When and where you choose to study further can make a world of difference to your academic experience and results.
The high drop out rates in universities reveal that students are often unprepared for the demands of a higher education.
Where should I study?
The are now more options than ever before to study further. You can study at a university, a public college, a private institution or via online courses. Remember that "no two universities or colleges are the same.
Take a look at where the college or university is located.
Based on this information you will need to decide whether to live on campus or commute from home during the course of your study programme.
This decision is an important one as it can have a huge impact on your finances, time, productivity and independence.
When should I study?
Most students decide to further their education immediately after high school. But this is not the case for everybody and is certainly not the right choice for every person.
You can choose to study further straight after matric or you can take a gap year or two and study further when you feel the time is right. Just remember that studying further opens a host of doors in the future.
Their are advantages and disadvantages no matter when you decide to take the plunge.
Young students have fewer responsibilities and more time to study but tend to struggle with subject choices and the distractions of student life.
On the contrary older students know what they want and demonstrate a high level of commitment to their academics, but balancing family and work obligations can prove to be extremely challenging.
Perhaps what matters most is not when you study, but your level of determination to see it through once you start.
What should I study?
A question many high school students ask themselves as they prepare for the possibility of studying further.
I personally suggest that you choose to study something you know you already enjoy.
However if you have a bit more life experience you might decide to study a topic that is relevant to your current career or future plans.
Most degree courses are 3 years. Whatever the length, you should be prepared to commit to your academic programme for the entire duration of the course you apply for.
Check out this list of tertiary institutions to study at in South Africa.