Teenager turns her Oxford rejection letter into abstract art

Rejection is something that we all have to learn to deal with at one point or another - but teenager Claudia Vulliamy bounced back much better than many of us would. After the University of Oxford sent her a rejection letter, she turned it into an abstract artwork that won social media's praise.

The 18-year-old Londoner had applied to read classics at the university's Wadham College. While a successful application would have seen her starting this September, it was instead a feared rejection letter that fell through her letterbox. Thankfully, she wasn't too disheartened.

A creative daughter and a proud mother

Vulliamy told BBC News: "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." She explained to ITV News that, once she had cut out lines from the letter, it took only 15 minutes for the painting, which combines the lines with blocks of colour, to come together.

Claudia's mother, Louisa Saunders, was proud. She recalled finding the painting "actually quite cheerful", and observed: "A slightly bad thing happened and she made that out of it."

In fact, she was so proud that she posted an image of the artwork to her Twitter page... and was soon stunned by the public response. She said: "Usually nobody bothers with my Twitter. As soon as I clicked off the post in the very first minute there was all these notifications."

Twitter reacts with delight

So far, her tweet has been retweeted over 51,000 times and received over 158,000 likes. Other tweeters were very complimentary; @Cushlab1 remarked: "Looks to me like she would be great at Fine Art." @GreenJennyJones enthused: "She doesn't need a place at Oxford, she needs her own gallery exhibition."

However, it was not just the art itself, which has been likened to the work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, that won plaudits. To many people, it was a reflection of her great attitude to a setback.

@frankcottrell_b commented: "The key to greatness is learning to handle rejection - never seen anyone handle it better!" @istiredoflife quoted inspirational words from the poet Sylvia Plath: "I love my rejection slips. They show me I try." @HolSmale said reassuringly: "I didn't get into Cambridge and it's harmed my life and career not one single jot. She'll do brilliantly."

A feel-good story all round

Claudia, who currently studies at North London's Camden School for Girls, also received lots of supportive messages, to which she was "pretty shocked" but "really happy". She said: "Usually social media can be quite brutal but it made my week. In retrospect I quite like how it is interpreted as Oxbridge doesn't determine everything, I like that it's cheered people up."

She has another big reason to be pleased: despite Oxford's rejection, she has since accepted a place to study classics at Durham University. She revealed: "I hadn't set my heart on Oxford I'm happy I got an offer from Durham." Claudia, we hope you get the grades you need - you definitely have the right attitude to go far.