Finding alt-HSC

people coffee meeting team

Asking Twitter for advice often doesn’t seem like the best idea, however, over the last week, I’ve received an outpouring of advice, support and information about alternatives to the Higher School Certificate aka year 12.

Our son hasn’t enjoyed the last few years of school, he’s chafed against the structure, lost his love of favourite subjects and is feeling, as many of us did at the end of 13 years of school, directionless. Not to mention COVID-19 and that overwhelming sense of will life ever return to normal, will there be an economy, what about climate change?

Every year, there are news articles about whether there’s any true value in ATARs any more and are year 12 exams worth the stress. Many well known faces pipe up right about now and say that they are doing really well despite doing badly in their year 12 exams. Every year. Yet nothing changes.

Young people are told to ‘focus your energy on these exams, but remember there’s more to life than this, but focus your energies and this one pathway will get you where you want’. I remember these conversations with the careers counsellor at my school and that was 27 years ago!

Before I start to rant, I’ll share the entire Twitter thread of advice from folk who have all types of careers and lives since finishing or not finishing year 12.

From PhDs to carpenters to mature age students, to TAFE graduates, to people who worked their way up from the first job . . . THIS is what our children need to know about. ALL the pathways. Add these conversations to careers subjects at high school!

As for what’s happening here. We’ve used all these golden nuggets of advice and support to keep talking about what’s next, what can wait and how to be well now.

And we are talking about a family side project, a website with all the information found in these tweets plus more that we’ve discovered all in one place. An alt-HSC guide for kids who need it. And for adults to who want to share their story.

More soon.

Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.

Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36.

Headspace on 1800 650 890.

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