Done with HSC – Next up -Fahmida Mehreen
Completing the higher secondary certificate exam, commonly known as the HSC exam for Bengali medium and the A Level exam for English medium in our country, is an inexplicable moment.
On the one hand, lies the excitement of finally getting the introduction to adulthood, stepping out of own comfort zone to secure a place in desired university, and maybe take up a few responsibilities, while on the other hand lies the blues of parting from many school and college friends. Meeting and hanging out next time is never a promise in reality. However, regardless of these bittersweet assemblages of sentiments and excitements, this is the time when a person can invest in personal development that will not fail to bring big returns throughout their lifetime.
Once you have completed your exams, the first step is to give yourself a treat! Do not think about the results yet. What’s to come will come. Let your hair down and pat yourself on the back that you have completed twelve years of schooling and are about to get ready for your next big step. Clear your mind. Spend time with your family and friends who maybe planning to go abroad. Explore the newest places to eat you have been pushing back because of your HSC exam pressure and stress. Watch movies, read books, enjoy the season. When you feel calm and motivated enough, start to buckle up.
If you have already made up your mind about what to pursue next, do research on that arena. Read articles and magazines for the latest insights. If you have known people working in that field, possibly senior alumni from school or college, talk to them. Take help from them to be strongly convinced of your decision. If you are yet to decide what’s next, survey your options. Try to identify what attracts you – which subject you always found interesting, where did you score well, and what you can do that will get you paid. Consider all these factors and plan thoroughly. Keep your plans realistic and achievable. Learning from experiences is the best way to learn. So, interact with people. Share your desires and try to accumulate their thoughts so that you can bring them to a crisscross. Take tips on how to excel in your performance in university entrance exams. If you are planning to go abroad, start your preps. Find out the prerequisites for admission at different universities, shortlist your choices, and work on them. Instead of beating here and there like a headless chicken, stay focused. Beware of the dos and do nots so that you do not repent. Keep in mind that everything is not in your control, and you can only try your best. There is no guarantee for anyone here. Take it slowly, easily, and smartly.
While putting the maximum focus on planning your career, centering university exams, allocate time for other valuable activities too. Decide how much time you will be dedicating for studying and preparing for university admission and the remaining for other activities. Depending on your availability of time, there are various activities to choose from. If you want to come out of academic learning environment and get a taste of the real work atmosphere, search for suitable apprenticeships or internships. Some of these internships are also paid, which will help you learn managing finances if that hasn’t been a thing for you yet, on top of the extra pocket money coming your way. Internships are available in almost all industries; you need to see where and how you want to spend your time. Some common internship options are office-based jobs in admin, finance, or IT department of small and medium organisations, hands-on roles in engineering or food and catering industry, creative roles like graphic design or marketing, medical jobs such as dental nursing, and much more. You can take references from people already serving in the industry and apply, or there are ample notifications on social media these days. If you are interested, getting work will not be very difficult. Nonetheless, take this as a learning opportunity, not a salary vending machine. Though out of the academic regime, you are still a young, enthusiastic learner. Keep that openness to get maximum utilisation of your work and effort. Internships tend to help more if you are indecisive about your path of career. Even if you don’t enjoy your internship, clarity on what you don’t want to do puts you one step closer to finding the right path.
Volunteering is always a prolific option. You will get to brush up some of your skills, meet a lot of like-minded people who can influence you in positive ways, and of course contribute to a good cause. Usually, volunteering comes with the option of flexible work hours unless you have a campaign to finish. That gives you an extra mileage to work, expand your aptitudes and emphasize on your admission. Voluntary work looks very appealing on university admission forms, particularly in foreign universities. After your co-curricular activities in school and college, this is your chance to furnish your attainments. Even though it will not get you paid, it is a productive way to spend time, meet people and weigh up your application.
This is a good time to pursue your passion. If you love to travel, plan trips with friends and family. It will undoubtedly create more candidness in you and prepare you for your upcoming big journey. You can dedicate some time learning a new instrument or a skill like computer programming which you may had been interested in for a long time but did not get an opportunity to dive into. The best way to see if something is possible is to give it a go.
Before getting admission to any university, make sure you are well aware of it. Do some research on it. If it is in the same town and if you get any opportunity, make a visit. See around. Do you see yourself in that place, studying and building your future for the next 4 to 6 years? If not, rethink. Find out your doubts. If the visit is not possible in person, identify virtual tour options. You are sure to find something in today’s advancing era. If you are moving away from home, look into housing and other fundamental aspects that need to be addressed. It is better to have it somewhat sorted in advance so that you don’t find yourself in deep soup all of a sudden. You do not want to frustrate yourself at the very beginning of your university life as that will only be an obstacle in your way and progress. Give your best effort for a smooth start.
Last but not least – do not worry about your HSC results, followed by panic about university admission. If Plan A doesn’t work, there is Plan B. It may take a little time to accept it, but do not beat yourself up for it. Everyone stumbles. What matters is getting up and to keep going. There are plenty of options for you to choose from and abundant opportunities to shine. Shrug off any negativity that you come across and try to see the enthusiasm around you. Remember, there is utterly no need for a 10-year plan or commitment. You are allowed to take time, relax, and de-stress. You might find that having some breathing space makes all of it a lot easier to figure out.
With best wishes for your bright future, good luck!