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#GoodbyeTNS - A beacon of light, when I'd given up all hope

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As The National Student closes its doors at the end of the week, current Lifestyle Editor Ruby Naldrett tells us what the platform means to her.

My last ever piece for The National Student. It's hard to find a place to start...but I guess it makes sense to go back to the very beginning. 

Throughout school, I'd struggled with maths and science to the point where my science teacher actually told me she didn't think I'd even get into college. (I've just graduated with a BA Hons in Journalism - so in your face Miss). English was my only escape. In the day I'd write stories upon stories, and at night I'd escape into a book where I could be anyone I wanted to be. Whether it was strolling the grounds of Pemberley with Elizabeth Bennet or growing up alongside the March Sisters in New England.

My love for writing meant only one thing to me: I had to be a journalist. Since I was a child, it's all I've ever wanted to be. My grandmother would clean houses for a family, who would let me have copies of their old Vogue magazines when they were done with them. I was four years old, gazing at pictures of beautiful women in even more beautiful clothes and I knew - I just knew that I had to be a part of this world.

It was halfway through my first year of university, I was struggling more than I'd care to admit. Everyone promises you that you'll move away and find these amazing friends and the love of your life - but this isn't always the case. Days were spent hidden under the covers of my bed, ignoring the world and wishing to go home and be with my friends back home in my small town, where everything seemed so simple - in stark contrast to the London world I had been thrust into the middle of.  

I remember it so clearly, it was the 6th of December 2016. Sitting on the floor crying hysterically on the phone to my mother, I wasn't sure where my life was going. I wanted to drop out of university and go home. It was too much for me. I was on my laptop at the time, frantically refreshing my emails (a habit I still have - stemming from the painful day-to-day waiting to hear from UCAS back in college.) An email popped up from The National Student. My article had been published.

Ruby at the BAFTA // Image courtesy of Ruby Naldrett

It was a piece I had written a month or so ago, after applying for the writer's program and then forgetting. I didn't really know how it worked, and as I hadn't heard anything I just assumed they'd read my work and thought it wasn't good enough. But they had read my work - and they did think it was good enough. That day, my first ever piece was published - and I haven't looked back since.

Three years on, I've been through the ranks of contributor to fashion editor to lifestyle editor. I met my soul sister in Charlie, my fashion assistant and later fashion editor. We went to Graduate Fashion Week together where we sat front row, mingled with famous people at panel events - and sat in the member's bar (or as I called it - a cafe) at the Bafta's. I interviewed people and learnt the stories behind incredible brands. I met people who I never would have met if it wasn't for The National Student.

I am so incredibly proud of the work I achieved whilst at The National Student, and it's something I will remember for the rest of my career. They gave my confidence a boost - and without being dramatic, my life a purpose - when I felt like I didn't have one. 

To quote Lady Gaga, "There can be 100 people in a room, and 99 don't believe in you but one does. All it takes is one." The National Student, for me, was that one person. I now work full time in fashion social media marketing, and I have interned at British Vogue, The Sun and ITV and I know for a fact I wouldn't have even had the confidence to apply if it hadn't been for this platform. 

A final thank you to Camille Dupont and Lucy Miller - two powerhouse women who I could not have done this without. That's me and my gushing done. For now.

I think I've put that Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar speech to shame. 

Goodbye TNS, I will never forget you. 

 




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