I sort of ended up at Essex almost by accident. I nearly missed the cut-off point for UCAS, and only got my application in the day before. I was originally going to study the double-degree in French and English law at another university, but in the end I decided to do straight LLB Law at Essex. Now I know that if I had done the double diploma, I wouldn’t have been able to develop my English skills to the extent that I have, or been able to take a sabbatical year to work in the Students’ Union. It just goes to show that the path you take really is what you make it, because I wouldn’t have imagined back then that I would end up as SU President. Everything really does happen for a reason.
I don’t believe work is the be-all-and-end-all of life. I love my job, but I have hobbies that I’m really avid about too, like travelling and performing in theatre. I’ve been reading a book lately about a guy who has this brilliant mechanism for his life, where he works on and off for a few months at a time. I’d like it if I was able to do that in my life, to balance all my different passions. I’m also really passionate about human rights, so when I finish my period as a sabbatical officer, I’m hoping to study for a Masters in human rights law, while attending an acting school part time.
I really think that our SU is one of the best in the country, if not the world – and I’m not just saying that, I have the statistics to prove it! I think a lot of people see the Students’ Union as a means to having a good time, which of course it is, but it’s also so much more than that. Being able to work towards tackling the issues that students care about, like cost of living, accommodation and mental health, really makes my job worthwhile. The SU belongs to all students, and they’re empowered to make change within it. Without students, the University wouldn’t be here.
I find it amazing that I’m only 22 years old, and I’m at the forefront of this fantastic organisation. I have big shoes to fill, because my predecessor, Zoe, was excellent at her job. You have to cram so much into just one year, so I think that will be a big challenge. But Zoe has shown me what a President can achieve, and I’m really excited to get into it and make my own mark on the role. I think this Students’ Union has so much potential.