I HONESTLY THINK September 2014 - Page 50


We’re all told from a young age (or at least we should be) to believe in ourselves. We hear it from our teachers, parents and relatives, but what happens when it’s these very people who don’t believe in us? We’re encouraged to ‘reach for the stars’ and be anything we want to be but when we decide to go down a vocational career path, that belief all too often disappears.

Ever since a young age I’ve wanted to work in fashion so you would have expected people to have gotten used to the idea by now but maybe these ‘motivators’ thought it was a passing phase, like what most little girls go through. Strangely, as I grew older and more ambitious, the enthusiasm from others turned into doubts. I call these people career doubters.

I’m aware that fashion is an incredibly hard industry to become successful in. It’s elitist, tough and competitive. It is obligatory to intern, it’s preferable if you have a degree and on top of that you still need a heap of more experience before you can consider getting a well-paid creative job. That’s what I’m working towards right now, it’s not like I’m sitting on my arse all day just online shopping. Okay, I do shop online a bit too much but most of the time whilst I’m at my laptop, I’m working hard gaining contacts and experience. I’m taking it seriously but to some people fashion and other vocational industries are not serious at all.

The first major doubters struck me hilst I was picking my A level options. Throughout my entire school life I was known for being creative and obsessed with fashion; the uniform code enforcers knew this all too well. So why then, when it was clear all along

what I wanted to do, was I stopped dead in my tracks? My head of year and I were debating my choices for a good hour before I was forced into picking further maths…textiles just snuck in there as a compromise. I was discouraged from picking textiles and psychology because I had “more potential than that”, but if I chose further maths I could apply to Oxford and Cambridge. I wasn’t naïve, I knew this would be for their benefit and not mine; an old school in the North of England struggling with Ofsted reports producing an Oxbridge student? Yeah, that would look pretty great on their CVs but it would be useless on mine. At some points in life, you’ve got to be stubborn and you’ve got to be selfish. This was one of those times.

If you’re wondering, further maths lasted five days before I broke down crying over a formula I could never understand. I switched to psychology and ended up getting an A making my grades AAB, so I did get into university despite being told I had no hope. It was probably this remark that spurred me