Skip to content

From the Futures Coordinator

Reducing stress about study and career pathways

With the end of the year fast approaching, it is around this time that choices regarding future subjects, careers and study pathways become front of mind for many students and parents in our community.

This can be a very exciting time; however, it can also cause students, and parents, some anxiety, stress and even dread. Sometimes, it can be a source of conflict.

During this important and often stressful time, I want to share a thought or two that can hopefully relieve some of this pressure and stress for both parents and students.

Whether students get their choice of subjects, degree, career or apprenticeship right straight away or not, it's important to remember that none of these choices are irreversible. Students can transfer degrees based on grade point average (GPA), do postgraduate study, do adult apprenticeships or change apprenticeships, qualify for university through the STAT Test or uniTEST, or gain admission by qualifying through a Diploma or Bridging Course. There is almost always some way or a different way for students to get where they end up wanting to go.

Obviously it would be nice, ideal, more efficient, quicker, and cheaper to get every decision 'right' straight from the start, and it would be good and less stressful if your child "knew what they wanted to do." This is a good aim to have. However, it is not the reality for most people.

Seeing the level of pressure and stress some students feel to "know what they want to do" is concerning. They are teenagers after all; they have been in school their whole life, and they are still figuring out who they are and what they care about.

As parents, we should care, research and be careful and purposeful with these decisions, but let's take the pressure off while still supporting, helping, and guiding to try and get the choices right as best we can. If we get them wrong, let's have the attitude of "it's okay, we can fix it – together."

With the positive and compassionate support of their parents and caregivers, our students will get there.

Wishing you all the best and every success.

Lloyd Oppelaar
Futures Coordinator