Missed the UCAS Deadline? What to do next

Here are some options for you if you’ve missed the UCAS deadline

With the main UCAS deadline having been on 26th January, you may be one of the year 13 who haven’t applied. Not applying can be for various reasons, quite positive ones too. This blog is aimed at helping these students ponder ‘what next’, whatever reason they missed the UCAS deadline and what they need to be doing now, to plan their future.

Firstly, its still not too late for some university courses. If you are now starting to change your mind about UCAS, having seen a flurry of offers being made to your friends, it could still be an option. For some competitive courses, you will need to wait until the next UCAS cycle between next Sept-January.  But there will be a range of courses that will still consider a late application, until 30th June. Before you spend time constructing a personal statement, do get in touch with the universities that interest you and speak or email the admissions staff. They know that students amend ideas and plans change over time, if they know they have spaces they will be keen to encourage you to apply! Want to know more? https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/ucas-undergraduate-when-apply

If you are still sure you don’t want to go to university, there are a range of other options. What have you thought of so far? You may be sitting on some concrete plans already, by having an offer of an apprenticeship, travel plans or turning a part time job into a full time one. If not, what do you need to do now to plan your next steps? Hopefully these ideas will help,

Think about what your skills and motivations are. What interests you? There are bound to be some career ideas linked to these, regardless of whether these are people, animal or plant related! Knowing what your skills are will help you promote yourself to future employers, so do give these some thought. If you are stuck, ask a good friend, your tutor or parents to see what they think your skills are. Equally, thinking through what motivates you and grabs your attention is a really good starting point to decide your next steps.

With these skills identified, are there any that you could use differently, to earn some money? For instance, if you are good at playing a sport, could you do a referees course and use it to earn some money. Or if you can speak another language or two, could you get involved in some city tourist tours?

What experiences have you got that you’ve really enjoyed getting? Being on stage? Part time jobs? Playing sport or a musical instrument? There are several careers that support performance, so it’s not just a case of being a performer.

Think through about who you, your friends and family know. Does anyone do something interesting? Could you buy them a coffee and find out more about what they do? They may be able to tell you about opportunities they’ve heard about that would suit an 18 year old, or know who else you can talk to. People are usually very happy to talk through their own career and give advice, so don’t be shy about asking.

Embrace the unknown! Why not visit some recruitment agencies and find out what opportunities they could put you forward to? It’s likely that you will get a wide range of places to work, and give you a really good insight into what different companies are like to work for.

Embrace the unknown 2! If anyone offers you an opportunity which you aren’t sure about, why not say yes? It may well build your confidence, help build contacts and broaden your horizons.

Sit down with the careers adviser in school and do some planning. Even if this is just to give you a loose structure of what you are aiming for. They can explain how ‘happenstance’ could help turn unexpected events into really useful experiences! If you can approach any of these experiences positively and with an open mind, you may well find that you really get lots out of them. It is worth reviewing each experience, to see how you found it, how it developed your skills and confidence, or not.

It is worth doing some careers research, to find out what different careers might interest you. Alongside this, finding out about options like apprenticeships will give you a better idea about whether they are a good idea for you. These websites will be a good start, www.prospects.ac.uk and https://amazingapprenticeships.com/.

We hope that some of these suggestions grab your attention and help you think through some possibilities, no matter the reason you missed the UCAS deadline.

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