Help your child plan for life after school

By Drum Digital
04 September 2014

Your child’s exams are around the corner, and not only is there the stress of preparing for the final exams, but there’s the added pressure of worrying about their future after they complete school.

While both you and your child may be tempted to avoid this life altering decision until later, experts say that you should deal with it head on.

“Pushing this stress to the back of your mind while trying to focus on your exams will impact negatively on your ability to perform your best,” warns Dr Felicity Coughlan, director of The Independent Institute of Education, South Africa’s largest private higher-education body.

Here are some tips on how to deal with the burning question of life after school.

1. BE REALISTIC: Have your child look at their subjects and the results they would like to achieve. It’s no use wanting a career in medicine when you didn’t take the required subjects during your final school years. It’s also important – even when they have the right subjects – to be realistic about the level of performance needed to get in to the chosen field of study, and to have a plan B. The connection between school and what your child wants do next is not totally direct. Help them consider their subjects, marks, and interests – and take it from there.

2. DO THE HOMEWORK: There are countless institutions and courses out there. It’s no longer the case that a university degree is the only option if you want a successful career – not only are there interesting diploma and higher certificate options but degrees themselves are now widely available from registered private higher education institutions that may offer your child an experience more suited to their needs.

3. DRAW UP A SHORTLIST: Once your child knows which courses interest them, check to see that they meet the entrance criteria and find out when applications close – it’s sooner than you may think! Draw up a shortlist, diarise when the application for each course needs to be submitted, and get them in on time. Make sure your child submits more than one application for more than one option to more than one type of institution. Once you’ve completed step three, put your concerns aside and help your child to wholly focus on their academics.

-        Laverne de Vries

Find Love!

Men
Women