On the day of defending his doctoral thesis, graduate student Caitlin Kirby did not hesitate to publicize her failures. She wore a dress made of letters that universities, scholarships, conferences rejected her over the years. The girl wore a skirt from 17 letters of refusal on her doctoral thesis defense.
Caitlin Kirby defended her thesis on earth and environmental sciences on October 7 at Michigan State University (MSU). In a photo posted to Twitter, Kirby revealed that the dress she wore on the day that successfully defended her doctoral thesis was “unique.”
Interesting photos quickly attracted many people interested with more than 23,000 likes. “I successfully defend my doctoral thesis today!“, Caitlin Kirby wrote. In the spirit of frankly admitting and normalizing all failures in going to the doctorate degree of the top American school, the graduate student made her own and wore a skirt based on the letters that rejected her.
The dress consists of 17 letters of refusal – from scholarships, academic journals and conferences – folded, connected to form a skirt. The skirt Kirby wore on the day to protect her doctoral thesis was made from 17 letters she was rejected from universities, scholarships, conferences.
According to Kirby, she wants to wear a skirt as a reminder of the failures she has experienced – the paving the way for her success today.
“Every time I look back at all those old letters to make a dress by myself, I am reminded that I must memorize the lessons of failure to succeed,” she told Lansing State magazine. .
“Failure is a natural part of every journey. The letters of refusal did not discourage Kirby, it helped me identify my own shortcomings, improve myself and persevere to achieve important achievements, ”said Professor Julie Libarkin – female instructor shared research.
In addition to completing his doctoral thesis, Kirby also received a scholarship through the Fulbright Program for Research in Urban Agriculture. Professor Libarkin rated the scholarship as an improvement after many times Kirby was rejected.
The image of Kirby wearing a public dress of nearly 20 letters was rejected by many social network users for her positive spirit, inspiration and humor when she was rejected.
“Congratulations Kirby! I have been going through some difficulties and getting rejected many times recently, so I’m glad to see the image of your dress,” one user wrote.
Speaking to The Independent, Kirby expressed surprise – the dress “resonated more with people than I imagined”.
It seems that creative ideas and an open mind, a willingness to accept failure/rejection are very helpful to each person in any creative, academic or professional activity!
”Many people contacted me and told me about the recent denials they received. They were also excited by the way I faced my rejection,” said Dr. Kirby.