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Have you started to think about what you would like to do when you finish school? What’s your fancy – new job or more study? Maybe both. You could be full of beans and raring to go. Or you could be chasing your tail. Either way, there are so many ways to get on with it. If you’ve had some speed bumps along the way because of your health condition, you might need some good solid advice before you sprint off.
It may seem like everyone else is full steam ahead, but they’re probably faking it. Dig up some of your own ideas by thinking about:
Arrange a meeting with the Careers/Pathways Coordinator at your school. They know heaps of stuff about what you can do once you finish up at school so they’re a great place to start.
Go to University/TAFE Open Days – they are a great way to gather information, make links and ask questions about the course/s you are interested in.
Universities and TAFE providers offer support services to students with disabilities and chronic medical conditions. You can chat with their staff to help plan your future studies.
The National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program website has lots of information about support services to help make it easier to enrol or participate in post-school education, training and employment.
They’re the government, so they know this stuff inside out. Visit these Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) links on their website for the official word:
Another good source of information is the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). Try these links on their site:
Sometimes the most useful advice comes from someone your own age. Visit youthcentral for a range of information on issues like jobs, study, travel, money and events written by young people for young people.
Here at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), we’ve also got a great resource for making that move into the adult world. Transition@RCH has lots of great resources, including factsheets and real life stories to help prepare you for moving into adult health care and adult life.
Adolescents and young adults being treated at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre have access to an Education and Vocations teacher. Visit ONTrac for more information.
Just keep talking, it really helps. Ask as many people as you can about the world of work and the choices they made to get where they are. Talk to your parents, Careers/Pathways Coordinator, other adults, your friends and your teachers.
It might seem like there’s only one chance to make the right choice. But there are lots of ways to move into the future you want. Even though the path might look different to how you imagined it, there is always an alternative option!
The most important thing is to start thinking about it early, keep your dreams in sight and get the right advice for your situation.