When I was studying Sixth Form, there was an intern teacher helping my textiles teacher (I couldn’t remember the intern teacher’s name, which I should, but I asked my classmate and she did) who helped me with my work, let’s call her Miss M. At that time, I was studying textile design, arts & crafts, and graphic design, as well as English, Maths, Spanish, working at an Italian restaurant and volunteering as a Spanish mentor too. This lady saw my work and asked me what I wanted to do next. I told her I was going to study at Central Saint Martins.
For those who don’t really know my study-story; I finished secondary school in Tenerife, Spain. I had the best education I could ever dream of, but what I want to do with my life isn’t considered “a thing” in Spain. So I left, cause you have to follow your dreams and that’s what it takes. I moved to the UK at the age of 16, to a small town in the middle of nowhere called Shaftesbury, where I studied the above mentioned subjects. It had already been a challenge to study Sixth Form abroad, like, moving at the age of 16 from an island next to Africa to a town that’s only two hours away from London? With a scholarship? Chances are very low.
So when this lady heard I wanted to get into Central Saint Martins, she almost laughed at me. She was like “oh, those are really high espectations“. “It’s really hard to get in, you should check other universities”. “Brighton has a really good fashion design programme”. “Saint Martins isn’t even as good as they say”. “You should have a backup plan“. Nice stuff to hear from a teacher, right? My brother once told a basketball player that he wanted to be a mathematician, and this basketball player told him it was really difficult to work in that field in Spain. And my brother (who was about 7 at that time), asked him “who said anything about Spain?”. So that’s what I said too. I said “who said anything about a backup plan? I didn’t say I want to study there, I said I will study there“. She still wasn’t too convinced about that.
I have been working for years to be who I am. Good grades in Tenerife so I could study abroad, good grades abroad so I could study a good Foundation Degree, and good grades in Foundation so I could study at UAL. It’s 50% hard work and 50% believing in yourself. Guess what Miss M, I’m a UAL student.
I had been months wanting to upload this video. I have kept it for myself for a long time because I didn’t want to say anything until the decision was definite. I didn’t say “I did it” until I was sitting in that chair the first day of uni, and even talking with a guy from my class that first day, he hadn’t assumed yet that he had done it too. When you want something this much, when you get it, it’s hard to believe. We’re never too conscious about how good we are at things (at least I’m not), but we are. Every single one of us is incredible. I can finally say I’m a footwear design student at London College of Fashion, with no doubt and to this day, the greatest achievement I’ve made in my whole life. And that’s why I want to share it.
This is the video I presented as my portfolio. I overthought too much about how I could show myself different from the others, distinct from the other people who are better than me at drawing, designing or sewing, and how my portfolio could catch any examiner’s attention so I could study the career of my dreams. I’ve never really wanted to do fashion design, it’s always been about shoes. My parents wanted me to do fashion design first (at Central Saint Martins, that’s where it came from) and then footwear design, but life happened (and I’ll tell you more about this another day), and I am where I want to be. And this is my conclusion: there will always be people better and worse than you in many ways. We all have what we’ve been given and that’s it, but it’s each of our responsibilities to make the most of it. We need to find out what are virtues are to make them shine, and my virtue, since I was little, has always been filmmaking. Plus, I’m intelligent and I thought it was gonna be way more difficult for an examiner to say no to a face that’s smiling at you, rather than to a bunch of letters and numbers on a page. My true virtues are in my head, not in my hands, and I decided to use them.
What I’m trying to say with this is please, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something, anything. It sounds really typical and you’ve got loads of videos of Will Smith, Michael Jordan and Reese Witherspoon talking about this, but it’s true! Fight for what you want, forget about what other people think or say and make your virtues shine. I bet Miss M actually wanted to study at Central Saint Martins and never got in. I bet people would like to be so convinced about your decisions and your future as you. And I bet you can prove everybody wrong. Be the best version of yourself. Every. Single. Day.
With love and affection, I love u❤️.