with preparing your CV, ensure all your grades are listed correctly (employers and colleges will check) Note down your hobbies and interests, Possibly some volunteer work. At this stage you want to incorporate anything that boosts your CV and shows the reader who you are. If you need help with this have a look on our ‘advice page’ on the website, as that should give you the tools to create the perfect CV.

Next you need a cover letter, so depending on whether your searching for your first job or applying to college you will need to prepare a cover letter. You can find these on the internet or again on our website under ‘covering letters’.

Think about work experience and voluntary work? This could be a great way to build your confidence, develop life skills and give you an idea on what you are looking for, or not as the case may be?

Help is always around, we at park are always happy to answer any of your questions.

"The years between leaving school and actually becoming an adult are very important years. You make a lot of choices as to the type of life you want to lead and what type of person you want to be. There were so many people who had opinions of me, a lot of them very unflattering, that it was hard to make up my mind about who I was supposed to be."

George Michael