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One year. 52 weeks. Let's go.

Week 1

11 September 2023

Over the next year we will be bringing you weekly challenges to help get you thinking about your future. Life moves fast and you’ve got a lot on your plate, so each challenge is designed to take no more than an hour of your time.

We’ll look at your options for post-18 study, give strategies for choosing a career and if you do decide that University is for you, provide a 52 weeks student guide to help you through the process.

Finding time to think

Between the ages of 16 and 18, every teenager in the UK is asked to make some pretty tough decisions about their future. The way our education system works can add to the pressure – student loans, limited funding and age restricted opportunities can make it seem like you’ve only got one chance to get it right.

It’s not like this is the only thing you’ve got going on either. Coursework, exams, friends, family, relationships, work - the list goes on. It’s hard to find time to think about what you will be doing next week, let alone in five, ten or twenty years’ time.

We wanted to do something to help you cut through the noise. 52 Things To Do is a 12 month, one hour a week student guide to help you plan and prepare for the future. It sounds crushingly formal, but really it’s just about finding time to take a step back from day-to-day life - time to think, plan and get excited.

So what’s next?

This week is a warm-up, so take it easy and settle yourself into the new academic year. We did say that this wouldn’t be too taxing!

If you get the chance, you could spend a few minutes getting familiar with the 52 Things To Do homepage. There will be a new challenge for you to complete each week, along with some helpful reminders about upcoming deadlines and events.

For those who want to get going straight away, your best bet would be to start thinking about your personal statement. We'll cover personal statements in-depth in a later post, but a good first step would be to make a list of ten things that you think make you suitable for a place at university.

This could be your academic performance, your extracurricular activities, your hobbies, or even personality traits that you think make you a good fit for a course. Getting your top selling points down on paper early will make your life much easier when it comes to actually writing your statement.

Next week we’ll see how a new way of looking at work might help you to make better sense of your options. Until then, have a great week.

Tasks for this week:

  • This week is a warm-up, so take it easy and concentrate on settling into the new academic year.
  • If you are eager to get started, write a list of the 10 things that you think make you a great candidate for a university place. This will be invaluable when it's time to write your personal statement.
  • Next week we will look at some techniques that could help you to think about what you’d like to do in the future.