Having only been at college for a month now sure, I don’t have the most experience. However, what I have gained I feel is enough to interest at least one of you so that’s all that matters. Reaching the end of secondary school could not have arrived faster for me, I was so ready to leave. It just wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I ended up with an overwhelming set of predominantly A and A* GCSE results! But fashion was always the field I wished to go into career-wise. So I went against my teacher’s wishes of studying A-levels and am now studying a University of Arts fashion diploma; needless to say, I am extremely happy that I stuck to my guns and ignored a few gobsmacked faces and here’s why.
Photography: Beth Sandland
“…it was overwhelming!”
Freedommmmm! No but really, it especially hit me during my first week. I was so taken aback by how much more I gained a real sense of independence and mostly individuality. I can’t speak for other subject courses but for my fashion course and I’m assuming others, everyone is so different and unique in terms of the way they dress, sketch, design and create. At first, I found that really intimidating. Being in a class of around 30 alongside students who dress bold and quirky, sporty and casual or even urban and edgy, it was overwhelming! It almost made me question whether or not I was quite “glamorous enough” or had an established enough personal style to fit in around a group of such creative minds. You’ll be relieved to know, those doubtful thoughts quickly passed.
“I managed to convert my self-doubt into self-belief”
I quickly took on board my tutor’s words being “each of you were chosen specifically for this rather competitive course as you all are completely different.” Once I processed this fully, I managed to convert my self-doubt into self-belief and that’s something I’d recommend you all to do whether or not you’re a fashion student like myself. Comparison really is the thief of joy and it’s cliche but true when we come to terms with the fact that no two of us are the same and we all have something unique to offer. One of the reasons I’m glad I chose to study fashion in particular is because in such a short space of time, I already honestly feel as though I’ve managed to discover a lot more about myself. Increasing my self-focus, discovering what makes up my personal style and staying true to what makes me up as a person is something I will go on to carry with me throughout the rest of my life. Besides, if you’re trying to be like that other person, they already exist, so I’ll do me, you do you and they will do them.
“it wouldn’t be normal not to mess up”
Another thing I have taken from my time in college is that not everything you do has to be top-notch from the jump. Coming from a perfectionist, that is something I never thought would ever leave my mouth. It’s still something I am working on keeping in mind as of now because not only within my projects at college but also blogging and anything else I do, if things aren’t faultless in my eyes, I literally beat myself up about it. In reality though, it wouldn’t be normal to not mess up at the start, throughout and even after a whole load of practice! Being more kind to myself and accepting that without mistakes I can’t learn has definitely been and will continue to be a valuable lesson learnt.
In a few summed up final words, being a fashion student for me has been a creative, busy, exciting and fast-paced smoothie. The ingredients being an increase in self-discovery, self-love, self-appreciation and not being afraid to give something new a go and be open minded, even if things do go slightly tits up.
Shirt – Zara (here)
Jeans – Topshop (here)
Boots – Public Desire (here)
Bag – Longchamp (here)
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Is there anything that you’ve kept with you and learnt from past experience?