When life gives you lemons, use it to make a work of art.
While that’s not quite how the saying goes, it’s precisely what one student did after receiving a rejection letter from the University of Oxford.
Claudia Vulliamy, 18, from London, had applied to study classics at Oxford’s Wadham College for the September 2017 intake.
However, instead of an offer letter, Vulliamy received a ‘no’.
But rather than shutting herself away in her bedroom and sulking, Vulliamy decided to incorporate the letter into a painting.
Her mother, Louisa Saunders, after being shown the art piece, shared it on Twitter, along with the caption: “Yesterday, my daughter learned that she hadn’t got into Oxford. By the time I got in from work, she’d made this from her rejection letter.”
Yesterday, my daughter learned that she hadn't got into Oxford. By the time I got in from work, she'd made this from her rejection letter pic.twitter.com/KCInrTA1OO
— Louisa Saunders (@louisa_saunders) January 12, 2017
“When I got home to see the painting, I laughed, because it was funny and also sassy,” Saunders told the Huffington Post.
“It was nice, because I could see that she wasn’t feeling too sad about the rejection. I know it breaks some people’s hearts,” she added. “I really admired her spirit, but I wasn’t very surprised because it’s fairly typical of her – she’s always been creative.”
Saunders’s tweet has since gone viral, and has been retweeted over 50,000 times and ‘liked’ more than 157,000 times at the time of publishing.
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 14, 2017
According to Saunders, her daughter wasn’t too distraught over the response from Oxford, as she actually favours Durham University, where she already has an offer and hopes to attend this Fall.
Vulliamy told the BBC that she hadn’t created the artwork with a specific message in mind: “I just thought I had this letter, it’s not often that you get a letter dedicated to you from Oxford.
“It’s very meaningful, so I thought it would be funny if I made it into something.”
The painting has since received quite the reception, with many sending Vulliamy messages of support and stories of how they overcame rejection.
@louisa_saunders She doesn’t need a place at Oxford, she needs her own gallery exhibition.
— Jenny Jones (@GreenJennyJones) January 13, 2017
— Gail Thornton (@GailThornton) January 12, 2017
@louisa_saunders I was rejected from Oxford & ended up at Durham too, got a first and loved it. Your daughter will have a wonderful 3 years!
— Andrew Barratt (@AndrewPCBarratt) January 15, 2017
@louisa_saunders I didn’t get into Cambridge and it’s harmed my life and career not one single jot. She’ll do brilliantly. 😊👍
— Holly Smale (@HolSmale) January 12, 2017
“In retrospect I quite like how it is interpreted as Oxbridge doesn’t determine everything, I like that it’s cheered people up,” said Vulliamy.