“School isn’t for everyone” – Iona on choosing her own path to happiness as a young apprentice #BestDecision

An inspiring post by Iona Brownell, one of our previous workshop participants.

I left school last year and went into an apprenticeship. The ‘normal’ step after completing school is college or university. I felt that neither of these options were for me. I think gaining experience is just as important as receiving the certificate.

I found out that school wasn’t for me when I started at Secondary. I didn’t thrive in the environment of school and instead stood in the shadows and wished the time away. I left school when I had just turned 16. The words I heard most were that I was “too young”. Too young to be in a full-time job, to have responsibilities and the pressure. What about meeting new people, gaining new skills? However, there are no guarantees of getting a job after you leave college or university. That doesn’t change when completing an apprenticeship, but it does increase the chances.

I was always told when I was at school that getting your foot in the door is very important for a successful career, but still, they pushed me towards college. It was difficult adapting to the working life, with long days due to travel and being away from home a lot which I was not used to. I was ready to give up six months ago, but the words of teachers, friends and even family stuck in my head and I did not want to prove them right.

Now, I look back, and I don’t regret a thing, not one. Other people may give you advice, but you don’t always need to follow it. School isn’t for everyone; it is certainly not for me.

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