From Dropout to GFW shortlist.

4 years ago I decided to go to University – I didn’t actually know if I wanted to go, because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I think that’s the general norm. After college it naturally became the next step to take and there aren’t a lot of creative career driven opportunities in Wales unless they are in the public sector. 

I ended up applying to a few different places and a few different courses to try and gauge what picked my fancy. I think I visited Brighton for Print, Cardiff Met for Fashion Design and USW for Fashion Design and Marketing.

I was invited to interview for each uni and apart from Brighton (I literally told the interviewer not to offer me a place) and I’d been offered unconditional offers for the rest, but I still felt like I was floating and not really sure. 

In true Sam fashion I did not see eye to eye with the course leader at Met, I almost put the phone down on her – she was a character to say the least it actually put me off Met who was at the time, my first choice. 

Below is an accurate representation of me to the course leader on the phone.

But a las it wasn’t meant to be and I made the poor decision to make Fashion Design – at the time it was my most logical choice because it was hands on but I have never hated anything more. I was lucky to receive a Scholarship offer but as soon as I got the money, I dropped out and went on a few holidays….

Worth it? I forgot about the black hole I was in mentally, so it definitely did something. 

From the Caribbean, to Scandinavia to the French Alps when I say I spent my scholarship money and any earnings I had, I did a very good job of it.

Like I said Fashion Design just was not for me and I was wanting to transfer to Fashion Marketing, taking the year out was my only option so I just went with it and made the best of the income I had – which sadly I haven’t seen that sort of income for 2 years. Violins at the ready! 

Fast forward 4 years and I have graduated from Fashion Marketing with I believe a first. When I say it didn’t come easy, this year has evoked a new mental strength I never thought I had. Yes, it sounds cliché but this last year could not have gone worse. 

But I went with it, I wanted to get it over and done with and this was my chance to really work on Eye of Iris – It’s the only thing I can keep throwing myself at regardless of the failures and recently the failures have been adding up. I was told failures are good to have, not that they feel like it but they are definitely adding fuel to a fire to put it nicely.

And then something amazing happened; I got nominated for a few awards by my lecturer. I mean I didn’t really think anything of them I was just amazed to be selected. I still find it incredibly bizarre that I was put forward because I am fully aware of the strength some of the girls bring on my course and that should 100% be celebrated.

The craziest thing was to be shortlisted to the top 9 – I know 9 an odd number, but out of all of the universities in the UK I got there. 

I don’t think I would have ever put myself there if I had the choice. A definite pinch me moment none the less and a lovely way for me to end my final year at USW. 

Here’s to a year of failures and to a year of hidden successes that I’ll remember to celebrate sometime in the future! USW we out.

P.S you can find all of the juicy updates on @_eyeofiris wink wink, nudge, nudge.