I need an honest opinion about A-Levels, university and careers

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Pichi
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Hi. I just started Year 12 and I'm nearly one month in, though I've been debating this question for the last few months, honestly. I do English Literature, Psychology, Spanish and French at A-Level. I do love English Literature and languages (I got 9s in both English subjects and in both languages too, and my love for them is what really drove me to do well), and might consider a joint-honours for university. Then, on the other hand, I'm scared that:
1) I'll struggle career-wise afterwards- I don't want to be rich or famous, but I also want to be reasonably happy, support myself and be of reasonable use to society.
2) I think that I'm making my path too narrow.

I've looked at many fields that I could study: Law, Medicine, English Literature, Languages. I think that I truly will end up doing English and a language, but I'm quite nervous about that. I feel that, in case I ever regret having studied them, I should have some science A-Levels to fall back on, i.e. Biology and Chemistry, instead of having to pay lots of money to re-sit A-Levels in my twenties.

I did really well in Biology and Chemistry at GCSE (I did Triple Science ): I was achieving 8s and 9s in mid-Year 10 and ended up with 9s overall (I did, of course, have to work pretty hard for these grades). However, I was never truly passionate about them. I was neutral, sometimes even a little annoyed that I had to be in the lesson. I would get bored at times, and, I guess, irritated at exam questions. I've seen some of the starting topics from my other friends doing and, again, I just feel neutral about the idea of doing sciences for two more years. I have a very vague interest in Biology, but I'm not sure I can stomach the A-Levels. All my friends and old science teachers have been telling me that I certainly have the capacity to do well in them, but I'm still undecided.

I have until mid-October, I think, to finalise my choices. Is it a good idea to take a mix of sciences and humanities to keep as many doors open for me as possible? Does English, Biology, Chemistry and French/Spanish sound like a better idea (even though I do love Psychology and did it at GCSE too, I guess I'm willing to sacrifice it)?

Am I overthinking the whole 'careers' thing?
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Tigergirl
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I am in year 12 too and I am doing sciences. I would say go for what you will enjoy because ultimately, if you do sciences at A level you will have to continue them at Uni and if you are more passionate about languages then you should go for that because it is what you enjoy. I don't think you are limiting yourself, languages and English A levels are well respected qualifications and can open many doors. I would suggest that you should also discuss with with your career advisor (if your sixth form has one) or a teacher. At the end of the day you should do what is best for you
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absolutelysprout
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if you're not interested in science subjects, i wouldn't take them even if you did well in them at gcse. you'll find the workload of an a level subject much more manageable if you actually have an interest in the subject. if you did want to do medicine at some point, you could do a foundation year but it seems like your interests lie much more in english and languages at the moment.
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Pichi
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(Original post by Tigergirl)
I am in year 12 too and I am doing sciences. I would say go for what you will enjoy because ultimately, if you do sciences at A level you will have to continue them at Uni and if you are more passionate about languages then you should go for that because it is what you enjoy. I don't think you are limiting yourself, languages and English A levels are well respected qualifications and can open many doors. I would suggest that you should also discuss with with your career advisor (if your sixth form has one) or a teacher. At the end of the day you should do what is best for you
Thank you I've decided I'll talk to my form tutor tomorrow and maybe request to see the career advisor. It's also quite refreshing to hear another Year 12 tell me that they believe English/languages truly can open doors.
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Pichi
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(Original post by absolutelysprout)
if you're not interested in science subjects, i wouldn't take them even if you did well in them at gcse. you'll find the workload of an a level subject much more manageable if you actually have an interest in the subject. if you did want to do medicine at some point, you could do a foundation year but it seems like your interests lie much more in english and languages at the moment.
I didn't even consider trying a foundation year for Medicine. Thanks for bringing it up as a possibility.
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absolutelysprout
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(Original post by Pichi)
I didn't even consider trying a foundation year for Medicine. Thanks for bringing it up as a possibility.
no worries
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historynerd47
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Languages are pretty highly sought after honestly, if that's what you want to study I'd recommend taking a couple at uni, e.g. carrying on your main language and one more ab initio, e.g. Spanish with German or French with Mandarin. Less and less job applicants have multiple languages, so with some good work experience in businesses/internships you could do really well after uni
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Pichi
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(Original post by historynerd47)
Languages are pretty highly sought after honestly, if that's what you want to study I'd recommend taking a couple at uni, e.g. carrying on your main language and one more ab initio, e.g. Spanish with German or French with Mandarin. Less and less job applicants have multiple languages, so with some good work experience in businesses/internships you could do really well after uni
I’ve seen mixed opinions and articles about this- some argue for this point and others say that the demand is limited outside education. Out of curiosity, do you know any examples of ‘business experiences’ or ‘internships’ like you mentioned? I’ve tried looking into this before, but didn’t find much. I could just be looking in the wrong place though. Either way, thanks for your input
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Shafxx
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(Original post by Pichi)
Hi. I just started Year 12 and I'm nearly one month in, though I've been debating this question for the last few months, honestly. I do English Literature, Psychology, Spanish and French at A-Level. I do love English Literature and languages (I got 9s in both English subjects and in both languages too, and my love for them is what really drove me to do well), and might consider a joint-honours for university. Then, on the other hand, I'm scared that:
1) I'll struggle career-wise afterwards- I don't want to be rich or famous, but I also want to be reasonably happy, support myself and be of reasonable use to society.
2) I think that I'm making my path too narrow.

