Starting life after the HSC

MIND THE GAP: For many school leavers, taking a gap year between completing the Higher School Certificate and starting at university is a great opportunity to travel.

MIND THE GAP: For many school leavers, taking a gap year between completing the Higher School Certificate and starting at university is a great opportunity to travel.

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The book is about to close on 13 years of education for 70,270 students who are sitting the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC).

GREAT START: Apprenticeships are the perfect choice for many young adults finishing school. Apprentices earn while they learn and can choose from hundreds of roles.

GREAT START: Apprenticeships are the perfect choice for many young adults finishing school. Apprentices earn while they learn and can choose from hundreds of roles.

For many of them the focus has firmly been on successfully completing these exams. But, in homes across the state, well intentioned and concerned parents and carers have reinforced the important message that life does continue after the HSC has been done and dusted. 

GOOD HABITS: Once exams are over it is important to return to healthy and positive behaviours including eating well, sleeping properly and socialising. Photos: Shutterstock

GOOD HABITS: Once exams are over it is important to return to healthy and positive behaviours including eating well, sleeping properly and socialising. Photos: Shutterstock

There are as many paths to a happy and successful future as there are individuals, and now that exams are wrapping up it is time to plan for a bright post-HSC life.

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Rest, rejuvenate

Completing high school can take a toll on the health and wellbeing of students. Stress levels go through the roof, sleep is elusive and good eating habits and exercise often become casualties of the time-poor pupil.

So, one of the first and most important steps young adults should take post-HSC is to get back into a routine which is healthy and positive: eat well and regularly; exercise; restore normal sleep patterns; and socialise.

Regardless of how students feel about their efforts in the exams, it is important to avoid metaphorically collapsing – sleeping for days, binge watching television and eating junk food!

Follow your path 

Many HSC students have chased an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank in order to be accepted into their preferred university course, but for others there is still time to reflect on what type of future is most suitable. University is not for everyone. 

Some young adults will baulk at continuing their education next year when they are uncertain of what career they wish to pursue or are learning fatigued and just require a break from the books.  

A gap year provides breathing space, giving people the opportunity to build their bank balance, mature a little, travel and develop a stronger sense of what interests them in terms of work.

Alternatively, signing up for one of the hundreds of different apprentices on offer is the perfect choice for many people – male and female.

Apprenticeship are appealing because they enable school leavers to earn while they learn and step into the working world while gaining a nationally recognised qualification. An apprenticeship is also a great foundation for a wonderful career or dreams of being the boss.

Get back to work

Yes, really! Remember there will be a flood of teens with a few months off before beginning university or apprenticeships and their parents will be keen for them to get part-time jobs.

The early bird gets the worm, so get a head start on the hunt for work (to finance a summer of partying). Those who have a part-time gig should ask the boss for extra hours now school’s finished.