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Really need advice on what to do with future. Woud like to work in Design. Too late? Watch

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    Hi, I hope this is the right forum for this, apologies if not.
    (Tl;DR: please refer to the bullet points)

    I really need some advice - I have no one. I'm turning 26 tomorrow, I'm from London and as the title says, I've completely wasted my life so far. I spent my secondary education pursuing arts qualifications and a foundation year (An English pre-university qualification) But when I entered university I made a complete mess of it and ended up having to drop out at the end of the year. I spent 2 years working at a restaurant and am currently unemployed and living at home... I know it's not good. I've come to realise that nothing is going to change unless I ****ing do something about it, but every time I consider what to do, doubt, fear and anxiety creeps in making me extremely panicky and depressed. I would like a future in Web/graphic design and I am seeking some real, frank advice on how best to move on from here to try and salvage what I can from my 20s to be better prepared for the future.

    Each option I consider I immediately think of the downsides until I can't make sense of what to do:

    • Do a degree now I'll spend the next 3 years in education. BUT I'd be leaving university with little to no real world work experience at almost 30 years old, wouldn't I be completely unemployable?
    • Commit to self-study and making a portfolio on my own. BUT I may not grow and learn enough as a designer, I may fail without the discipline of university deadlines when left to my own devices
    • Find a random job or apprenticeship and work my way up. BUT any worthwhile apprenticeship schemes will be taken by younger people (It's a funding issue here in the UK if you're over 24) so I will be relegated to work that I won't be that into/manual labor apprenticeships.


    I really need some fresh perspective on these options (especially for anyone who's been in a similar situation), or maybe completely new options entirely. Skill-wise I can speak Japanese and I am computer literate/have good language skills and can actually draw/design when motivated and pushed (this is something I have to work on for myself and I understand this.)

    I know that change has to happen with me, and I completely understand that it's my own fault that I'm in this situation. I am not expecting a quick fix by any means, I just really need to find purpose in my life. Any advice big or small is really appreciated.

    Thank you for reading.
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    (Original post by Warui-ne)
    Hi, I hope this is the right forum for this, apologies if not.
    (Tl;DR: please refer to the bullet points)

    I really need some advice - I have no one. I'm turning 26 tomorrow, I'm from London and as the title says, I've completely wasted my life so far. I spent my secondary education pursuing arts qualifications and a foundation year (An English pre-university qualification) But when I entered university I made a complete mess of it and ended up having to drop out at the end of the year. I spent 2 years working at a restaurant and am currently unemployed and living at home... I know it's not good. I've come to realise that nothing is going to change unless I ****ing do something about it, but every time I consider what to do, doubt, fear and anxiety creeps in making me extremely panicky and depressed. I would like a future in Web/graphic design and I am seeking some real, frank advice on how best to move on from here to try and salvage what I can from my 20s to be better prepared for the future.

    Each option I consider I immediately think of the downsides until I can't make sense of what to do:

    • Do a degree now I'll spend the next 3 years in education. BUT I'd be leaving university with little to no real world work experience at almost 30 years old, wouldn't I be completely unemployable?
    • Commit to self-study and making a portfolio on my own. BUT I may not grow and learn enough as a designer, I may fail without the discipline of university deadlines when left to my own devices
    • Find a random job or apprenticeship and work my way up. BUT any worthwhile apprenticeship schemes will be taken by younger people (It's a funding issue here in the UK if you're over 24) so I will be relegated to work that I won't be that into/manual labor apprenticeships.


    I really need some fresh perspective on these options (especially for anyone who's been in a similar situation), or maybe completely new options entirely. Skill-wise I can speak Japanese and I am computer literate/have good language skills and can actually draw/design when motivated and pushed (this is something I have to work on for myself and I understand this.)

    I know that change has to happen with me, and I completely understand that it's my own fault that I'm in this situation. I am not expecting a quick fix by any means, I just really need to find purpose in my life. Any advice big or small is really appreciated.

    Thank you for reading.
    If you think about students who go into uni at 18, they then come out with no real work experience. They may have done a part time job on the side whilst studying, but that's it. So with your 2 years of restaurant experience, you'll be similarly experienced after the degree. So you can't discount a degree for lack of work experience when the "standard" route would produce similar results.

    However, you would need to research the student loan you would be entitled to (since you're over 25 you would be assessed as an independent student, rather than on your parents' income). You would be able to get a part time job on the side, but around 20 hours a week is the realistic maximum you'd be able to work (although you may be able to work more over the holidays). Take into account where you're thinking of studying - London is obviously expensive, but northern unis may be cheaper - and see if you could realistically live on that.

    You'll also need to look at the entry requirements for courses, and see if your qualifications are sufficient. You'll need recent study in the last 3-5 years (which you may already have). You might need to create a portfolio to showcase your talents, and may also need to attend an interview.
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    (Original post by Warui-ne)
    Hi, I hope this is the right forum for this, apologies if not.
    (Tl;DR: please refer to the bullet points)

    I really need some advice - I have no one. I'm turning 26 tomorrow, I'm from London and as the title says, I've completely wasted my life so far. I spent my secondary education pursuing arts qualifications and a foundation year (An English pre-university qualification) But when I entered university I made a complete mess of it and ended up having to drop out at the end of the year. I spent 2 years working at a restaurant and am currently unemployed and living at home... I know it's not good. I've come to realise that nothing is going to change unless I ****ing do something about it, but every time I consider what to do, doubt, fear and anxiety creeps in making me extremely panicky and depressed. I would like a future in Web/graphic design and I am seeking some real, frank advice on how best to move on from here to try and salvage what I can from my 20s to be better prepared for the future.

    Each option I consider I immediately think of the downsides until I can't make sense of what to do:

    • Do a degree now I'll spend the next 3 years in education. BUT I'd be leaving university with little to no real world work experience at almost 30 years old, wouldn't I be completely unemployable?
    • Commit to self-study and making a portfolio on my own. BUT I may not grow and learn enough as a designer, I may fail without the discipline of university deadlines when left to my own devices
    • Find a random job or apprenticeship and work my way up. BUT any worthwhile apprenticeship schemes will be taken by younger people (It's a funding issue here in the UK if you're over 24) so I will be relegated to work that I won't be that into/manual labor apprenticeships.



    I really need some fresh perspective on these options (especially for anyone who's been in a similar situation), or maybe completely new options entirely. Skill-wise I can speak Japanese and I am computer literate/have good language skills and can actually draw/design when motivated and pushed (this is something I have to work on for myself and I understand this.)

    I know that change has to happen with me, and I completely understand that it's my own fault that I'm in this situation. I am not expecting a quick fix by any means, I just really need to find purpose in my life. Any advice big or small is really appreciated.

    Thank you for reading.
    On top of Juno's excellent post above I'd suggest getting in contact with some design agencies and asking them for advice about how they recruit new designers and what sort of background/skills/portfolio they're looking for. It might be that

    http://creativeskillset.org/job_role...aphic_designer is also an excellent resource (the entire site is great but that's probably a reasonable place to start! - their job listings on https://app.hiive.co.uk/companies/ might be worth a look too to find companies who are actively seeking new talent)
 
 
 
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