Undoubtedly, the first term of year eleven is when you make important decisions regarding your future. It is time to choose your path for higher education! Will it be academic or vocational? On what factors do the final choice of a college hinge?

Basically, sixth forms offer open events, but are they really helpful for students? To narrow down their options, the main considerations for college selection are typically location, friends, price, and courses. If all of these factors are considered, yet you still have not decided, how do you choose?

Previously, I attended the St. Bede’s open event (my school) which reinforced my course choices, especially after speaking with my teachers. In the end, I decided on Maths, English Literature, and Art. The Maths and English courses seemed brilliant, but the scope of Art appeared more limited than I hoped. 

After attending my second college open event at East Surrey College, I discovered the value of open events in divulging alternative choices. As opposed to choosing two to four A-levels, one course can be selected. You also hear unfamiliar but critical terms such as,‘t-level’, ‘UCAS points’, and ‘distinction’. I was particularly intrigued by viable career paths in Art, Design & Communication. Furthermore, it was most impactful to view the artwork created by other students. Nonetheless, this is not my ideal choice since I intend to pursue Maths at the tertiary level. 

A student, Mischa, noted, ‘My choice of college is based on the subjects I want to do, the environment, and home learning versus learning at school. I also want a fresh start. Being able to talk about the subjects at open events helped me to make a choice.’

Despite all the indecision, open events provide invaluable information. In the end, my choice was contingent upon the friendships I have formed, my future academic aspirations, and the familiar environment. Thus, I have decided to study at St. Bede’s, but that is not to say that any sixth form is appropriate for everyone. Obviously, it is a personal choice, but open events make a difference, if only to provide greater exposure to our range of options. In the end, perhaps we all rely on our sixth sense.