Tips for matrics thinking ‘what next?’

Robin Goldberg, chief experience officer at Minerva Schools.

Matric may well be done and dusted, but for many, the answers to the question of what studies to pursue further are still hanging in the air.

Making choices about tertiary education can feel a lot like standing on the proverbial edge of a cliff.

Very few have truly identified their vocation at the young age when they leave school. Yet, for those aspiring to tertiary education, the pressure to decide on a (invariably costly) course of study that is supposed to lead down a path to a career, what they choose now, may turn out to fulfil or oppress their dreams, for a lifetime. In this moment, the stakes certainly couldn’t feel higher. Robin Goldberg, the Chief Experience Officer at Minerva Schools, a non-profit, four-year undergraduate programme, shares her top tips for matrics considering a tertiary education:

Looking inside

It’s helpful for students to know themselves by reflecting on their values and passions, their strengths and challenges, and their ambitions and goals for the future. It is also vital to bear in mind that they are very young to be making up their minds about something as important as a career. However, as they look at tertiary education options, they should consider programmes that would enable them to explore, discover, change and grow into the leaders and change-makers they aspire to be. This takes away the fear of getting stuck in something they really don’t want to pursue. Choosing a tertiary education option is much more than choosing a path to a career. It’s about selecting a formative experience with the power to shape and transform you as you mature. It can provide you with so much more than just a qualification and some capabilities to get a job in a particular field.

Exploring all options

2016 was a volatile year for South African students, and there’s obviously uncertainty and nervousness about what lies ahead this year on campuses across the country. Many South African matrics are exploring options further afield, especially because there are a growing number of reputable international institutions, facilitating funding opportunities that place an extraordinary global education within their reach. Today, it is possible for high achievers and driven students to meet their educational aspirations at an affordable cost on a world stage.

Timing it right

While local tertiary institutions open early in the year, prompting those who are still undecided to think of gap years; global universities open seven to eight months after they have finished matric.

This means matrics can enjoy some gap time for the next seven months while taking on meaningful community service projects and internships, or travel, and apply to an international institution with a study year beginning in August or September 2017.

Breaking with tradition

Our world has changed phenomenally, and more and more young people are realising that the path their parents walked may not be for them. Many yearn for an educational experience that transcends the norm and breaks tradition with current universities so that they can blaze along a 21st century path. In contrast to traditional tertiary education, young people are increasingly drawn to truly modern options where they can gain a sensational experience of the world as well as a degree.