Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychologist from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark coined the term emerging adulthood, the age between adolescence and adulthood. This term is also known as coming of age and typically happens after we graduate from high school.
This period is a period of identity exploration, self-focus, optimism, feeling in-between and frequent residence changes. Naturally, some young adults prosper and some struggle, the level of success varies. The possibility of success is much greater if young adults are given resources helping them cope with this transition, the professor claims.
Continuing education after high school
If your choice is tertiary education, you can choose among the three types of education providers in Australia. Australian universities offer mainly academic courses for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. On the other hand, you can find VET courses at a small number of universities. Universities prepare you for professional careers. TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes offer hands-on courses and prepare you for vocational, or paraprofessional careers. Compared to universities, TAFE institutes are more practical and have lower entry requirements, a lower cost and a shorter completion time. Finally, private colleges are similar to universities as they have undergraduate and postgraduate degrees with/without VET courses, but they specialise in a certain field.
Doing an apprenticeship
The beauty of an apprenticeship is that you train, study and earn all at the same time. It can be full-time, part-time and school-based. A main benefit of the apprenticeship is that you have a nationally recognised qualification. Apprentices have the same rights to superannuation and workers’ compensation as other workers. The apprenticeship can last from one to four years. You have also the possibility of getting a Trade Support Loan.
Getting a part-time job
One important aspect of adulthood is earning your own money. When it comes to part-time jobs, you have two options. You can consider the job unrelated to your studies, which has its benefits as you show that you can cope with different issues, you are a team-player and that you are willing to learn a new skill. The part-time jobs related to your studies can also help you boost your CV as they prepare you for your future job. The popular part-time jobs after high school are: retail positions, bar and nightclub work, fast-food and restaurant industry, freelancing…
Getting a driver’s licence
Whether you plan to take an apprenticeship, or have a part-time job, having a driver’s licence is expected. The process starts with getting a learner’s permit. In order to get it, you must pass a theory test, an eyesight test and a medical test. Then you take a safe driver course to learn to drive and successfully pass the practical driving assessment. Before you receive a full driver’s licence, you receive a probationary one.
Becoming financially responsible
Being financially responsible includes managing your own money. As this can be difficult at the beginning, start keeping a spending journal in which you will write down your monthly budget and the amount of money you spend during a month. It is also important to analyse your finances at the end of each month. Open a savings account as it is more secure (it is not attached to a debit card) and has better interest rates than a checking account.
Apart from the practically-oriented recommendations in the text, the end of high school includes common psychological changes every young adult experiences. It is crucial you become aware of the critical inner voice in yourself and take power of your life. In addition, observe your emotions and take time to reflect on them, but let rationality govern your actions. Seek objective criticism and carefully consider any feedback you get, whether it is a positive or negative one. Finally, develop goals and live by them.