Break from study
FOR most people, working on a million acres with 16,000 cattle sounds more like hard work than a life-changing experience.
But for Jack Fitzgerald, 19, that's just one of the many things he's done in the past year ? finishing with a month on a Taylors Arm banana plantation.
Jack is one of an increasing number of HSC students who elect to take a year off before beginning further studies.
This year's graduates will certainly be feeling the heat right now with HSC results due out this time next week December 19.
However, over the past few years a break from study has become more than just a backup plan.
Increasing numbers of students have chosen to use the time to travel, work abroad, volunteer or gain work experience.
"For some students a year off can be entirely relevant," Bishop Druitt College Careers Advisor, Richard Harding, said.
He believes that there has been a definite increase in the number of young people making use of a year off to help with their decision making proces.
In Jack's case, having a break before continuing his studies was the best thing he could have done.
A cattle station in the Northern Territory, and Taylors Arm are about as far from Sydney University as you can get, however, Jack is now looking forward to studying agriculture there next year.
So would he recommend a year off to others?
"Now I would! I've got to see a bit of the world," he said.
"And if you don't really know what you want to do, it can be a great experience."