WE ARE future-oriented

Grace C (Year 10), Chief Contributor

Edited by Peter Z (Year 12) 


As a current Year 10 student, I can attest that in these exciting times for our year group, there has been one topic of discussion on the tips of everyone’s tongues these past weeks – subject selection…  

It’s the current talk of the town and for good reason. Year 10 is the last year for students before their senior years, the last year before HSC prep and the beginning of our futures as young adults. As we get older, one of the things that start creeping into our minds is the future, but as a 16-year-old, being forced to think about the future can be quite stressful. What do we know about the world? There are so many things to consider when determining ‘what do I want to do?’ and ‘which direction do I want to take my life?’. This all comes to a head with subject selection.  

So how realistic is it to expect 15 and 16-year-olds to have to make decisions about their futures and lives after school? 

I sat down with our Year Group coordinator Mr. Macourt one lunch to discuss his career journey and to get some insight into his perspective on the subject. He himself changed many of his year 11 subjects from the ones he originally chose in year 10. I asked him to voice his opinion on us as 15 and 16-year-olds picking subjects and he said: “Look, I think that it’s great that you have the opportunity to, but it’s a lot of pressure to know what to do at such a young age.”  

Statistically, it’s likely that quite a few people in my cohort will change their minds on some subjects – university students do it all the time, so why should we be expected to know our futures for certain now? 

I also asked Mr. Macourt to share some words of advice for all current and future Year 10 students, to which he responded: “Do your best to choose what you think you’ll like and you’ll be good at, but don’t stress when you inevitably change your mind.” 

There are many different factors that come into play when making such big decisions at a young age and these can often include outside influences such as the opinions and expectations of family and friends. Sometimes, parents, unfortunately, choose to project their own regrets regarding their career choices onto their teenage children, inadvertently influencing us to choose something we aren’t passionate about or good at. As teenagers, we are still heavily influenced by those around us which can prove to be a point of conflict when it comes to subject selection.  

So how does the education system, and society at large, expect 15 and 16-year-olds to make wise decisions for themselves when the people around them have different ideas about what they should do, especially parents? 

I don’t want to sound like a pessimist – the ability to determine our own futures is an amazing opportunity that has been given to us. Being able to dictate what we want to do with our lives at such a young age is rare, but at the end of the day, we’re still teenagers. So yes, it may be a lot of pressure but remember you’re still growing as a person, we all are, and we will all continue to for the rest of our lives. So, try your best not to stress too much, and accept the possibility that you may end up changing your mind at some point! 

The future is there for the taking, so make the best of it.