Tips for Students

Preparing and planning for life after school

Finishing school is a huge achievement and marks a real rite of passage – moving into adulthood. It’s an exciting time with plenty of new opportunities for you. To get the most from these opportunities you need to be confident about what you want from life when you leave school.

It can be difficult amongst all this new choice and opportunity to pin point exactly what you want to do. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help clarify what you want from your life and how to go about preparing and planning for it.

Here are a few tips that might help:

Develop a personal vision

Your personal vision is the future you imagine for yourself and it can look anyway you want it to.

You could say your vision is the destination you want to get to. Your vision could be holistic and consider things like, how you will fill your day (work or study); where and with who you want to live, your role/s in community, spirituality or faith and relationships. Or it could focus on just one of these elements.

Consider what you’re good at

It can be tough to identify what you want from life at a young age. If your vision isn’t coming easily, consider what your strengths are, what you’re good at and what you enjoy. Building something around these will give you somewhere to start.

The trick is to start something; you can always change your mind. 

Write your vision down

There is something incredibly powerful about writing your vision down; simply putting it on paper demonstrates a commitment to it.

Capturing your vision also allows you to share it with others if you want. If your parents, teachers, friends and others don’t know what you want from life they can’t really help you get there.

Consider reflecting your vision in your Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan, this will really help ensure your final years at school are helping you get where you want to be.

Act on your vision

A vision is only useful if you do something with it.

If your vision is your desired destination; your plan is the map on how you are going to get there and your goals are like important markers along the way.

Without a plan of how to achieve it, a vision is just a wish.

Develop a plan

For your plan to be a good map it should clearly identify the steps you (and others) will take to get where you want to be after school.

Write it down, use your SET Plan, it’s a great tool to guide your final years at school. By using your SET Plan you’ll ensure your teachers and your parents are all on the same page with you about the future you want.

If you are going to seek financial assistance through My Future: My Life you will need to have a very clear plan to share.

Ask for help

We all depend on others to get things done. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, most people are more than willing to help, particularly when you are clear about what you want and have a plan about how to get there.

When thinking about asking for help consider who might be best to help with different parts of your plan, don’t just consider people you know.

Start early

The sooner you capture your vision the sooner you can start developing your plan and put it into action.

Typically young people begin thinking and talking about their life after school from late in year 8 or early year 9.

Being clear about your vision will mean that when you develop your SET Plan in year 10 it will really reflect what you want. It will be your plan designed around the future you imagine and want for yourself.

Dream big, have high expectations

Don’t be too conservative. Stretch yourself, aim past what is easily achievable; don’t make your plans so far out there that you won’t have a chance of getting there, but don’t make them too simple either.

It’s your life, make it a challenge, and take some risks.

Own it, take charge

Nobody is more invested in your life than you; no-one else will live it, so imagine it, plan it and live it your way.

You might need to enlist others you trust to help protect your vision for you. That’s ok, the risk if we don’t protect our vision is that someone else (with good intent) might design or change it for us. You only get one shot at life, make it the life you imagine.