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Navigating next year: Essential advice for all Year 13 students and parents

The end of school is now looming for tens of thousands of senior high school students nationwide, for many that means making big decisions about the future.

Last year nearly 25,000 first-time students enrolled at universities around the country and applications for 2020 are opening at some tertiary institutions next week.

Across the board at tertiary institutions, nearly 65,000 first-time students entered last year - at our universities, polytechnics, whaanaga and private training organisations.

But although there's plenty on offer, career advisors say students need support working out what will suit them best.

A careers expert advises students not to rush their decision.

"Often there's this kind of default to 'I wanna go to to uni' because that's been the message from society about what we should all be doing but it's not necessarily the case," says Jennie Miller, President of the Career Development Association.

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Jennie Miller says understanding your own identity, and how that could relate to work, is key in choosing a career. Source: 1 NEWS

In 2020, Year 13 student Jaimee Williams is planning to take a break from study and head overseas.

"Next year I'm going to take a gap year and go to Camp America because I really enjoy travelling," she says.

Ms Miller understands many students just aren’t cut out to sit in lecture theatres for long periods.

"There are many kids for whom sitting in a lecture theatre, no matter how much they want to, no matter how much mum and dad are keen for them to do that - it’s not going to work for them."

Not only that, there are the costs associated with study that factor in as well.

The first year of tertiary study is free for students meeting eligibility criteria but there are still plenty of other costs - the highest being accommodation.

Thousands of first years opt for university halls of residence.

However, fully catered living-in ranges from around $12-16,000 dollars a year -a daunting amount for even the most determined students.

That's prompted guidance counsellors to send a message to students without home support, encouraging them to reach out to someone they trust for help with choosing a course, getting enrolled and finding somewhere to live.

"It's finding your champion, every kid has at least one teacher of one adult that's in their corner it's finding that person," says Guidance Counsellor, Craig Dyasson.

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Career advisors say students need support working out what will suit them best. Source: 1 NEWS