We LOVE a good TED Talk, so we were thrilled to team up with TEDxTeen and bring the event back to London. On the 24th June 2017, we spent the day at indigo at The O2 hearing from a whole host of inspiring young speakers about the Bold Moves they had made and the effect that they’d had on their communities.
Claudia Vulliamy was no exception. Her speech was all about failure, and it was great. So we couldn’t wait to grill her about her experience and advice backstage. Take a look…
Hey Claudia! What was your Bold Move and what effect did it have?
“I applied to Oxford [University] and I didn’t get in, and I made my rejection letter into sort of abstract artwork. And when my mum posted it on Twitter, it went completely viral on the internet! My mum had no idea that this would have happened, but I am very grateful because I don’t even have Twitter, so [if it wasn't for her] no one would know!”
Why do you think your artwork was so popular online?
“A lot of people had faced that kind of rejection that day and I think with all the celebration from parents and people who had got into Oxbridge, people were glad to hear a positive voice from the others.”
Do you think there’s too much pressure on young people to go to top unis?
“Oh god definitely. I think with some people it’s almost assumed that they’ll get into Oxford because their parents did, or because they decided when they were younger. People think so much about whether they’re right for Oxford, or whatever university, but they never stop to think about whether Oxford is right for them.”
That’s really interesting. Do you think that schools and parents should be encouraging young people to think about alternative routes?
“Yeah definitely. Everyone’s different and different paths suit them, and for someone to think that the only impressive thing you can do is go to Oxford or Cambridge is narrow.”
Do you think as a generation we’re capable of doing more than many people think we are?
“I think so. I can really feel our culture evolving already pretty dramatically from the previous generation. Even at school I’m surrounded by people with such strong motivation and ideas. I think we could get a lot done!”
What’s your advice for any other young people who are thinking about making a bold move?
“I think you’re more likely to regret not doing something, than going for something, so go for it!”
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