I loved this month’s newsletter! There were so many useful links that I’m going to use, like the Logistics Training Council publications and the Future skills Framework infographic on our demographic. So much handy information – I even signed up for the Public Sector Commissions job search so that I can pass opportunities for traineeships onto students. (Northern regional Catholic Education School)
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Year 10 is when you start checking out university open days and TAFE events. The University Open Days are like a big party. The TAFE events are more like “getting into computing” or “try a trade”. As these events are announced they will be announced in this newsletter.
Leaving home to study at university or TAFE is a giant leap. Especially for RRR students.
Notre Dame University has a RRR Student Support Program which is like their support for international students. No other Western Australian university or TAFE has anything special in place.
Students flounder. Parents panic.
Stressed parents can help their school leavers to make the giant leap seem more like a hop by doing these things. Tell them to….
1. Get a Mentor
People love it when you value their knowledge and expertise so getting a mentor isn’t rocket science. Just be nice and value what the mentor tells you. Find someone whose subject knowledge you value and start to ask them for advice and support.
Vocational colleges like TAFE do not have formal mentor programs.
Students will need to put in some effort to find a good mentor. They may choose to build a mentor relationship with a lecturer, with one of the many technical experts that work in colleges or with an older student.
This will be their “go to” person when they are wondering what is coming next or how to do something.
Universities have formal mentor programs.
The mentors are older students who are building their resumes by demonstrating leadership through mentoring.
New students are often allocated a mentor during orientation. If you didn’t get one, or if you didn’t get along with your mentor, go to the guild, or student services office, and ask for a mentor in your faculty.
Getting a mentor means you are consciously and deliberately working towards a successful career. That can’t be a bad thing.
2. Find and Use Support Services
Support services are numerous and varied, and they are usually free. You really are not alone but unearthing the support service you need may take some digging.
Career Counsellors. Most tertiary education institutions have career counsellors. These can be your lifeline when you start to doubt your subject or course choices. Don’t just drop out. Go to one of the counsellors to see what you can do.
Specialist Support. There will be support for students with identifiable different needs, like Aboriginal students, people with a disability or people from non English-speaking backgrounds. If you are eligible for these services, take advantage of them.
Classes in Study Skills. There may be classes on study skills, or how to write an essay. They will be designed to address a problem like not knowing how to study most efficiently, or how to write an essay with correct referencing. These skills can save you hours throughout your student career.
Industry Group Services. Some industry groups, like the building and construction industry, provide mentors, scholarships, mental health programs and industrial relations support through the union. Google your industry to find what support services they offer.
Specialist Industry Support. Specialist support groups, like Women in Science and Technology and associations like the Marketing Association, the Accountants Association or the Australian Computer Society can help you while you are studying, give you a network for applying for jobs and they will be able to tell you about scholarships, internships and financial support.
3.Stick with Family and Family Friends
Having the freedom to do what you like away from home is exciting. Taking risks is part of the excitement.
New students are a target for crooks and scammers. The crooks and scammers don’t come with it written on their foreheads. They are usually nice, friendly, helpful people who know how to win the trust of a new student.
Believing the old Zen saying, Leap and the net will appear and keep you safe whenever you take a risk, could result in you getting a criminal record or being physically assaulted.
Make a formal plan to stay connected with family and old family friends. If you are unsure about someone, invite them to come with you when you visit your family.
If you don’t feel comfortable inviting them to meet your family or family friends, check your own feelings. Your innate wisdom may be telling your something.
If you invite your new acquaintance and they choose not to come a few times, you will start to question their friendship.
If they do come, and your family does not feel comfortable about this new person, listen to your family. They are the ones who will provide a safety net that protects you as you leap into your new life.
4. Say “YES, and …”
If you just learn from class when you go to uni or TAFE, you are missing out.
There is so much more to enjoy. There are so many opportunities to engage with your industry, enter competitions, take on projects, join clubs, go for scholarships.
Don’t just wait for an opportunity to fall into your lap. Look for things that might interest you on campus noticeboards and join online groups to find out what is going on.