I've looked at many fields that I could study: Law, Medicine, English Literature, Languages. I think that I truly will end up doing English and a language, but I'm quite nervous about that. I feel that, in case I ever regret having studied them, I should have some science A-Levels to fall back on, i.e. Biology and Chemistry, instead of having to pay lots of money to re-sit A-Levels in my twenties.

I did really well in Biology and Chemistry at GCSE (I did Triple Science ): I was achieving 8s and 9s in mid-Year 10 and ended up with 9s overall (I did, of course, have to work pretty hard for these grades). However, I was never truly passionate about them. I was neutral, sometimes even a little annoyed that I had to be in the lesson. I would get bored at times, and, I guess, irritated at exam questions. I've seen some of the starting topics from my other friends doing and, again, I just feel neutral about the idea of doing sciences for two more years. I have a very vague interest in Biology, but I'm not sure I can stomach the A-Levels. All my friends and old science teachers have been telling me that I certainly have the capacity to do well in them, but I'm still undecided.

I have until mid-October, I think, to finalise my choices. Is it a good idea to take a mix of sciences and humanities to keep as many doors open for me as possible? Does English, Biology, Chemistry and French/Spanish sound like a better idea (even though I do love Psychology and did it at GCSE too, I guess I'm willing to sacrifice it)?

Am I overthinking the whole 'careers' thing?
I'd have a look at the undergraduate courses and foundation course entry requirements first if you're considering medicine as some unis want maths or physics as well.If you think you can manage the workload and are leaning towards medicine I'd -personally- do bio ,chem and English lit so then if you do want to even change to law later you have an essay based subject to fall back on
Hope this helped
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Shafxx
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(Original post by Pichi)
Hi. I just started Year 12 and I'm nearly one month in, though I've been debating this question for the last few months, honestly. I do English Literature, Psychology, Spanish and French at A-Level. I do love English Literature and languages (I got 9s in both English subjects and in both languages too, and my love for them is what really drove me to do well), and might consider a joint-honours for university. Then, on the other hand, I'm scared that:
1) I'll struggle career-wise afterwards- I don't want to be rich or famous, but I also want to be reasonably happy, support myself and be of reasonable use to society.
2) I think that I'm making my path too narrow.

I've looked at many fields that I could study: Law, Medicine, English Literature, Languages. I think that I truly will end up doing English and a language, but I'm quite nervous about that. I feel that, in case I ever regret having studied them, I should have some science A-Levels to fall back on, i.e. Biology and Chemistry, instead of having to pay lots of money to re-sit A-Levels in my twenties.

