“What do you want to do after High school?” is a glaring question in the minds of many anxious matriculants who have just progressed from high school and are now in the process of starting their ‘adult’ lives.

Most students stress about how many distinctions they will receive when results are released and will they get a pass that enables them to enter into university…

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Parents put pressure on their children, insinuating that the be all and end all is being accepted into a higher tertiary institution.

This pressure may result in students choosing career paths that they are not necessarily passionate about which later on might lead to the changing of career choices or university drop outs.

Life after matric is also a time of facing incredible confusion about huge life-changes and it is the time when one has to make big decisions, that will determine who and what you will be.

Graduate unemployment is a huge problem that South Africa is facing at the moment. When one considers studying they must also prepare themselves for possible disappointment.

However, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” – so it all depends on how you deal with the situation, being unemployed is not the end of the road.

However, it can be the beginning of self employment.

Making a decision after matric can be highly stressful, so take it easy and take a gap year if you need time to carefully figure out what you need to do with your life.

The pressure might sometimes be internal when you compare yourself to others. It is very important for us to always remember that we are unique and what works for someone might not necessarily work for us.

Here are 5 things you can do after matric:

1. Take a gap year


Many never approve to this suggestion due to the fear that it might be the end of one’s career. However taking a gap year between high school and higher institution can be beneficial to one’s personal growth.

A gap year gives you time to think about the type of career you would like to explore and you can use the time to search for institutions that offer the best programs.

Not only can this time be used for research, one can also use it for volunteering/ interning.

The work experience might help you get a glimpse of the career you would like to study because the reality of the workplace and what we expect are often different.

2. Jump straight into the world of work

What if we tell you that your matric certificate can get you a job?

Many of us might wish to further our studies, however the South African reality is that fees have not yet fallen.

Not passing with good results, and being unable to pay university fees might make obtaining a bursary incredibly difficult.

3. Be your own boss

Self-employment straight after matric might be scary, but if you are business minded and you identify a certain gap in the market or a need in your community then you can start providing for it.

The business doesn’t need to be a huge, we all start somewhere. You can start small like opening a tuck shop or you could tutor and use that money as a capital to start your business.

4. Volunteer

Most people go “hell no” with the idea of volunteering because in some volunteer organisations, there might not be any payment involved.

We all need money for survival, yes, but think beyond the broke situation. Volunteering creates an opportunity to network with relevant people. A networking opportunity for you might help in securing a job in the future.

Volunteering also makes your CV far more appealing than a candidate who hasn’t volunteered.

5. Enrol into a higher tertiary institution

Studying doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to enrol into a higher tertiary institution and attend classes every day.

It depends on every individual and what works best for them.

One can either consider studying full-time at an institution of their choice or they can either study short courses via colleges which gives you time to pursue other dreams.

There’s also a study online option which means that one can study from home and can also concentrate on other projects, like working and saving up.

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-Jane Folodi

Categories: Education News