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I'm only post GCSE level, I could really do with advice on where to go from here. Watch

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    Hello, so first of all I hope this is the right forum? I tried looking for a "Help I don't know what to do" forum but this was a close as I could find and the most relevant. If this isn't the right place, please do direct me to a more relevant one, thanks.

    So little bit about myself first?

    I'm currently 19 years old, i'll be 20 in a couple of months.
    I have Aspergers (relevant? idk). I'm not in full time education at the moment because I had to put it on hold for surgery that would have otherwise negatively impacted my studies (aka im horrible at doing work and catching up when sick lmao).

    Grades so far:

    GCSE English, Maths, Science @ grade C
    GCSE Art @ grade B
    BCS Level 2 ECDL (in IT application skills) @ grade Distinction*
    OCR Level 2 Cambridge Technical Diploma in IT (BTEC?) @ grade Pass

    I'm a little bit stuck on what I should do now. There's funding in place for 19-23 year olds where if they've not got a level 3 qualification yet they can get it for free, so i've got a bit of time at least.

    I was originally going to go on to do a Level 3 BTEC in IT, and I wanted to go to university in Scotland eventually, to do an IT related course, like software engineering, computing (maybe), networks and security, et cetera.

    But a lot of universities seem to want A levels to go with a BTEC? Like Maths for example or other relevant subjects like ICT/Computing, sometimes they list English as well, or they want good GCSE grades in Eng and Maths.

    And I just feel like, can I even achieve this? If I wanted to open up more doors and do A levels so I could potentially go to the places that want them, i'd have to take out a loan to go on to do the BTEC as well and add another 2 years onto study because I couldn't juggle all that, and A levels want good GCSE grades too and I just don't really have them?

    I just wanted advice really on whether I should go in for the long run, to open up a few more doors maybe, or just stick with a BTEC and only apply to Uni's that accept just that.

    Like my goal in life is to go to a really lovely Uni and make myself really attractive to future employers with good qualifications, get a decent paying job, I want all of this, I want to go to school I want to study I want to work but I just don't know if i've got the time or if I can risk extra student debt.

    TLDR; sad adult, bad grades, big aspirations, quarter life crisis, what do now?
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    If you have asperger's, can't you tell the unis you want to apply to that for a lower offer? It's considered a disability that puts you at a disadvantage. Also, you're facing surgery as well. For example, I have a physical disability and got a lower offer as a result as I can't perform as well under exam conditions as my peers. Perhaps email them with your current qualifications and your medical condition and say would you be happy making an offer based on your current grades?

    And you have 4/5 GCSEs at B/Cs which is better that quite a lot of people I know at reputable unis!
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    (Original post by gwaggy)
    If you have asperger's, can't you tell the unis you want to apply to that for a lower offer? It's considered a disability that puts you at a disadvantage. Also, you're facing surgery as well. For example, I have a physical disability and got a lower offer as a result as I can't perform as well under exam conditions as my peers. Perhaps email them with your current qualifications and your medical condition and say would you be happy making an offer based on your current grades?

    And you have 4/5 GCSEs at B/Cs which is better that quite a lot of people I know at reputable unis!
    I didn't think they'd do/offer something like that, but i'd be worried that if I used that as an attempt to get lower entry offers and my "lower grades" (missing a levels/gcse requirements) are because I only took the one course (BTEC) instead of multiple A-levels/A-levels and a BTEC rather than because I struggle with the work (which I do, but is hit and miss, sometimes I do really well other times I struggle a ton and I haven't pin pointed what it is that causes it so I don't know how to improve. They thought i'd get a merit or distinction on my lvl 2 BTEC but it was just a pass.) then I might end up going on a course I wouldn't actually be able to handle? If that makes sense.
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    (Original post by MediocreDruid)
    I didn't think they'd do/offer something like that, but i'd be worried that if I used that as an attempt to get lower entry offers and my "lower grades" (missing a levels/gcse requirements) are because I only took the one course (BTEC) instead of multiple A-levels/A-levels and a BTEC rather than because I struggle with the work (which I do, but is hit and miss, sometimes I do really well other times I struggle a ton and I haven't pin pointed what it is that causes it so I don't know how to improve. They thought i'd get a merit or distinction on my lvl 2 BTEC but it was just a pass.) then I might end up going on a course I wouldn't actually be able to handle? If that makes sense.
    It is your right to put down your disability on a UCAS form, don't worry about it. I had to put down multiple disabilities. I didn't want to but I am at a disadvantage in comparison to my peers as my results aren't as good despite hard work due to my mental health. It's nothing to be ashamed about.

