Tuesday, 28 November 2017


so I got rejected from Oxford.

and although I probably shouldn't be tarnishing my "academically perfect" image online, I feel like I have been documenting my application process on here and this step is necessary to address.

I worked so fucking hard on that application. Schooldays that extended until 7pm for entrance exam sessions and writing multiple drafts of essays to submit as written work. And although I shouldn't see it all as a waste, I do.

The letter came on Saturday when I was out all day exploring London with my lovely friend Katie (we had such a good day) but my mum didn't want to upset me that night after I'd had such a nice day. She showed me the letter today (sunday) and I just felt so disappointed in myself and that I had let everyone down because this so-called 'Oxford dream' had taken up so much of my time and so much emotion. I think I cried all the tears in me.

There's this massive expectation from some school friends and I am dreading this whole week of them asking "have you heard anything back yet?" and the subsequent answer to follow. Not only that is a few blog readers/friends who I feel like I've been a role model for. I mean this in the least self entitled way but a few younger bloggers come to me for school advice or have simply been following my academic journey and I feel like I have let them down because I have failed in entering my next "impressive" step...even though that's stupid because simply going to a certain institution does not dictate my worth at all.

So I cried for the next 45 minutes with my mum comforting me and telling me that everything happens for a reason, that better things are coming like possible offers from Durham, it's a blessing in disguise because I had only applied for history alone there and not history and spanish and if I want to take a gap year then I could always do that.

I think rejection is always a hard thing to deal with because you ultimately start to question yourself and your worth: "am I not good enough?" "why don't they want me?" but we always forget that rejection is a crucial part of growing and a lot can be learnt from the way you deal with it.

I am not familiar with failure or rejection. I am used to pure successes. I do not mean to sound conceited.

I am sad, there's no denying that but a few hours have passed and I'm beginning to rethink everything. Katie and I were discussing yesterday that if we both hypothetically got offers from Oxford and Durham, which would we go for? I said Durham because it would've been an offer for the course I really want to do (History and Spanish) as opposed to straight History at Oxford. I'm pretty sure that Katie said she'd pick Durham as it's only 20 minutes away from home but she'd also live with the fact that she passed an opportunity to go to the University of Oxford and I agreed. It's a weird one.

Perhaps I've made it much easier for myself for if I did get an offer from both, I would then be plagued with the massive decision between going to Oxford and not doing a course I completely want to do or picking any of my other options for my exact course combination.

If anything, this rejection has motivated me to work harder. I want to prove the history tutor that made this decision wrong, as petty as that may sound. And even though I probably won't put myself through reapplying because it's simply unnecessary and time consuming, I will definitely take this process as a learning experience. The possibility of a gap year will be on the cards as well, depending on the prospects of my UCAS track in the next few months. I know what I want to fill my gap year with, if I do take one but for now I shall continue to work as hard as I can and not focus on the "past"

As my mum said, I should take my time and not think about disappointing others (which is partly the reason why I was so upset at the rejection) This is my own university application and I should solely consider myself in it. At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason, as cliche as that may sound. Maybe I'm not yet ready for the academic rigour or perhaps this has saved me from undergoing 3 years and a whole lot of stress and debt over a course I don't entirely want to do.

Pity party is over.

For those of you who did get invited to interview at Oxbridge, I'm wishing you all the luck and sending over positive vibes- you can do it! 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

shoot #1

it's cold and grey outside and it's almost pitch black so I looked through my photo gallery and found some images from a shoot with Aina back in May. not only did this girl get me through english lit that year (although I've abandoned her now) she also has one of the craziest creative minds which are shown through her blog, videos and art a-level work as well. also, she's a pretty big advocate for racial, gender and animal equality...what's not to love? please support her by subscribing and reading her posts- we need more female, Asian representatives in the artistic world and Aina is definitely a worthwhile one!

can we ignore how ghastly pale I look...almost a sallow hue. this is what the British climate does to you...

hoped you liked the photos. make sure you look at Aina's stuff, I'm being serious. please do.


Friday, 10 November 2017

James Dean and my undying love

You see, I adore James Dean. Most comparable to the way my friend, Henrietta, has an undying love for Roger Federer, only Dean is dead and Federer is, well, not.

He is my true celebrity crush. I cry every time I watch an interview with him, not to sound dramatic. My true love for him was awakened when I saw a picture of him on pinterest (very white middle aged mum, I know) and was wowed until I googled him and found out that he'd died in the 50s. 

