I Didn’t Get A’s In School

“It will be hard, but you're gonna make it”


I barely scratched passing maths for my leaving cert exams during my final year in school. The scary thing is, in Ireland, if I had have got 10 marks less and actually failed maths I would have failed my ENTIRE leaving cert. and lost all uni offers and expected to repeat my final year. Isn’t that crazy?!!

I was gifted in art, gifted at writing stories and so much more BUT if I couldn’t remember a damn algebra equation, I would have been a failure for not following the rules.

Anyways, I passed, and took an offer to study at university in Scotland.
Just turned 17 and I chose a 4 year degree in fashion design for industry.

A few months in, we were doing a project that went towards our end of year marks.
A lecturer looked at my sketches and asked me “Where did you find the inspiration for those dresses?”
I was proud of myself, I enjoyed drawing and sketching. I was honest and said “I drew them from my imagination”. 

My face dropped when he looked down at me telling me we HAVE to look at the big, worldwide known designers and take inspiration from them and can’t simply make things up. D&G, Gucci, Prada.

Ok I get it, that’s how the fashion industry might work BUT I loved doing my own thing, drawing from my own creative sources.

Plus, I bloody HATED buying and reading Vogue magazine ??

It wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t following their rules.

I lasted one year.

WHY did I choose that course?
My rational at the time was that I loved art,
I was good at it. I loved drawing people and clothing them in beautiful dresses. The course randomly seemed to fit me.

Looking back, my main reason was that I needed to get away from home.

So many leave school without a clue about what they want to study. The pressure is so harsh. You’re meant to know at 17 what you may or may not enjoy spending at least 4 years of your life studying, to then go and spend years working in that area.

I honestly don’t believe the career services and support is strong enough in many schools (not all schools) we have teachers who are amazing at their jobs and guiding their students but we also have teachers who are in it for the wrong reasons. What happens then is the teachers that don’t give a hoot, don’t help to encourage the natural gifts and skills in the students. So many students believe they are “stupid”, or not worthy of a uni application.

It’s sad.

If you’re just out of school and reading this now, maybe you failed an exam, didn’t get any college/uni offers and you’re just feeling bad about it all… I’m telling you not to feel bad.

You cannot judge someone’s ability based on a single exam, or multiple exams for that matter.

They teach FACTS in school. Old facts. Most facts you’ll never meed again.
And so if you can’t remember some facts or remember spellings, you’re not smart? BS!

We’re told in school that our intelligence is based on what we can remember so that we can answer written questions within a 3 hour time period.

We are also led to believe just because we are good at one thing, we should pursue that.
For example, you’re naturally good at chemistry, you’re bagging straight A’s without much study, you find it easy.
Everyone says you should go study chemistry in uni, with those amazing marks you shouldn’t “waste” it.
You don’t want to though, it kills your soul, you actually ADORE music, and even though you only manage to get C’s, not A’s, in class, it never gets old. You live for it.
Then fuck, I’d be saying you need to go and study and play music, not chemistry!!!
Our minds get warped though, warped by adults that most of the time, don’t even have a clue what they’re at themselves.

What about the creatives, the beautiful brains, the entrepreneurs and the all round geniuses out there? Aren’t those the ones who succeed MASSIVELY in life?! YES!

Don’t ever let a failed exam, a college rejection or a nasty teacher make you feel bad about yourself.

You can do whatever you want to do. Granted, it might take you a little longer and you may need to take many back doors and hit many speed bumps but if you want it, you can do it.

If I really wanted, I could now at 27 go and study to be a surgeon, if I reeeeeaaaallly wanted, I may not qualify until I’m almost 40, but it could still happen.

Same goes for you, all seems a mess right now.
Especially with people breathing down your neck, the pressure greater that ever, but you know what? If you stay true to what you want, don’t let ANYONE tell you who you are… You’ll be ok ❤️

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