There are a few realities that await you post-grade 12. Depending on who you are as an individual and how you respond to different situations, these realities may springboard you to an amazing life post-matric or they may pose a significant challenge for you.

School is like that amazing bubble that helps you grow academically while your personality develops with very little conditioning. The world you are walking into post-grade 12 comes with serious conditioning. Be ready. That school uniform no longer protects you; you have now joined the mainstream, which means that there is an expectation of you that was not there before. No one cares much about your preferences; do you want to be part of this whole thing called life and adulting? Then there are certain conditions that you are expected to abide by.

For many of you matriculants, this will be a culture shock. Welcome to adulting!

Growing up happens fast, and you are not given space to adapt and get used to it like it happened in the last 12 years of your schooling life. Here, no one has time for you! Yes, you were cute in your school uniform, and that raised a certain awareness in society that you’re a schoolchild. Outside of that uniform, you are just like many of us who are dealing with adulting.

No one will run after you; it is up to you how you want this life thing to turn out for you daily, within the confines of the conditions laid out by society.

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Post Grade 12

Below is a list of some of the realities that await you post-grade 12:

  1. Difficulty in finding a spot at a university of choice: getting into the university of your choice may be more difficult than you thought. Unless you are a straight-A student, you may need to manage your expectations of going to a prominent university. There are plus or minus seven hundred thousand of you trying to get into 117 universities. Do the math. There are 400 TVET colleges, though; that is another possible solution. Though the Department of Higher Education may be incompetent in raising awareness about these colleges, they offer greater opportunities for employment at a later stage.
  2. Once you are fortunate enough to find a spot at a university, you have to find accommodation. Most students find themselves sleeping on floors while queuing to be allocated accommodation spaces. It’s a trend. Invest now in comfortable sponges and blankets so you can sleep on the floor for a few weeks. Did I touch on transportation and food?
  3. Oh yes, no more school pies; welcome to the high cost of living, which saw your parents depressed most of the time. Now you must do your monthly groceries, which can be very expensive. This is the point at which most girls search for blessings, which does not help anyone because it leads to all sorts of dark paths. You are still faced with the responsibility of buying clothes to wear; as I said earlier, there is no uniform to protect you from these realities. The best thing here is to again manage your expectations, know which home you come from, understand why you are here, put your head down, and be disciplined enough to understand the lifestyle rich kids live.
  4. Relationships: you are at the age of concern, which means you can now have sex with whomever you want; some of you are too late; you are a legend in this topic; well, may I please speak to the kids who may not be at your level? Listen, falling in love is the most beautiful thing, and choosing to share your life with someone who cares about you beyond your looks is amazing. However, most people confuse being horny with being in love. The reality you are walking into comes with too much confusion. Again, do not lose yourself in this freedom of sexual choices; at the end of the day, it is your body; it has no substitute; this is it! How you use it now can determine its longevity and value. If you choose to live with your zipper wide open, that’s your choice, but the end is the same. If you choose to drag your Mmm Mmmmh on the floor so that any horny polo driver can use it as a doormat, that’s your choice, Nana, but the end is the same. How much value you carry will determine how you survive this one. And if you want to reclaim your lost value in this area, make the choice to be involved with someone who will complement who you want to be.
  5. Unemployment: Your 200 degrees may not be enough to secure you your dream job. Be smart here, get involved with start-ups or companies on a voluntary basis, and find time to avail yourself. In that way, you are growing with that company; they know you, and they can even plan their future with you in mind.
  6. Groove: There will be many opportunities for you to go groove; why not? You are young and want to explore. But remember that times have changed. South Africa has quickly become the most toxic country; lots of young ladies turn up dead after a groove or for being involved in a toxic relationship. Also, your experiment may lead to drugs and other abuse; this opens the door to a miserable life of substance abuse; trust me, it is easy to get hooked and extremely difficult to get off. The price you pay for this experiment is immeasurable; it is not worth the risk!
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I hope these realities may assist you in preparing for life post-grade 12. If you have more realities that you can share, please feel free to comment in the comments section below! Or simply write to us at stories@tagmyschool.co.za.