Post 16 options - talk about it and enjoy!


In my work as a mentor, I have lots of discussions with young people about aspirations, intentions and plans for after GCSEs. Often this discussion is focused solely on what kind of career a young person is aiming for. But this gets me thinking every time – why focus so much on a job or career?

Surely happiness, fulfilment and success manifests through everyday self-care, low stress decision making and personal goals – not goals set by your parents, teachers, peers?

If you know you want to be a teacher, great! If you know you want to go to college and learn more about sciences, brilliant, go for it! But what if you don’t know what you want to do next?

My advice would be to start with what you enjoy, what makes you happy and feels right? That might be going to college to study music – something that lights you up. This doesn’t mean you plan to be a rock star! It just means you are taking a step forward in a way that you know will be fun, fulfilling, and sustainable for you. You can decide what to do next… well… next!

At 15, you don’t need an ultimate plan for the rest of your life – you just need a plan for now. Take your time and enjoy what you do!

Mary-Ann Cartwright

Change Direction Youth Mentor – Ryedale