The final day of June, but first day of the Queensland school holidays. Thank bloody goodness I say.

It’s been a rough first semester for Mr 17 in his final year of high school, and 6 months down, with less than 6 to go… pressure’s on. And it’s really on.

My lad’s doing a purely academic course. There’s lots of high level maths (yawn), physics and other brain-draining stuff that in hindsight, he now says he wouldn’t choose again. I’d wholeheartedly support a decision to choose else-wise should that be an option. But it’s not.

With only one semester of his school career remaining, there’s more than thoughts of academia swirling around in that noggin of his. There are girls to think about, parties and mates, his car-enabled freedom and the reality of life soon being very different.

Added to this is THE question… one to which he has no definitive answer…. “So what are you going to study next year?”

I’ve stood by and witnessed his response to this, when interrogated by some caring and well-meaning relative or family friend. The initial panic, then glaze and finally a mumbling of admittance that he’s not actually sure.

There was a time when he was determined to be a Stop-Go man, and could think of nothing more appealing than a job in the fresh air and sun, flipping the sign (or possibly even the bird to anyone daring to beep)… but he was in Grade 5 then.

Now, we’re years later and shit’s getting real. Post-school life beckons and with it an expectation of study, career, independence etc etc.

This year alone there’s been talk of Law or Education and now finally a Gap Year. Many thanks Hamish and Andy!

In assisting your teen with advice about a potential career or life-direction, here are some considerations I’d like to share…

  • information, advice and guidance is more helpful than directives, insistence or cajoling
  • be accepting of their interests and abilities – help them understand their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses
  • discuss both the short and long term implications of a range of options and/or opportunities
  • seek professional career advice if you think this would benefit your teen
  • appreciate your role as a person of influence and be open to supporting their ideas… if viable

But first, at our place, there is an immediate challenge at hand –  and that’s to survive the demands of the final few months while savouring the safety that school provides a young adult.

Is he nervous about next year and what it may hold? I think yes, he is.

Am I nervous? Let’s answer with a loud ‘hell yeah!’.

But hey, he’s a good kid and I know despite the choice he ends up making, he’ll be A-ok and I’ll be proud of him… unconditionally.

Does your teen know what they want to do after school?


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