Leaving School With Spencer Frost
Did you have any idea about what you wanted to do when you finished school? Has it changed at all?
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I finished school; all I cared about was surfing and travelling. My plan was to go to eventually go to uni and study. I worked heaps of different jobs straight out of school - I was a kitchen hand, gardener, barista, paper boy… a little bit of everything really.
I think everyone is on their own path, finding what they want to do in life. I got lucky and found mine early, but there’s no rush. I have some really close friends who are only just finding out what their true passion is and they’re in their 30’s, 40’s, and even older.
Would you say there is a lot of pressure on young people to have their whole lives figured out and to be ‘successful’ straight after school? If so, what do you think is one of the contributing factors?
There’s definitely a lot of pressure on young people to have it all figured out. I felt like I had to know exactly what I was going to do in my life as soon as I finished school, which is kind of sad because you’re still so young, and have little to no life experience. I’ve found over time, as people get older, they slowly find out exactly what they’re meant to do; rather than people who rush into something they’re unsure about, and end up wasting years doing something they hate.
Social media would have to be a main contributing factor, it’s so great but it’s also the devil. You see the highlight’s of everyone’s lives and the expectations are huge.
What were the first few years out of school like for you? Would you do anything differently?
The first few years out of school were great! But they were also pretty full on. I decided to take a year off and work a few different jobs to save money to travel, party, make films, and go on surf trips. I think I ended up visiting 6 countries during that year and that really helped me find out what I did and didn’t want to do in my life. Travel is so good for putting things into perspective; I’d recommend for anyone who’s a little bit lost about what they want to do in life to take some time off and go travel before making any impulse decisions.
The following year I decided not to go to uni and instead to start my own filmmaking business. I’ve just kept chipping away at it and it’s slowly starting to all pay off.
Do you remember what your biggest fear/fears were during this time of transition?
I didn’t have too many fears when I was finishing school and moving into the real world. There was always a little bit of worry about not know what the next step was. But I think it’s good to just go for it, whatever “it” is when you’re young because you’ve always got the backing of your friends and family. At the end of the day no one really cares if you try something and it doesn’t work out, people will be way more stoked that you’re actually trying it in the first place.
From your experience during this period of transition, what would you tell someone going through the same thing now?
As hard as it is to hear, and everyone tell you it over and over, but you really don’t need to have you’re whole life figured out as soon as you finish school. A few older friends told me this when I was finishing school and it really sank in that there’s no rush; you can take the time to figure out what you want to do in life.
Take some time to go and travel, go surfing, go to a party. Just have fun in those first few years out of school and 9 times out of 10 you’ll figure out what you want to do naturally.
Do you think you’re on the right path now? And how do you think your experiences in life have led you here?
I’d like to think I’m on the right path, but I’m as guilty as anyone for not being satisfied with where I am and where I’m going. It’s a good feeling to have a strong direction in life or to have found your “calling,” but there’s always things you could be doing differently or even better. I think it’s the people that I’ve met and the places that I’ve been to, that have had the most impact on how I’ve gotten to where I am. You learn some of life’s biggest lessons from these people, places and experiences, and overall it helps you to keep moving forward.
What are you doing now and are you happy?
Right now I’m working full time for myself - (I’m a freelance filmmaker if I didn’t mention that earlier) - I’m lucky enough to get to travel for the better part of the year to some amazing places around Australia and the world and work for some pretty huge clients. When I do have some downtime at home I’m loving just hanging out, surfing, and catching up with friends before the next adventure pops up. I’d like to think I’m pretty happy; there’s not too much in my life to be unhappy about. I guess everyone has had some average days when their unsure about where they’re going and what’s happening next, but I think those days are really important for a bit of reflection to know where you’re headed in life.
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.