It is important to know that there are various options available if things didn’t go as planned, and not
worry about what came before, but rather focus on what actions can be taken going forward, an
education expert says.
“At the beginning of each year, we set ourselves goals and enthusiastically make New Year’s resolutions.
For a significant number of young people, this also means embarking on a new adventure, transitioning
from the structured life of school to the exciting world of adulthood,” says Dr Jacques Mostert,
Academic Manager for ADvTECH’s Abbotts College.
“This rite of passage usually goes along with making plans for further education and training. But what
happens if things don’t go according to plan, and instead of going on to further study, you are faced with
the reality that your Matric results were not good enough to start out on this new journey just yet?”
Mostert says the enthusiasm of looking towards a future filled with potential and promise can
sometimes be dampened by Grade 12 results that are not as good as what were expected.
“Usually this results in a reshuffling of plans, a rush to come up with Plan B, or desperate calls to schools
to enquire about re-marks or a second attempt to writing the exam. But these aren’t always the best
approaches available and settling for second best need not be the way forward.”
Before making instant decisions about what to do if things didn’t go as planned, there are a few things
that parents and young adults must consider, says Mostert: Embracing the power of “yet”; making a
mind-set change from feeling helpless towards taking control, and embracing a growth mindset geared
towards the future.
From hopeless to taking back control
The anxiety that goes hand in hand with making life-altering decisions without considering all the
options is a considerable contributing factor of a sense of helplessness both parents and young adults
experience, notes Mostert.
“Deciding to change course and settle for less should not be an option. We tend to believe that in the
modern world of the fourth industrial revolution and omnipresent social media, there exists a set
timeline to reach arbitrary milestones. The reality is that there is no set end date for reaching any goal.
Young people should look past peer pressure, and take action to get back on track towards fulfilling their
Developing a growth mindset
The first is that change is ubiquitous and the second is that getting better never stops. Learning,
especially in an ever-shrinking global market, never stops.
“Disruption isn’t always as negative as we may think at first. Taking a moment to consider all the options
available and considering an alternative that at first did not look like an option often allows a person to
embark on a pathway towards success.”
Mostert says apart from the usual avenues of rewrites and remarks young people might consider when
receiving less than stellar results, they also have the option of redoing Matric or even just improving
their subjects, to ensure they can still pursue their dreams, albeit a little bit later than initially planned.
“At Abbotts College High School, students can enrol part-time to upgrade their subjects, for instance.
This approach provides students the chance to increase their marks and that enables them to meet their
tertiary Admission Point Score (APS) in order to be accepted to study in the field of their dreams.”
He says while many students may not be keen to return to a school setting, institutions such as Abbotts
College provide a different kind of environment which is more in line with a college campus, because the
focus is on academic improvement, not rules and uniforms.
“We believe that every student is able to develop and achieve academic success, wherever it is that they
start from. Improving subjects or redoing Matric in an environment that treats you like a young adult
while still following a structured and organised routine, enables students to put the disappointment
behind them and become increasingly independent as they manage themselves and their learning.
“Last year was an exceptionally difficult one for the Class of 2020, and for those whose results are not
yet in a space which allows them to pursue their vision, our message is clear. If you take a little extra
time now to invest in starting from a solid foundation, this temporary hurdle will soon be forgotten, as
you embark on the path that you intended a few months down the line.”’