Chloe Rudd - Another gap year blog post header

Another Gap Year?

Alternate title: Why I have decided to take a year out of university before completing my big, bad and unreasonably terrifying Graduate Collection.

There you go. I said it. I’ve been avoiding eye contact with the problem since July now, and I’ve been hiding the fact from you all. I took a year out before I started university and now I’m not going back for another year. I am also not technically on a “placement” year. I am just out. I got scared. I panicked. I couldn’t deal.

I ran away to Disney and I had fun. I’m sorry. But I need more time. I can’t reasonably go back and say “Here’s some half-arsed work that I put together in 4 weeks, please don’t shout at me!”

No. It’s my Graduate Collection. It is my baby. The one completely thought through body of work that I will put my life and soul into, work that all future employers will judge me by. The backbone to my portfolio. The reason I won’t sleep for 9 months.

And, to be completely honest with you, I think it will be the last time I will sew or draw. I am not a sample sewer, I am not a technician. And my confidence in drawing is so low that I get clammy palms whenever someone asks me why I’m using a HB and not a 2H. My future isn’t going to be sketching beautiful garments or even making them with my own hands.

My future is technical, my future is sitting in front of Photoshop creating illustrations that I could only DREAM of drawing with a pencil, it’s sitting in front of Illustrator making technical specifications and agonising over details. My future is spreadsheets and numbers and writing.

So now I have to ask myself the question: why have I been so afraid to tell people that I won’t be graduating until 2018?

I always thought that I never cared what people thought of me and now I’m mortified that people might begin to realise that I am, in fact, a mess. I don’t have my life together in the slightest and I don’t know what I am going to do in the future.

I’ve gone over the decision to take this year out 100 times in my head and it was only after I sent that dreaded email that I realised I had made the best decision for myself. I worried so much what my parents/lecturers/peers would think of me and it turns out that just over a week after I deferred, all my eczema cleared up. I guess thinking about my Collection was stressing me out more than I even realised.

And I think that’s when I figured that it didn’t really matter what anyone else thought. That actually I made the best decision for myself and, ultimately, I am healthier for it.

So why did I even care what people would think? The only person that your opinion affects is you. So I’ll live with my life decisions, and I’ll let you live with yours.

To happiness. And to success, whatever the hell that is.

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