When you hear about an opportunity on campus say “Yes, and where do I apply, what else can I do, when can I start?”
Growth opportunities are generally set up by your campus to help you to have a better student experience.
Just by applying you are creating your own opportunities. You might find out where you are going by setting out in a different direction.
5. Create a Small Group
If you have friends from school studying at your campus they are your obvious first point of contact. You will soon be overwhelmed with new people who are vying for your attention and you will be trying to connect with new people who you meet.
Trying to be friends with everyone will exhaust you. Focus on a small group and establish friendships with them. You can make friends with other people later.
HINT: Be nice to everyone. There is a good chance you will be in the same workplace as them at some stage in your career. It is important that they remember how great you are.
Find out what careers information came out this month. Get a free copy of the latest In Focus Careers Newsletter.
If you are disadvantaged IN ANY WAY, universities have special support services designed to help you. Tap into these services even if you are NOT disadvantaged.
There are more expert mentors available than students who choose to use them. People love helping people, particularly if their help is valued.
Go to the website of the university of your choice. If you can’t find the special service you are looking for, contact student services at the university.
Contact the services early. This will give them plenty of time to link you in with support and services before the rush at the start of the academic year.
Choosing the Right Uni
If you want to change your mind about which university you want to go to you can do that for a fee. To be considered for a first round offer you will need to get your preferences in to TISC by mid-December.
I Want to Apply to a University in Another State or Territory
If you want to find out more about applying in other states or territories check HERE.
Ask a Social Network of Students
I stumbled upon Whilpool.net.au when I was researching views on schools of medicine at different universities.
Students use the discussion forum to ask questions and get information from other students who are already in courses.
I found a lot of candid information about medicine courses at universities around Australia form current and past students.
If you want to know something about a university or course before you fill out your TISC application, you could try asking a question on Whirlpool to see if you can get some good feedback. .
Alternative Pathways to Uni
The number of alternative pathways is increasing. Information about alternative pathways to each of the West Australian universities is available HERE.
Complete your Studies with a Salary
Join the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and have your fees paid for via Defence University Sponsorship. You can study a relevant degree at an accredited university of your choice, have your fees paid for and earn a salary, then walk straight into an ADF role following graduation.
Get your Career Advisor, Year Coordinator, Home Room Teacher or a family friend to help you to find hundreds or even thousands of dollars in scholarships that could help you to pay for your university or TAFE courses.
Make going for scholarships part of your new life. Many students win more than one scholarship.
Thinking of changing schools? Thinking of changing your hair colour?
If you think you are having a hard time changing, try being transgender!
Barriers to being transgender are changing but it is still a very difficult path to go down.
If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer and would like to talk to someone the Freedom Centre in Northbridge would be a good place to start. Many people have already been through the transition from a straight life and have brought together the lessons they have learned so that others don’t have to do it alone.
Schools can join the Safe Schools program which has a truck load of resources and advice to get them onto the right track.
Want to know how to run an inclusive school ball? Check the advice on the Safe Schools site.
And if you are struggling to succeed with your study or career try the Pinnacle Foundation scholarships.
The Pinnacle Foundation has been established to provide scholarships to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer students who are marginalised or disadvantaged. We exist to give young LGBTIQ students the chance to achieve their full potential, to light the spark within them. For those who want to complete high school, or are ready to start TAFE or university we can help.
Making the change is difficult. Connecting with these organisations can make the journey less onerous.
If you haven’t bitten off more than you can chew, revise your goals.
It’s time to be awesome
Year 12 is a magical year. You are at the pinnacle of your school career. So many opportunities are open and your teachers are there to support you every step of the way. You will never again have such a dedicated group of experts focused on YOUR success. It’s time to be awesome. It’s time to create your vision.
Use your teachers’ expertise and generosity to make Year 12 all it can be.
Revise your study skills and get your study plan into place ASAP. There is no time to waste in Year 12.
If you still haven’t discovered what you love, time to get stuck in to making a decision OR start looking at opportunities to expand your knowledge and experience through a Gap Year. Some of the most interesting adults still haven’t decided what they want to do, they just keep doing stuff that they love.