Riverina teenagers dreading the prospect of life after school have had their nerves eased by being shown the seemingly-endless list of opportunities and pathways available to them.
More than 800 students from schools across the Riverina attended the Wagga Careers Expo on Thursday.
The event offered students in their final three years of high school a chance to speak directly with representatives from universities, employment agencies, TAFE, local businesses and more.
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Kooringal High School student Katie Fawns, 16, said the thought of leaving school can "definitely be daunting" but being shown all her options helped clear the fog.
"Even though we know it's not true sometimes you feel like your entire life depends on how well you do as a teenager," she said.
"But I feel like events like this actually show us lots of opportunities and help us find out what we want to do after school."
For some, like Tumut High School student Tyler Whitbread, the expo opened up a world of opportunities they'd never even contemplated before.
"I know that half of these I'd never heard of and never would have considered if I didn't come here," he said.
Others already have their hearts set on specific careers, and used the event as a chance to find out the best way to achieving their goals.
That includes Kooringal High student Zara Elliott, who developed a love for radiography while doing work experience earlier this year.
"I've just been going around to the different stalls and getting information about how I can study it at different unis," she said.
Richard O'Connell, president of the Wagga Career Advisers Association, said the majority of students are planning to continue their studies at university but there is still a "healthy mix".
"There's a big focus on the STEM subjects at the moment and there seems to be quite a strong interest in those fields," he said.
"But we've still got a good mix of students going into trades as well as those who want to go down university pathways."
He said it was absolutely crucial to show students all the available options.
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