CHILDLINE ADVICE: Everything is happening all at once, I don’t know what to do
Making important, life-changing decisions is a hard thing to do at the best of times, but with all the additional uncertainties we’re all experiencing at the moment things can prove even more stressful.
By now most young people in their final year of school will have applied to university, college or apprenticeships and may be waiting anxiously to hear whether they will be accepted on their chosen course, while others may be looking at how best to approach looking for jobs.
It can be really difficult waiting, and a lot of children can find themselves feeling a lot of anxiety about the future around this time.
It can also sometimes be tough being decisive what to do, but there are ways young people can explore their options and make the best decision for themselves.
One young person told us: “This year I have to choose if I want to go to uni, college or get an apprenticeship, or do something else. Because of Covid it feels like everything is happening really suddenly, and I just don’t know what to do.”
First, they should think about what feels right for them and whether they’re going to enjoy taking the path they’re looking to choose. If there is a decision between different set options, they may want to draw up a list of pros and cons to help with them pick which route to take.
It may be helpful to write or draw some options, and look at how they feel about each in a visual way to help understand what is best for them. They can also reach out to others who have gone down a similar route to get some advice.
Sometimes, decisions can seem more difficult and harder to make when we’re keeping the worries surrounding them to ourselves. So as with everything, talking about these decisions and the concerns that arise from them, can help to lighten the mental load.
For parents and carers, simply listening to a child when they are struggling to make important decisions can be really difficult. But by listening to your child’s concerns and letting them guide the conversation, they know they can come to you in future if they have any other difficult choices.
Of course, young people can also contact Childline for a listening ear and support for whatever big choices they face.