As the end of year 12 approaches there can be a flood of excitement and sense of achievement that both a young person and family can feel.
However there can also be underlying anxiety about the big question… “Where to now?”
Thoughts a young person may be experiencing:
– Will I achieve a high enough TER score? If not what can I study?
– Should I do a gap year? What if I don’t go back to uni?
– This decision is going to shape the rest of my life.
– All my friends want to go to uni and I don’t.
– I really want to go to TAFE but I think Mum and Dad want me to go to uni.
– I don’t know what I want to do.
For a young person this decision can be seen as a life sentence. We all know that this decision is important and will help to shape future careers and opportunities, but this does not set in stone what lies ahead. All options have benefits to which will help them in their future endeavours.
“Year 12 really took it out of me and I needed a break. I chose to travel to Europe and work in London for 6 months. From this I decided that I really enjoyed my job as a nanny and came back to complete my studies in early childhood at TAFE and am now working full time and studying part time to become a teacher.” Sarah*
“I got to the end of year 12 and still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew study wasn’t my strongest point so I visited the local TAFE to look at apprenticeship options. I’m now fully qualified as an electrician with my own business and am financially secure enough that I just purchased my own home.” Daniel*
“I knew exactly what I wanted to study at Uni and was so anxious about not getting the right TER. Once I started uni I realised that there were so many options to reach my goal had I not got my score.” Nathan*
So what can we all do to support young people?
– Give them space to celebrate their end of an era.
– Don’t force them down a path, walk along side them down whatever path they choose.
– Talk about the positives of their choices, but don’t ignore the reality.
– Every option has a positive and all of these options need to be explored.
– If this strains your relationship, seek professional support to guide this process.
Young people already feel anxious about whats next and extra pressure can cause them to ignore the challenges ahead.
Young people may show this by:
– isolating themselves
– lack of motivation
– mood swings
– changing minds on career path continuously
Young Minds can assist with either a one off career counselling session or on going mentoring to further explore their options.
* Names have been changed for confidentiality reasons.