ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
Eliott Franklin’s afternoon routine hasn’t changed a whole lot since he graduated top of his class in art history and performance media.
The arts graduate checks the tyre pressure on his bicycle, then loads up Kid A by Radiohead for the 40-minute ride to work. He’s a 25-year-old who works weekends – a magical time of the week taken for granted when he had dreams for his future.
He was always good at art and history as a high schooler, so Elliot thought it was natural to continue on with his personal strengths at university. He’s still in the bartending job he had while he studied, with no light at the end of the hospitality tunnel.
Seven years on, Franklin is now warning Year 12 students about the dangers of following your passion after school, urging them to challenge themselves by studying something useful.
Speaking to the Class of 2016 at Betoota Central School, Elliot says the bar he currently works at down in Sydney has “destroyed his soul” and has turned him into a bitter person that he barely recognises in the mirror.
“When I was studying, I was completely oblivious to the brick wall I was speeding toward,” explained Franklin, choking back tears.
“In order to me to keep my head above water, I need to work 6 days a week and the only time I have off is a Monday night. The friends I used to have in person now solely exist in WhatsApp. I’m here to tell you that following your passion in life isn’t what society has led people to believe. Just do law or finance or engineering – anything. Just don’t do what makes you happiest in life because you’ll end up without a chair when the music stops,”
“When I’m riding home really late at night and there’s nobody about, I sometimes blow straight through a red light with my arms outstretched listening to Thom Yorke wail and hope a truck cleans me up. That’s the only time I ever feel truly alive anymore, when I put my life in the hands of fate.” he said.
Mr Franklin’s advice comes as thousands of Year 12 students begin their leaving exams around the country. With this small bit of advice, Elliot hopes that the young people of Betoota make the right decision with their university entrance rank.