When I first walked into the SGO office in September 2022 I didn’t quite know what to expect. While I knew that I was passionate about sustainability and that I wanted to make some form of impact on the university, I didn’t know that I would also end up meeting some of my best friends. But from the first few events I worked, I realised that this was an environment where I could build my confidence, be supported in running events, and laugh a lot.
Having my first year during COVID meant that I began second year still lost on campus, not really knowing my place, nor how to make the impact and difference I wanted to. Being able to be a part of the Student Green Office meant that in third year I have made an impact after settling into campus and forming friendships, and I had the confidence to apply for future jobs.
Before the SGO I wasn’t quite sure whether sustainability was a career path that I was suited for. As someone that wasn’t scientifically gifted, the looming figures and the extensive papers on climate change and the negative effects of humanity was daunting. Yet now I have found that supporting the welfare of others and making the world more accessible can be intertwined into the huge umbrella of sustainability and that I am capable of working within sustainability. This realisation has shaped the jobs I apply for, the further education I have researched and my general outlook; I’ve learnt that the changes made do not always have to be ground-breaking and instantaneous, that sometimes they will be giving out pizza or making tote bags, and that each message we give can be powerful in their own manner. Every experience I have had at the SGO has been filled with so much laughter and friendship, from the weekly meetings to the stands in Touchdown, and each time I have learnt so much.
While the world, and even the university, is too big to set my sights on fixing, my time at the SGO has taught me that small acts can make an insurmountable difference, even if it’s just through providing students free food or the opportunity to do crafting; conversations can be had surrounding sustainability and the beginning seeds can be planted, which can make a grand difference, because without people teaching me about sustainability, I would have been lost in the narrative of the news. Yet now this isn’t the case, this is something that makes me strive to attend events and organise, to begin that first conversation, because it can make a world of difference.
The year at the SGO has empowered me to recognise that even the smallest of steps can change your portion of the world while giving the opportunity to holistically grow. In the craziness of my third year, the Student Green Office provided me ample opportunity to have a break and generate my energy into different causes while also having much needed time with friends. I can whole-heartedly say that having the opportunity to be in SGO has giving me so much more confidence, provided me with the chance to organise events and provided me with a forward-thinking outlook. It transformed my third-year experience and I am so grateful that I had this opportunity, because not only am I leaving with a multitude of new skills, I am leaving having made great new friends and planning exciting summer adventures.
I would recommend to anyone in the university to consider joining Student Green Office because it is beyond just a job at the university, you have the chance to organise events, network, develop and meet people you may not have met previously. While, also being a part of a welcoming and inclusive team who will encourage you and motivate you to thrive and professionally grow.
If you’re interested in joining the 2023/24 Student Green Office, our recruitment period is open now!
By Amber Tydeman, SGO Projects Officer #livingwell