    My cousins have to do that too with their Asperger's.

    Also, university have whole departments to help those with learning/mental disabilities. I know this first hand! So try emailing different unis and ask what they need from you: if they want more qualifications/ proof of skills/ etc. Maybe ask about what support will be in place for a student like yourself. I chose my university based on how much extra help was in place, and by how supportive they were. I am constantly contacted to make sure I am okay, and to see if I need anymore help. Also. try applying for a DSA (disabled student allowance). With this, you get equipment and extra help if you need it due to disability. Perhaps they can help with some of your difficulties.

    I did incredibly poorly with my A-Levels and my university was worried I may continue to at degree level. Last month I got a first on an essay - A-Levels and BTECs are completely different to uni work so don't mark yourself down based on previous work/ experience until you actually get to uni!

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by gwaggy)
    It is your right to put down your disability on a UCAS form, don't worry about it. I had to put down multiple disabilities. I didn't want to but I am at a disadvantage in comparison to my peers as my results aren't as good despite hard work due to my mental health. It's nothing to be ashamed about.

    My cousins have to do that too with their Asperger's.

    Also, university have whole departments to help those with learning/mental disabilities. I know this first hand! So try emailing different unis and ask what they need from you: if they want more qualifications/ proof of skills/ etc. Maybe ask about what support will be in place for a student like yourself. I chose my university based on how much extra help was in place, and by how supportive they were. I am constantly contacted to make sure I am okay, and to see if I need anymore help. Also. try applying for a DSA (disabled student allowance). With this, you get equipment and extra help if you need it due to disability. Perhaps they can help with some of your difficulties.

    I did incredibly poorly with my A-Levels and my university was worried I may continue to at degree level. Last month I got a first on an essay - A-Levels and BTECs are completely different to uni work so don't mark yourself down based on previous work/ experience until you actually get to uni!

    Good luck!
    Thank you for your words of support, I guess it'd really be best then if I were to go and ask around what's expected from me by what Universities and what courses would be best for me considering what I want to do in the future. I wouldn't mind adding an extra 2 years for A level studies if I absolutely needed them (for the uni's that are a bit "iffy" or unclear on accepting just BTECs) I just wish I knew what exactly I needed that'd both pass the minimum entry requirements and give me relevant knowledge.

    Like for example, i'm really looking into computer science (or was it computing? I think it was.) degrees at the moment since they seem to offer quite a lot within them (I thought it was literally just difficult computer related science? dunno how to explain), like some you can add in games development or software engineering, and it opens up a whole range of different jobs within the industry (which is great because I don't know what specifically I want to do) but most of them want you to have good math grades. Though there do seem to be a few "gateway" versions available.

    Uni's really ought to have calculator or something on that'll give me a rough idea (for the ones that seem to partially ignore BTECs like wanting a levels with them at least, since the ones using UCAS points don't seem to mind?)

    I kind of blame the education related stress I experience on the fact I disregarded school until I was 17 and managed to squeeze all my core GCSEs and 2 extra's in a year. I don't regret what I did (and i'm happy I did it because taking a break from education was the best thing for me even if it was in the form of a teenager "acting up" ) because I wasn't managing well at the time and if I stuck with it i'd have probably not done well at all but you know, everything would of been a lot simpler if I was able to stick to the linear(?) path.

    Thanks again for your support and such, it really helps to have another person's input when i'm trying to figure out what to do, i'd get my fam to help out but they're not the best unfortunately.

    I'd best start trying to email some of the Uni's then, Cheers
 
 
 
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