Leaving School With Morgan Munday

Current location: Byron Bay, NSW

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Did you have any idea of what you wanted to do when you finished school? Has it changed from then to now?

I actually left school at the end of year 10 to do a hairdressing apprenticeship. I never really loved school and being a hairdresser had always been my dream, so when I was offered a position it just felt right. Since completing my apprenticeship I’ve changed direction so many times and had many different job roles. I found my career goals changed as I got older and navigated my way. 

 

Would you say there is a lot of pressure on young people to have their whole lives figured out and be ‘successful’ straight after school?

I wouldn’t say there is a heap of pressure to have your life figured out straight after school; I’d say that pressure kicked in about 4 years after I’d finished my apprenticeship. I felt like there was an expectation to be earning good money and thriving in your job at that point.

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What were the first few years out of school like for you? Would you do anything differently? 

As I left quite early and started working/studying full-time, I was around people that were quite a bit older than me, and I think that definitely made me grow up and mature quite quickly. I assumed a lot of responsibility, plus had to figure out how to manage my income, get a car loan, move out of home, etc.

While everyone else was still in school, going out and having fun on the weekends, I was completely exhausted, working 12 hour days plus studying. I definitely found it tricky not to clock off at 3pm like my friends. I also felt a little disconnected from my school friends as I didn’t get to spend much time with them.

Do you remember what your biggest fear/fears were during this time of transition?

I worried a lot about what everyone else thought. Whether they thought I was successful or talented; I never wanted to look like a failure. Now I’ve realised that everyone is on their own path, and they couldn’t really care less about what you’re doing, because they’re too busy focusing on their own journey.

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From your experience, what would you tell anyone going through the same thing now? 

Something I’ll always admire is ambition and determination. I’m really passionate about resisting the pressure to study if you don’t require it. You can always do it later in life. I had no interest in any professions that required a university degree. I think if you have a love for something, just go for it! What is the worst thing that could happen? Once you start pursuing something you’ve dreamed of, you’ll learn pretty quickly if you still want to do it or not. No one knows what they are doing, fake it til you make it!

 

Do you think you’re on the right path now? And how do you think your experiences in life have led you here? 

Since leaving school I’ve had a million and one jobs (the joys of being creative + indecisive in your 20’s). I’m definitely still learning everyday - more about myself and my goals. But I do feel like I’m getting closer. Growing up I thought I would have my dream job by 25, but something I’ve realised is that it takes a bit more time than that. I’ve also realised that the people I look up to, and whose careers I admire, are in their 30’s and 40’s, or even older.

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What are you doing now and are you happy?

I work as a freelance marketing + creative director, photographer + stylist. I also work a few days a week in a beautiful health and wellness retail space and source vintage furniture for an online platform. And I have my own business in food styling + grazing tables for weddings + events. I guess you could say I have my finger in a few pies!

I am happy, but I do always want more, and sometimes I have to remind myself to just sit and enjoy where I’m at

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Interview by Sanchia Gillies

Edited by Sammy Callender


Any information on this blog is not a substitute for professional advice. It is written from personal experience and research only. If you are in crisis, go to your nearest emergency room, call lifeline on 13 11 14 or dial 000.

Leanne Westlake