What’s Next: Sticking up for yourself

Hey– I’m Jay, I’m 16, and I’m in my final year of school. It’s not easy thinking about the future, but I have so many opportunities to be excited about. In the midst of lockdowns and exams, I’ve enjoyed thinking about what’s next for me in life.

That’s why in this series, I’ve been talking to people who have been down this road before. In this episode I talked to Drisana Levitzke-Gray– when she was my age, she was told that her English wasn’t good enough and that she’d never make it work at university. Since then, she won the Young Australian of the Year award (2015) and has taught English to deaf students around the world.

I ended up really relating to her story. I feel like high school doesn’t really fit me either, so it was a nice reminder that things can change for the better when you graduate and gain a bit more independence.

Download the transcript.

A few things we’ve learned:

  • When people are treating you unfairly, sometimes the best thing you can do is be confident in yourself and your abilities. Try thinking of the things that you're proud of about yourself and things that are special about you.

  • Networking is important, not just to find jobs, but to expand your view of the world.

  • That’s why it’s such a great idea to form relationships with people outside your ‘bubble’. You never know where they will take you!

It was quite ironic because I'm now teaching English, as someone who was told my English wasn't good enough.

What can I do now?

  • If you’re currently a year 12 student, here’s how you can handle fear about the future.

  • If you’re feeling anxious about your future and want to hear how other young people feel, check out a discussion on our forums about this.