I'm in Years 7 to 10: what's my future?
Taking different school subjects gives you an idea what you’re interested in. You’ll have some favourites – or at least be pretty clear about the ones you can’t stand – or there may be some things you’re good at outside school.
No matter what you're into, picturing yourself achieving greatness – from treating penguins like the Bondi Vet to delivering a show-stopper on Glee – will help your future take shape.
If you’re in your first few years of high school you probably feel that you don’t have much control. You turn up at a set time, go to classes, do – or sometimes don’t do – homework and leave school once you’re allowed to. It will probably be that way until your senior years. But you actually have more freedom – aka control – than you think.
Do I need to figure out what I want to do already?
Yes, you do need to figure out what you want to do with your life. But the good news is that it’s not for your whole life.
These days, people may have lots of different jobs over the years. However, you do need to get a solid footing first and prove that you have what it takes by studying and gaining experience in a particular area before you can take full advantage of all the opportunities that may open up.
‘I couldn’t wait to leave school. My cousin dragged me to his photography exhibition at TAFE and it made me realise I’d miss out if I didn’t get qualified in something. I want to control my life and not do the same thing every day.’Paolo, 16, who’s still working out what he wants to do
Freedom is not simply about doing whatever you like during the day, it’s being able to work towards that thing that you really want to do. That’s why it’s never too early to start thinking about your future.
If you do nothing else, do this
Have you ever thought about what activity makes you the happiest? An achievement that you’re most proud of? If you do just two things before starting senior school, it should be these:
- Work out what you are really interested in.
- Recognise your strengths.
You might think that all sounds a bit hopeful. But finding something you enjoy doing and feeling that you can do that thing well will make it easier for you to choose the right subjects for the HSC – which, in turn, will lead you to the right course and the right career. It's all connected.
The good news
Finding the motivation to study is easier when you have an idea of where that hard work is going to take you.
‘I thought I was the only person in the world who didn’t have a clue what to do with my life. I wish someone had told me that I didn’t have to wait for an epiphany – and that I didn’t have to get it right straight away!’Eleanor, 22, studying landscape architecture
Forget the barriers for a moment
Here are some more questions that can help you to think without limitations and start to build a vision for your future – you can get down to the nitty gritty later:
- When you think of your greatest achievement, what strengths got you there?
- If you could do anything at all, what would it be?
- What do you love most in life? Helping? Solving problems? Being around lots of people?
- Who do you look up to or admire? Why?
Future-finding tip: Look at what you love, and then look deeper to see where your passion really lies. Once you know your interests and strengths, the future-shopping can really begin. And get excited – you’re in the perfect position now to decide what you want to do and who you want to be.