The Student Room Group

College Struggles

Hi, so i’ve just finished my first year of college and it’s draining to say the least. I’ve always found it extremely difficult to learn from textbooks or just reading from powerpoints or just told information and have always found it easier with 1 to 1 or practical learning and have always excelled if that’s the case. I’m doing A levels as the other types of courses my college offers mainly relate to things like construction, health and social care, hair and beauty etc. and i’m not interested or wanting to proceed in those at all. I’ve always had a passion for crime related things like forensics, psychology, criminal investigation and would love to have a future career in that, maybe a detective? i’m not sure i’m extremely indecisive. Anyways, i got my results yesterday and i got Us in all my subjects except for criminology which i got a B in. The reason for this is the fact that i cant cope with how i’m being taught in college and all the teachers teach lessons in the same way and i’ve always struggled processing so much information at once or revising in general my attention span is shockingly bad. Getting to college, waking up for it, not skipping lessons became such a chore and i’m honestly hating college life, the social aspect is fine for me, however the learning is just terrible i can’t learn in those ways, i hate studying A levels, all other courses aren’t appealing and I don’t want to proceed with college anymore. However, i feel like i have to do A levels because i need some reassurance my life won’t completely fail in the future. I’ve applied everyday for job, and got rejected by all for no experience and i live in a poor small town so there’s barely any jobs for me as a student, there isn’t time with A levels to even have a job anyway which is a struggle because i need money. I was considering an apprenticeship but i’m not sure how to look, when i check my colleges apprenticeships they’re all to do with like i said, construction, health and social care etc. and i have no interest/desire to proceed in any of those, i want to go into something relating to criminal investigation forensics side of things but my options are so limited. While not doing A levels is what i’d rather do, I feel like i have to finish my 2nd year in criminology and since i need 2 more A levels i’ll have to do a 3rd year and i can’t with the thought of that it makes me feel really depressed just thinking about it and it’s making me have panic attacks because i don’t know what to do. If anyone stayed to read this i beg for advice/help on this please
Reply 1
Hey, not the end of the world, very early days, loads and loads of time, don't panic,

Right, so lets work this backwards, if criminal investigation forensics work is what you think would interest you most then you need to ultimately get onto either a police degree course or a "Criminology and Forensic Studies Degree" course to get you on that path.

Now your Criminology A level is great as you say that's the one A level ticked off, you can do that. I would see if your college will let you do a BTEC Applied science L3 Diploma along side it or something similar to give you the other two A level equivalent grades to boost your UCAS points. IF not you could go to university to study a Criminology and Forensic Studies Degree with a foundation year in a years time but most need 48 UCAS points which is one A level at grade A or combination that makes 48 points although they may take you anyhow on a foundation with a solid B as its related being a Criminology A level you would need to make contact with with a University such as UWE Bristol:-
https://courses.uwe.ac.uk/M90F/criminology-with-foundation-year

Which ever way you look at it, ideally you need to bin off the two A levels you wont be successful at and replace with something else that will give you UCAS points.

My view is always follow your dreams, if you want to do Criminology, go for it, you are clearly good at it as you have a B predicted at A level so look for a way in, yes college is a ball ache but if its the vehicle to get you to your next destination then go for it, gove it your best shot

Good luck
Reply 2
Thank you so much, haha eased my panic a bit. I’ve looked into more of what my college offer regarding criminology stuff and they do have the science diploma you mentioned but it’s on a different campus and my college is the only one near me the rest are hours away my options are super limited 😭 I saw you can get apprenticeships for what i’m interested in but they’re with colleges in towns that are also hours away from me and like the only thing stopping me is the lack of travel like i don’t have ways to travel that far nor the money. But yeh the courses i failed was psychology and computer science but i’m not sure if i should redo psychology as i do like the subject but my teacher failed us, she got fired because she was really bad. But i’m not sure what to do for my third A level, i’m really thrown off to do a science AS level in my 2nd year of crim because of how much material is in the course and how negative people are towards it i’ve looked at friends’ study notes for just 1 lesson and it’s too chaotic for me personally so i’m still unsure of what to do haha
Reply 3
Its points you need. The third one wont really matter if you go down the foundation route. A good number of foundation courses were all 48 UCAS. No point studying something you wont get a grade in better to invest that time in something that will add value even if its non academia related.

For where you are it sounds like a science AS would be a real stretch, shame you cant get on that Applied Science that could really suit your way of working rather than three intense A level exams all at the same time but i think you got this - you will do great, there are numerous routes in.

Onwards and upwards from here....
Reply 4
Original post by LsDad
Its points you need. The third one wont really matter if you go down the foundation route. A good number of foundation courses were all 48 UCAS. No point studying something you wont get a grade in better to invest that time in something that will add value even if its non academia related.

For where you are it sounds like a science AS would be a real stretch, shame you cant get on that Applied Science that could really suit your way of working rather than three intense A level exams all at the same time but i think you got this - you will do great, there are numerous routes in.

Onwards and upwards from here....


Thanks so much for the help and positivity, i really needed it i can’t lie. Yeh it does suck but i have to do 3 A levels or i have to pay for my education because doing less than 3 counts as “part time” education which costs money in A levels :frown: would rather prefer to do criminology in my second year and try find something else after but i cant unfortunately and i cant combine vocational with a levels also i forgot to mention i’m doing welshbacc too which is mandatory but they consider it an a level equivalent now and will most likely count as UCAS points in the future right now unis are skeptical on accepting it but i think it’s changing rapidly unis opinions on it so maybe that could help me a bit?
Reply 5
You will do ok

I would reach out to admin at UWE Bristol, its a lovely Campus University I did visit it with my daughter a few years back. Perhaps once the dust settles with this years intake you could get a good discussion going or chat at an open day. Tell them you are looking at foundation entry, express your passionate about Criminology and see what they say you need/ what they can do for you?

I would aim to go next September and apply end of this year, forget doing an extra year at college unless you cant avoid it, sounds like you have had enough anyhow and ready for a fresh start. IF you get a decent A level grade in Criminology and can extract any other points from anything else even if you try and get a low grade AS psychology it could well be enough.

There are other Uni's but Bristol is a good benchmark to use if you decide a degree in Criminology is your direction. Good Luck to you, sending you lots of positivity.

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