Heartbroken at age 13- not good.

I then went on to watch all of his films (although judging by the nationwide love for him in Morocco, I'm pretty sure I had watched them all before I reached the age of 10) I poured over written works about him by fellow actors and actresses (i read various "things you didn't know about James”...I recommend this one) and literally followed almost every Instagram account dedicated to him. I still write paragraphs dedicated to him every February 8. It sounds strange.

I would roast me too, don’t worry.
I used to hate those girls that would fangirl over One Direction or Justin Bieber, claiming it was stupid, overreactive, excessive and a waste of time and intellect. Now that I read this post over, I realise that I am one of those people that I love to hate.

For as long as I can remember, I always found the prospect of having an idol so trivial. So, superficial. Especially when they're a celebrity. But to me, James Dean doesn't feel like a superficial person to idolise because he is more than just his acting. He has a story, just like everyone else, which all add up and make him. From his childhood daddy issues, possible homo or bisexuality, weird relations with Marlon Brando (which can be psycho-analysed very deeply) his objection to fighting in the Korean War perhaps due to his Quaker faith, his lack of structure and everything else just makes him that more intriguing to me. Perhaps I'm living beyond my time, perhaps I was supposed to live through the 50s. Maybe then I would have been able to access James Dean in more ways that dusty books at the library or pop culture articles online which surged in popularity after Taylor Swifts' song mentioned him...

Dean died in a car crash. The way he wanted. "What better way to die? it's fast and clean and you go out in a blaze of glory." The most sadly, ironic interview I've watched: "be careful on the road, the life you might save might be mine" It's haunting because it's the last thing he publicly said before his death. But again, I think it completely contributes to him. James Dean was plagued with uncertainty. His death was another factor supporting that- the unexpectedness of it. The ironic and chilling nature of these words completely vouch for who Dean really was. Someone who went through life without knowing his end destination. The life you might save might be mine. The excessive use of "might" again hinting at the uncertainty and sentiments of pure chance. He knew he would die young. And for me, I have a feeling I might too (I say this in the least morbid and morose way possible) But then again, the whole use of might is a real pivotal word. Because you never know, especially with life and death and Dean himself. It's a tentative word. Not too strong, certainly not strong enough to put anything in setting stone.

I believe the James Dean archetype is well and truly present today. He iscultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement. We see the persona being transmitted through many major icons like (late) Kurt Cobain sharing the same quintessential nonchalance and rebellious style that are emblematic of Dean’s magnetic legend. 

I don't mean to be that typical angst filled teen but I truly feel like I reciprocate the nature of Dean. Not completely. But we share similar traits. A quiet, lone yet impactful aura. It is said that James Dean lived like a "stray animal" with no direction and sense of place and I feel that too. I don't know what I'm doing nor where my life will lead me to. Just like Dean.
I have subconsciously dressed the way Dean, even the general 50s era, did. We begin to become accustomed with our environment and culture and this is expressed through many ways, one being the way you dress. Your personal style. The 50s have (involuntarily) influenced me to dress how I do. 

I don't mean the generic pin-up, bouffant dresses. More on the masculine sphere of influence. 

Plain and simple. 
High waist, blunt cuts. 
Big, shapeless coats.
Straight leg denim.
Unadorned leather boots. 
White, cream and navy shirts and pull overs. 

I think that this alone shows the heavy impact of the films I watch, reports I read, history I learn and art I see has had on not only my style but in building up my personality.
It’s not a special day of James Dean’s life but I was looking through my old Facebook page (very 2011 of me) and saw that I had shared lots of photos of him and I thought, why not do so on here. 

He was not cut from the typical fabric of the “American man” He rejected hyper-masculinity and made up for it through his acting. He was kind and warm hearted and vulnerable. So now you’ve read me expressing my outward feelings admiration for this guy which calls for a very niche post. 
My blog is a reflection of me and who I am. I found it so strange that I'd never mentioned my literal love of Dean until now because it's such a big part of my identity.

"oh, it's Dalal going on about that dead guy again" 

Even though this probably won't get many views or engagement at all, it's something personal to me and something sentimental. I want to digitally home it on my blog.

My favourite male* thinks it's a cool quirk. I think it's pretty cool too. It's rare to find fellow fanatics who aren't either dead or much older than I am. If anyone reading this loves him as much as I do and happen to be 17, can we please meet up and organise a trip to Indiana ;)


*to stop friends who may be reading this post from interrogating me on who the boy is ;)