I would like to extend warm congratulations to every learner who passed Grade 12.

Now the world is your oyster and this is quite an exciting time. I am sure that you have thought about your future and many of you are still deciding what to do – whether it is to study, start working, or start your own business.

To take up studying is a good choice, as you will equip yourself with the knowledge and skills within a specific area or industry. However, you might be worried about paying for your course or degree. Fortunately, there are quite a few organisations that provide bursaries and funding for prospective students with disabilities.

Although funding is an important aspect as it gives you access to a university or college of your choice, it is not enough. You also need the right attitude and determination to complete your studies successfully.

DR F Coughlan, Director of the Independent Institute of Education, states that as a student the responsibility for your success moves from the institution to you as the student. She provides the following characteristics that students should portray in order to achieve success in their study journey:

Attitude: It is so important to have a positive attitude towards studying and tell yourself that you will be successful at completing your relevant course. Set goals for yourself and stay on course, as this will ensure your success. A positive attitude will also assist you to learn new subjects even if some of them are not your favourite.

Interpersonal skills: This is very important because as a student you will interact with other students and staff of the educational institution. Occasionally you will be a member of a study group and you will also make new friends and form relationships during your study journey. Most universities have Disability Units that are equipped to assist and render support on any issue. Feel free to utilise and interact with these units and request the relevant assistance and support when required.

Self-motivation and self-discipline: This is crucial when you are a student, as you will have to work more independently and with less direction from lecturers than when you attended high school. This is even more important when you study online, or when you follow a correspondence course.

With self-motivation and self-discipline you will find it much easier to meet deadlines, conduct research, perform tasks successfully and make take time to study.

Good time management skills: Try not to procrastinate by managing your time effectively. Part of managing your busy schedule is to do proper planning in advance which will enable you to complete all your different academic activities such as report writing, attend practical classes, write tests and exams. Always be on time for lectures and keep your appointments.

We wish you all the success in your study endeavors and trust whilst you will be working hard, you will also not forget to have some fun.