Meditations on going back to school …

As my first semester as a masters student rapidly comes to a close, I’ve been asked to write a reflective piece on my ‘future study plans, some of the things I’ve learned so far, and to reflect on setting goals for next year and beyond’.

I miss this: My last – and most favourite – shoot I styled and creative directed in Singapore for the amazing blowing boys from Sects Shop. Image: Jasper Yu

Honestly thinking back on the last 12 weeks it seems to me that my thoughts more taken up with going back to being a student – something I haven’t done for 20 years – than how the classes I took would impact on my future goals next year and into the future.

While I feel that I have garnered the odd useful fact here and there, I actually think my learning has been less about the class subject matter, and more about how to navigate a non-Asian work environment and how to go from being the boss in charge of everything, to just another student.

It has been remarkably difficult to learn to just let go. I need to stop expecting 300 emails in my inbox everyday, I no longer have to stay up until 2am to get content published before everyone else, I don’t have to do a shoot on the weekend, I don’t have to attend four events in a single evening …

Actually, that last one is something I’m surprised to find I miss. Mainly because I’m not media anymore – no more freebies! And I really miss the friends I made over the last 10 years in Singapore. 

I especially miss working with all the talented people of the Singapore fashion world … Kenny, Andrew, Carrie, Addie, Randolph, Sha, Diya, Bryan, Jasmine S, Nametha, Meiyu, Jasper, Darissa, Deb … I could go on and on but then some people will be missed out and get very cranky!

I am learning to be more patient with my expectations not only for the subject content I so desperately want to learn ‘right now’ but also to take into account that not everyone has done the things I’ve done, can do the things I can do without a second thought, and that other people might not think exactly the same way I do.

My friends, former colleagues and staff will be rolling around laughing at the thought that I am even thinking about trying to be more patient. And I admit, I am only attempting to be more patient. I haven’t got anywhere near there yet.

coffee computer
Some things have changed, some things haven’t: It’s coffee now instead of Coke Zero, but the computer is still my lifeline. Image: Niki Bruce

As for next semester, next year and beyond …
I’m strongly hoping that as the course moves out of foundation subjects and into more specialised and targeted information I will find my brain taken up with a whole range of new and difficult things to think about.

I am still planning on heading back to Singapore to take over Lasalle’s Fashion Media course – as long as Circe will have me!

And more and more I’m thinking about the importance of fashion brands having access to professional media, marketing, and brand-building skills. Will I create something like Fashion East? Or will I work more on developing professional courses for graduate designers who have gone straight into business? Maybe I’ll set myself up as a consultant.

After all, everyone knows I’ve always got something to say about everything … And that I’m always right. 🙂

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