File picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency

For some, the expectation or desire to study in a tertiary institution has become a reality and the pressures of ‘what-to-do-next’ is not a concern at this point.

But, for so many others, the reality of not knowing what to do, where to go or how to proceed after Matric is a source of extreme stress and anxiety. It is natural to fear the unknown and even feel overwhelmed by it. 

Cindy Glass, Director and Co-founder of Step Up Education Centres says “It is at this time that so many realise that the pressures of being at school fade into insignificance when having to make decisions which could significantly impact the direction of their lives!”

The good news is that there are steps that you can take to help you achieve your personal goals and dreams, no matter what your school experiences have been like. Glass gives the following tips to consider:

Believe in yourself

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.” Henry Ford recognised the power of self-confidence, self-awareness and self-motivation. Only you can give up on yourself! You must believe in the possibility of your dreams and think without limiting thoughts! You can and must find a way to move forward with your life, even if it is inch-by-inch.

Study your passion

If you want to study and have not been accepted into a university or college, explore the possibilities that lie in studying through correspondence or online. If you choose this path, make sure that you study-your-passion! Look for courses that will enable you to follow the career path that you WANT to do! If you love what you choose, you will excel at it.

Gain work experience

Look for a part-time job to work at while you are studying. This will give you the opportunity to gain some work experience as well as earn much needed income. There are many options for this including become a waitron, tutoring, working in a supermarket or at a pet parlour. If you search with determination and are willing to work hard and with integrity, you will find these opportunities.

Consider all possibilities

Consider the possibility of getting yourself into an internship programme. An internship is a period of work experience offered by an employer to give students and graduates exposure to the working environment, often within a specific industry. There may even be the possibility of being paid while learning the trade. Use Google to find companies who are offering internships and apply for the ones that interest you most.

Gap year

Consider the possibility of taking a gap year. There are many casual work opportunities to choose from around the world! Use your gap year to learn more

about yourself and what it is that would make you happy-to-do every day in a career.