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Should I leave in S5

Hi, I'm an S5 student who's 17 years old (I was held back a year due to coming from the Canadian education system). I'm currently taking Highers English, National 5 in Biology, Maths and History. I eventually want to go into nursing.

I have British/Scottish citizenship through my father and so I only have to wait three years in order to apply to university and attend as a home student.

Considering if I have to have the equivalent of two gap years after S6 in order to qualify as a home student, I was thinking of leaving after completing S5 to volunteer at my local hospital and possible work as an hca while completing my Highers online (I'm aware of the financial costs and am willing to pay them).

My careers adviser wants me to stay for S6 to get my Highers but I feel like I'm done attending classes with kids who are two-three years younger than me.

My mum wants me to leave S5 and work/ do school online.

I feel confused about the whole situation and would appreciate some input.
Original post by Hedgehog_141
Hi, I'm an S5 student who's 17 years old (I was held back a year due to coming from the Canadian education system). I'm currently taking Highers English, National 5 in Biology, Maths and History. I eventually want to go into nursing.

I have British/Scottish citizenship through my father and so I only have to wait three years in order to apply to university and attend as a home student.

Considering if I have to have the equivalent of two gap years after S6 in order to qualify as a home student, I was thinking of leaving after completing S5 to volunteer at my local hospital and possible work as an hca while completing my Highers online (I'm aware of the financial costs and am willing to pay them).

My careers adviser wants me to stay for S6 to get my Highers but I feel like I'm done attending classes with kids who are two-three years younger than me.

My mum wants me to leave S5 and work/ do school online.

I feel confused about the whole situation and would appreciate some input.

Hi there,

My sister and I moved to Scotland from a completely different education system (South African) as well, my sister ended up turning 19 while in S6 because the school year was completely different to our previous education system (which ran from January-December). I was also 17 in S5 and turned 18 in S6, then had to take several gap years before being able to go to university.

It was a massive change and a struggle to begin with (some subjects were easier, other more difficult), but my sister and I got a lot of support from our teachers, e.g. I attended every single after school chemistry help session run by the science department- I went from never having done chemistry before to getting A's in Highers and Advanced Highers with the support I got. It was massively helpful to be able to ask questions and have teachers explain concepts, even just discussing things with other students in the class could be really helpful. I know people do it online and on their own but personally I think it would have been a lot more stressful for me, difficult to stay motivated and I probably wouldn't have done as well as I did but everyone is different.

I needed to do Advanced Highers in order to study medicine so I had to stay but I am glad I needed to stay if that makes sense. I was still able to do volunteering in S6, I had medical work experience placements and was able to do an elective course on Anatomy through my school while in S6 which was really interesting. After high school, I went on to do more volunteering (because I was over 18, I was able to volunteer for an Autism Charity working with children), I also did a research internship with a psychiatry professor.

Even though I didn't apply to Universities while in high school, I learnt so much about the process, what I needed, etc through being at school and that helped me when it came time to apply. Teachers also got to know me more and several were happy to write references for me, my pupil support teacher also ended up being my referee for my UCAS application even though I had already graduated.

I would personally say ignore that everyone around you is a bit younger (I know it can be hard, especially if maturity levels are low), but when you start working or go to university it doesn't really matter, the people that I know on my course range in age from 17 to late 30's and I have heard of older.

At the end of the day, you need to do what's best for you. As cheesy as this may sound, a pros and cons list may not be a bad idea, get everything down on paper and then weigh it up.

Sorry for the long message, I hope it was at least a bit helpful.
Thank you so much for the advice! I will take it into consideration as I will try a pros vs cons list. I feel pressure surrounding my decision as my counselor and mum have differing opinions on the issue.

Hopefully all will look turn out for the best.
Original post by Hedgehog_141
Thank you so much for the advice! I will take it into consideration as I will try a pros vs cons list. I feel pressure surrounding my decision as my counselor and mum have differing opinions on the issue.

Hopefully all will look turn out for the best.

No worries, sorry for the long reply time. I hope things are going better. xx
Original post by Hedgehog_141
Hi, I'm an S5 student who's 17 years old (I was held back a year due to coming from the Canadian education system). I'm currently taking Highers English, National 5 in Biology, Maths and History. I eventually want to go into nursing.

