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Topic: Im anxious about the next stage in life (I'm 18) I NEED ADVICE

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. enigmaboy
    enigmaboy avatar
    1 posts
    10 January 2019

    Alright so I feel like i'm in a weird position where I have no idea what to do next, I have no job and I have no idea of what I wanna do career or tafe/uni wise and I feel like I have almost zero direction and I'm honestly just looking for advice and maybe a share of experiences cuz i'm lost,

    The only thing i guess guiding me is my broad interest in art and film but then I'm anxious about trying to make money off those qualifications and I turned down a uni course i was offered because I was hesitant about having to pay off the like 80k fees forever.

    This is really jumbled I know I just get extremely anxious over this stuff but i'd really appreciate advice, where were you at when you were at my age? What should I do? Am i overreacting? Should i just go all-in and take chances?

  2. PamelaR
    Community Champion
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    65 posts
    10 January 2019 in reply to enigmaboy

    Hi Enigmaboy and welcome to Beyond Blue

    It's good to see you've found your way here. You ask - where were you at when you were at my age? I'd been working for 3 years. Back in those days, woman weren't expected to have a career, just to find a hubby, have kids and keep a household.

    Well, that didn't happen. I ended up being a working person, marrying in my mid 20s to a wonderful person who I still share my life with. No children.Going to university as a mature aged student in my mid 30s.

    I came away from uni with a $30K debt. When I first started uni there was no HECS debt it only started part way through. Like yourself, not sure if I would have started with the thought of owing that much money before starting. But I did okay.

    I never set out to work in the field I did. It just happened. At the age of 19 I got a job in the commonwealth government and learnt all there was to know about the field I was in as the years passed. I changed directions at 33 and resigned and went on to work in another field for several years. After finishing my degree I returned to my former work - as that's were I could get higher paid jobs.

    Life is full of twists and turns. You'll find everyone who writes here will have a different story to tell. Some will have fulfilled their treasured goals, others who will not have for whatever reason.

    Throughout my life I have lived with anxiety, depression and PTSD. For most it, these conditions were undiagnosed. Things may have been different for me had I known about them earlier. However, life has been exceptionally good to me.

    I'm sure there will be others who will pop in to share their life experiences with you. Feel free to join discussions that suit your situation.

    Kind regards


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  3. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    469 posts
    10 January 2019 in reply to PamelaR

    Hi, welcome

    Interesting post. At 18yo you are asking older people for ideas based on their experiences. Thats great. A good attitudes is a great start.

    I liked airplanes. 4 days after my 17th birthday I joined the RAAF. It didnt quite work out how I wanted but it provided me with adult wages, travel, friends, fitness and a trade.

    4 years later I became a prison officer at only 21yo followed by security work. Then a private investigator, dog ranger, bouncer, railways investigator and so on.

    See how all these careers came about from the RAAF, one led to the next.

    I personally would be wary of creating a HECS debt if I'm not 110% certain of my career choice.

    If you resort to no more further education then your 8 hours a day for the next 50 years will be boring, uninspiring. So some sort of education in a field you like is desirable. Try specialist areas eg if you enjoy operating heavy road making machinery then try hard to get qualifications to operate all of them. Etc.

    While you wait to get work, a short course, anything that proves to a future employer that you are worth a punt.

    Or join the Army?


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  4. Rabbit33
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    11 posts
    11 January 2019 in reply to enigmaboy

    Hi Enigmaboy,

    You're in no more of a weird position than majority of people have been in at the same point in their life as well as in their future. Heaps of us never really end up knowing what we want to do? Sometimes it's just a bit of trial an error. If you are unsure, maybe a gap year? that you take advantage in doing a couple of short courses, (Get a feel for things and the workforce)- part time work and see if that opens any doors?
    I'm 30 and going back to school this year to study Youth Work and further modules relating to. It's only over the last year that i realised how badly i wanted to do this. I've had many positions and i'm sure almost everyone on here could say the same. From Factory hand, Administration, National sales, Payroll, volunteering and now i think i've found my calling. Who knows, i'm also confused a bit i guess lol .
    what i'm trying to say is, there is no hurry to know what you want to do in life where you want to head. Take your time and you are always allowed to change, learn new skills. They say power is knowledge. So go out there and test yourself a little until you find what is right.

    Just an FYI - I know that this year the Government is sponsoring a bunch of courses and paying for them.
    I don't know if this differentiates depending on state. I believe the courses are pre-selected and predominantly benefit the community in someway.
    As you are only 18, i don't know if this applies to you, i think you need to be 20 and going back for higher education and have not had government funding before.
    There are a bunch of ways to pay for study though, either via student loans, government grants, hex or through centrelink etc. I'm not entirely sure on how hex and repayments all work, but i'm pretty sure you have to earn over a certain amount within a financial year first and then it is based on your tax return, they will deduct it from that. The threshold, i think is quite decent so i wouldn't let the idea of repaying it back, scare you from following your heart of Art/film.

    Go online, look at tafes as well as universities. I find some of the tafes offer basically the same thing for a cheaper cost. When you have time, have a search on google for tafes near your area and give a couple of them a call and have a chat. They're actually the loveliest people to chat with and really resourceful!

    Best of luck! I'm sure you'll do amazing! It will be interesting to see what you decide.
    Positive vibes :-)

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Happygoluckymiss
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    Happygoluckymiss avatar
    5 posts
    11 January 2019 in reply to enigmaboy

    Hey enigmaboy!

    I have to agree with PamelaR - I wish at 18 i had the sense to ask someone about direction - that is amazing clarity!

    I did the usual thing: school, uni (dropped out for 12 months), worked, started and finished uni (with 2 degrees) and then got a full-time job in banking, did more study, got a post graduate qualification, which then led me into a finance career - which I love as I love helping people!

    I am now 36, separated, not sure if I am single or not (that's another topic!!) learning to get back to me - my point in all of this is at 18 I thought my life would look like X and wow it absolutely does not! It's AB and C!!!

    The only piece of advice (if I can say this is) try different things first - you don't have to commit to something straightaway! At 18 you seem wise beyond your years and that is a gift!

    If you're passionate about art and film then look at work experience in that field? Or perhaps study in that field?

    I hope this has given you some thought and as always - I would love to hear you're thoughts!


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