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Hi, I'm Elicia!

Friday 15 November 2019

Hi Guys! My name is Elicia and I am a current student at Sheffield Hallam University. I am in my second year of a Fine Art degree, and I also did a foundation year at SHU before this.

Before coming to Hallam, I stayed on at my school’s sixth form in a small town near Huddersfield, and studied Chemistry, Biology and Art. Over the years I have been interested in all sorts of careers, including; scientist/ tattoo artist/ morgue technician, at one point I was even filling out my UCAS application wanting to become a dental technologist (the people that make dentures!). In the end, I decided to pursue art because it was what I was most passionate about, and I knew I would love studying it.

I chose to do a foundation year so I could have some time before my undergraduate degree to really explore and settle upon which degree was right for me. This was a really great time for me as I was mixed with students that wanted to go into all different things; product design, fashion, illustration, etc. I ended up choosing Fine Art because it allows a lot of creative freedom. I like switching between mediums a lot, so I feel like the course suits me well.

My favourite part of student life is the fact that you have so much freedom to do whatever you want around your contact hours and studying. I remember in sixth form I felt like I was constantly studying and never had time for myself. Eat, sleep, revise, repeat. Now I always have loads going on! I love to keep myself busy, so in my free time I work as an Activity Officer and Student Ambassador.  I am also the President of the Fine Art Society and earlier this year I took up Olympic weightlifting, which I love!

That would be one of my top tips for university,  just give everything a go! I have found that being at Hallam you get so many opportunities; all you have to do is say yes to them! When I set up the Fine Art Society with the student’s union it was so easy to do! You just have to be proactive.

Being an Activity Officer has been really amazing for me. I get to go in to schools and colleges regularly and deliver talks and sessions both with others and by myself. I really enjoy the fact that I get to regularly exercise my public speaking, I remember at the start I found it a bit intimidating but now I love it! The skills I have improved while working as an Activity Officer especially came in handy for the Fine Art Societies first event- the Bob Ross Paint-a-long. This event was our debut, and we had a much higher attendance than expected. More than 70 people turned up, which was amazing! As I had experience in addressing large groups of people, I was able to still run the session we had planned and adapt to the needs of a larger group. 

That’s another tip for university- challenge yourself! When I got interviewed for the Activity Officer role, I wasn’t confident that I had secured the job, but I went for it anyway. Then when I got the job, I got scared. What if I’m out of my depth? Now I love every second of it and find it so rewarding! If I had never challenged myself to go for it, I would have missed out on so many opportunities.

A few more tips that spring to mind are;
  • Don’t be scared to try new things- there is always support if you need it!
  • Take advantage of all the discounts and offers you get as a student! (Unidays/ Student beans/ plus a lot of shops will offer 10% off with a student card!)
  • Make time for yourself AND getting your work done!
  • Cook yourself something other than pasta!!!
What are my plans for the future?

Hmm tricky one! Like many students, I’m not 100% sure on my career path. The one thing I do know is that since working a range of jobs at university I have found that I really enjoy working with college age students, and I love running workshops. I definitely do recommend trying out different job sectors if you can, as it has shown me what I do (and in some cases definitely don’t!) enjoy and would want to pursue in the future. Who knows, for the minute I am just enjoying all that being at university has to offer.

This post was written by Elicia Agar, a current student, student ambassador and activity officer at Sheffield Hallam University.
 
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