Shannon's Lockdown Apprenticeship Journey in North Ayrshire

As lockdown commenced in March, like many others I found myself in a very uncertain place.

It had become apparent that all my summer plans weren't looking promising and that I may even struggle to finish my college qualification in time to pass. I quickly had to adapt to online learning and communicating in order to keep up my studies. I was part of the shielding group so lockdown for myself came with some extra challenges. I couldn’t leave my house even to go to the shops for what felt like forever! Nor could I see my friends or most of my family.

After having planned the summer of a lifetime, I quickly realised a few weeks into lockdown that it was getting further out of reach. I had plans to travel with my friends, work at summer camp in America and start competing again with my horse. I had used the excitement for this as motivation to finish up my studies. As time went on, I was really starting to struggle with my last few assignments, and I was beginning to feel very down having not seen my friends for long time. I knew I needed to come up with a plan on how was going to achieve my goals and try regaining my motivation.

I had my eye on an apprenticeship to become a youth worker as my next step in life, but in order to reach this step I needed to pass my college course. To help myself along with this I made daily plans for each week. I assigned specific times for each essay I had, as well as planning in time to do home workouts, ride my horse and go walks in between college work. I found that making plans for each day really improved my mental health as I was able to balance my work with exercising.

After what felt like a long few weeks, I passed my college course. This reminded me that no matter the situation, hard work always pays off. This motivated me to apply for the youth work apprenticeship. I soon heard that I had been offered an interview. Although I was extremely pleased about this, I found it quite daunting that it would be done over video call. I took some time to research the post and develop some new interview skills. My hard work had again paid off and I was successful in becoming a preferred candidate for the post!

Fast forward a few weeks...I am now working as a youth work apprentice and I’m absolutely loving it. I am still learning to adapt to the new way of working but taking everything in my stride and keeping positive vibes for my future :)