I have British/Scottish citizenship through my father and so I only have to wait three years in order to apply to university and attend as a home student.

Considering if I have to have the equivalent of two gap years after S6 in order to qualify as a home student, I was thinking of leaving after completing S5 to volunteer at my local hospital and possible work as an hca while completing my Highers online (I'm aware of the financial costs and am willing to pay them).

My careers adviser wants me to stay for S6 to get my Highers but I feel like I'm done attending classes with kids who are two-three years younger than me.

My mum wants me to leave S5 and work/ do school online.

I feel confused about the whole situation and would appreciate some input.

Confused how you are 2 years older than others in your year?
Most of my year was 16 (turned 17) in S5, which means you are at most 1 year ahead age wise? (and the same age as some people who have turned 17).

I guess its up to you what you want to do- make a list of pros and cons for each approach you are thinking of
Original post by Hedgehog_141
Hi, I'm an S5 student who's 17 years old (I was held back a year due to coming from the Canadian education system). I'm currently taking Highers English, National 5 in Biology, Maths and History. I eventually want to go into nursing.

I have British/Scottish citizenship through my father and so I only have to wait three years in order to apply to university and attend as a home student.

Considering if I have to have the equivalent of two gap years after S6 in order to qualify as a home student, I was thinking of leaving after completing S5 to volunteer at my local hospital and possible work as an hca while completing my Highers online (I'm aware of the financial costs and am willing to pay them).

My careers adviser wants me to stay for S6 to get my Highers but I feel like I'm done attending classes with kids who are two-three years younger than me.

My mum wants me to leave S5 and work/ do school online.

I feel confused about the whole situation and would appreciate some input.


Hey I am in s5 rn and I am leaving next year to do a college course, so you could apply to college for a couple years.
Im doing an HNC healthcare practice course and higher human at college to go into nursing at university and that is a lot better than staying on until sixth year cause I have nothing to do in sixth year. You could stay on and apply college after your sixth year to do courses that will put u in good stead for doing nursing at university. Idk if this helps but yeh.
It's a bit confusing uhm....I am 17 going on 18 this summer and the kids in S5 this year at my school are 15 turning 16. I think it depends on what month you are born in... in canada you are put in your grade based on the typical calendar (jan-dec). I was born in 2004 so in Canada I would technically be graduating grade 12 this year (last year of high school).
Original post by AzureCeleste
Confused how you are 2 years older than others in your year?
Most of my year was 16 (turned 17) in S5, which means you are at most 1 year ahead age wise? (and the same age as some people who have turned 17).

I guess its up to you what you want to do- make a list of pros and cons for each approach you are thinking of


yes I am 17 turning 18 this summer and the kids in S5 with me are 15 turning 16 this year.
Original post by Emalilly22
Hey I am in s5 rn and I am leaving next year to do a college course, so you could apply to college for a couple years.
Im doing an HNC healthcare practice course and higher human at college to go into nursing at university and that is a lot better than staying on until sixth year cause I have nothing to do in sixth year. You could stay on and apply college after your sixth year to do courses that will put u in good stead for doing nursing at university. Idk if this helps but yeh.


hey emalilly22 thanks for the help!! I have gotten a job as a healthcare support worker part time and am in the middle of registering for highers french, math and n5 chem next year. The following year I plan on registering for online History, bio and chem highers. This year I have just finished my exams for Highers english, n5 bio, maths and history. I think it is the best preparation I can do. the recruitment team that hired me let me know that I will be supported on my pathway to nursing so I am extremely grateful for that as well. have a good weekend!! :smile:
Reply 9
Original post by Hedgehog_141
Thank you so much for the advice! I will take it into consideration as I will try a pros vs cons list. I feel pressure surrounding my decision as my counselor and mum have differing opinions on the issue.

Hopefully all will look turn out for the best.


I was born in september i started school at 5 got held back im turning 18 this year september 27th i will be leaving when im 18 turning 19 im in Ireland so it might be diffrent deffo a older student tho lol doing a plc and wont be doing college until im 20!
Hey Dylan,

I feel ya, at least we've got extra time to figure our lives out. I'd rather that than jump into uni if I didn't feel ready. I'll be heading to uni at around age 21. Best of luck :smile:

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