I did really well in Biology and Chemistry at GCSE (I did Triple Science ): I was achieving 8s and 9s in mid-Year 10 and ended up with 9s overall (I did, of course, have to work pretty hard for these grades). However, I was never truly passionate about them. I was neutral, sometimes even a little annoyed that I had to be in the lesson. I would get bored at times, and, I guess, irritated at exam questions. I've seen some of the starting topics from my other friends doing and, again, I just feel neutral about the idea of doing sciences for two more years. I have a very vague interest in Biology, but I'm not sure I can stomach the A-Levels. All my friends and old science teachers have been telling me that I certainly have the capacity to do well in them, but I'm still undecided.

I have until mid-October, I think, to finalise my choices. Is it a good idea to take a mix of sciences and humanities to keep as many doors open for me as possible? Does English, Biology, Chemistry and French/Spanish sound like a better idea (even though I do love Psychology and did it at GCSE too, I guess I'm willing to sacrifice it)?

Am I overthinking the whole 'careers' thing?
I'd have a look at the undergraduate courses and foundation course entry requirements first if you're considering medicine as some unis want maths or physics as well.If you think you can manage the workload and are leaning towards medicine I'd -personally- do bio ,chem and English lit so then if you do want to even change to law later you have an essay based subject to fall back on
Hope this helped
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historynerd47
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(Original post by Pichi)
I’ve seen mixed opinions and articles about this- some argue for this point and others say that the demand is limited outside education. Out of curiosity, do you know any examples of ‘business experiences’ or ‘internships’ like you mentioned? I’ve tried looking into this before, but didn’t find much. I could just be looking in the wrong place though. Either way, thanks for your input
Not sure how to sum up internships/work experience in businesses. Any company with international links or a company that is in itself international desires employees that can communicate in multiple languages- consultancy companies, fashion, literally anything... Definitely a pro compared to a humanities degree but I guess it's all relative. Not saying you're guaranteed a job at all, pretty much any degree doesn't do that bar medicine and nursing, and teaching which is in demand at the minute, but it's a useful degree if you use it right
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Tigergirl
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(Original post by Pichi)
Thank you I've decided I'll talk to my form tutor tomorrow and maybe request to see the career advisor. It's also quite refreshing to hear another Year 12 tell me that they believe English/languages truly can open doors.
No problem! Good luck
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Pichi
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(Original post by Shafxx)
I'd have a look at the undergraduate courses and foundation course entry requirements first if you're considering medicine as some unis want maths or physics as well.If you think you can manage the workload and are leaning towards medicine I'd -personally- do bio ,chem and English lit so then if you do want to even change to law later you have an essay based subject to fall back on
Hope this helped
I have already looked at course requirements. Physics definitely isn't required, nor is Maths (except for at Cambridge- I was even talking to tutors at the Oxford Virtual Open Day last week and asked about Medicine, and they told me that I wouldn't be at a disadvantage for not doing A-Level Maths and that they have classes to brush up on some maths skills if I ever wanted to). But I appreciate you giving me your person opinion because it was along the lines of what I was thinking too, except I was wondering if I was being irrational for taking on some sciences to have something to 'fall back on' (and I'm also considering doing languages, so that's why I don't want to let go of A-Level French just yet, and I can do Spanish at home as one of my parents is a native speaker and helped me start from GCSE). Anyway, I was told by my form tutor yesterday to look at multiple paths that also require Biology and Chemistry before making a decision (I guess this is because Medicine is very competitive anyway or it might not end up being for me), so I'll still take on your advice to look at course requirements for other science-based degrees. Thanks
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Pichi
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(Original post by historynerd47)
Not sure how to sum up internships/work experience in businesses. Any company with international links or a company that is in itself international desires employees that can communicate in multiple languages- consultancy companies, fashion, literally anything... Definitely a pro compared to a humanities degree but I guess it's all relative. Not saying you're guaranteed a job at all, pretty much any degree doesn't do that bar medicine and nursing, and teaching which is in demand at the minute, but it's a useful degree if you use it right
Thank you
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Shafxx
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(Original post by Pichi)
I have already looked at course requirements. Physics definitely isn't required, nor is Maths (except for at Cambridge- I was even talking to tutors at the Oxford Virtual Open Day last week and asked about Medicine, and they told me that I wouldn't be at a disadvantage for not doing A-Level Maths and that they have classes to brush up on some maths skills if I ever wanted to). But I appreciate you giving me your person opinion because it was along the lines of what I was thinking too, except I was wondering if I was being irrational for taking on some sciences to have something to 'fall back on' (and I'm also considering doing languages, so that's why I don't want to let go of A-Level French just yet, and I can do Spanish at home as one of my parents is a native speaker and helped me start from GCSE). Anyway, I was told by my form tutor yesterday to look at multiple paths that also require Biology and Chemistry before making a decision (I guess this is because Medicine is very competitive anyway or it might not end up being for me), so I'll still take on your advice to look at course requirements for other science-based degrees. Thanks
Yeah I'd wish someone had told me how much chemistry was needed when I was in Year 12 i had to restart the year somewhere else so that I could get into even a Pharmacy or optometry course now because I wasn't thinking when I chose my a levels and thought id want to go down the law pathway and honestly if you're capable of getting good grades with them a levels id go for it because there's honestly so many courses you have access too.If you don't want to go into medicine in the end I'd suggest using unibuddy to help you get an insight into what other undergrad courses are like
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nexttime
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(Original post by Pichi)
I feel that, in case I ever regret having studied them, I should have some science A-Levels to fall back on, i.e. Biology and Chemistry, instead of having to pay lots of money to re-sit A-Levels in my twenties.
(Original post by Shafxx)
I'd have a look at the undergraduate courses and foundation course entry requirements first if you're considering medicine as some unis want maths or physics as well.
There aren't any med schools which need maths or physics. There's a bit of a correlation with higher BMAT score if you have them, and correlation with getting into BMAT unis Cambridge in particular, but no requirement.

