Why university isn’t the only pathway you can choose right now

October 10, 2016
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Ask any student who is still enduring school study and they’ll tell you the most common question they’re being asked is, “What are you going to do after you graduate?”

Nearing the end of my school studies I was getting tired of that question being asked from parents, teachers, parents friends or basically anyone who was the slightest bit obsessed with living vicariously through my life.   

Yet here I am, almost two years out of high school with $1.20 in my bank account asking my friend in high school the exact same question.

OK yeah, everyone is only asking out of curiosity. However, most of the time it was to know what mark they were hoping for, how they were preparing for final exams and more importantly, what university they would be applying for.

It’s difficult to go against the grain of what the majority of your graduating class will be doing. However, with a bit of experience, I believe that university isn’t the only pathway you can choose right now and here are some alternative options.  

Full-time work

Finding full-time work in your local area is super easy around February when all those university hopefuls move away. Working is a great way to understand yourself and plan whether studying is going to be the best idea for you.  Plus, you’ll be making a lot of cash, making your starving uni friends ridiculously jealous!

TAFE Online

Tafe Online is a great study opportunity that isn’t as hectic as university. Studying online allows you to work at your own pace and is a lot more chilled out, with most of the courses consisting of only two units per semester. Funny thing is, while going through a mid-year study crisis I legitimately signed up to TAFE as well as university. Sometimes you make stupid decisions like that, or you could save yourself the trouble and sign up to give it a go first.

Gap Year

Ah, this one is my personal favourite! Not only do Gap Years enable you to experience life before you are locked down into a degree, it also gives you the opportunity to find yourself (bit of a cliché, but it had to be said). If you are unsure of what degree to choose or where to attend uni then I would 10/10 recommend this option!

Travel (linked to Gap Year)

OK, so maybe everyone you know is jumping on the travelling bandwagon. I'm sure I'm not the only one 100 per cent done with seeing their check-ins on Facebook as they visit the typical tourist spots of Europe. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t go as well. If you have a longing in your heart to see more of the world, then follow that passion. The biggest concern for anyone weighing up the travel option is that it will be more difficult to get stuck into studying when you do return. Personally, I think it’s harder to start university knowing there’s a world out there you've hardly explored.

Internship or part-time job

If you’re lucky enough to score yourself an internship, it’s a great way to remind your friends that you’re not a complete bludger. It’s also a smart way to get a little taste of the job you’ll be working at once that degree is complete. Combine your internship with a part-time job and you’ll be so busy to even remember what you were worrying about in high school.

The only thing that is certain is you really can do whatever the hell you want with your life once you graduate. The hard part is you just have to make a decision.

Elly-Grace Rinaldis

Elly-Grace writes as a means of escape to her fantasies of a Greek summer. Dancing In Violent Fields is her lifestyle and travel blog for souls seeking inspiration.