Foundation courses are an option even with completely inappropriate A-levels, though I don't know which ones.

If actually considering it post in the medicine forum.
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thinlizzie278484
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I was in a similar predicament 11 years ago over A Level choices. I ended up choosing art, textiles and English language. In all honesty I deeply regret this decision and infect I am currently redoing level 3 science qualifications at the age of 27 as we speak, with the view of completing another 3 year allied health professional degree. To cut a long story short choosing the arts subjects and completing a fashion degree was the worst decision of my life. The realities of working in fashion are: terrible pay, *****y work environments, exploitation at every level of the production chain including design and buying and more. The list is endless. I designed for two of the biggest high street retailers on the high street so if you have any queries on a career in fashion please feel free to DM me.
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Pichi
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(Original post by thinlizzie278484)
I was in a similar predicament 11 years ago over A Level choices. I ended up choosing art, textiles and English language. In all honesty I deeply regret this decision and infect I am currently redoing level 3 science qualifications at the age of 27 as we speak, with the view of completing another 3 year allied health professional degree. To cut a long story short choosing the arts subjects and completing a fashion degree was the worst decision of my life. The realities of working in fashion are: terrible pay, *****y work environments, exploitation at every level of the production chain including design and buying and more. The list is endless. I designed for two of the biggest high street retailers on the high street so if you have any queries on a career in fashion please feel free to DM me.
Thank you for your warning. I definitely wasn’t going to go down a fashion route anyway, so don’t worry. Actually, the deadline for changing my subjects was on Friday anyway. I did change to Biology and Chemistry for a bit before realising that it actually made me miserable, even though I wasn’t struggling with the content. I went with my original subjects and I’m now aiming to be a teacher in one of my A-Level choices one day, so I’m not too worried about careers (honestly, I’ve wanted to be one since I was really young, but wasn’t 100% sure until now- I would close this thread if I could because I’ve come to a decision already). Regardless, I wish you luck with your science qualifications (and it’s reassuring to know that I could still change my path years after university if I wanted). Thank you
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