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Student story

Taylah Mawson

20 July 2023

"I want to one day have a chance to influence a community to make a change for the better..."


Bachelor of Science in Philosophy

Choosing UC was inspired a lot by the local area for Taylah, who wanted the best of Christchurch’s green lifestyle and opportunities around the corner.

"The environment was a real selling point for me. Being able to bus to a good surf beach is wicked," she says. "I really wanted to live in the garden city and not be located right in the centre of city action and tall buildings. I like to say Christchurch is a city in the making and really wanted to see it develop around me from the minute I came down on Open Day."

Taylah’s biggest priority with uni life is to use the connections available to make an impact on the community. Soon after enrolling, she received a UC Commurnity Award recognising her involvement and contribution with projects back at home, which includes funding support towards community-focused courses like CHCH 101, and exposure to the Student Volunteer Army.

Joining the SVA was easily one of the bigger highlights of her time here so far.

"After I got involved with them my time at university just got better and better," she says. "The Student Volunteer Army has been a great group to get involved in and it definitely makes studying in Christchurch uniquely awesome compared to other universities."

Another aspect of her involvement on campus was staying in one of UC's hall accommodation. Fostering more of her community spirit, Taylah has helped organise volunteering efforts with residents as part of the SVA, which saw her hall win the SVA Interhall Community Service Shield for 2016.

"I am so proud of my hall's achievements and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I have loved having the opportunity to run events if I feel like it as it really brings everyone together," she says.

Living in UC accommodation has been an integral part of her student experience, and Taylah highly recommends the opportunity to other students to make the most of it.

"I believe the hall you live in is just as important as the course you choose to study. It's where you spend all your time when you aren't in the library or class. Living on campus is just so handy as it makes it easy to nip back to grab a snack or even have a nap if you're dying from a late night of study. The security and the support from the staff is awesome.

"Your experience in UC accommodation will be whatever you make of it. Don't be afraid to have a voice and put yourself out there. Be the person you want to be, because this new community will be one that will support you for the years to come."

When it came to choosing a specialisation in study, Taylah aimed to get a taste of a range of subjects, to help develop her interests and experience.

"I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to study and I think that is the best thing about university," she says. "I believe it is a great opportunity to discover who I really am and get a heap of experience up my sleeve before diving into the deep employment stage of my life.

"I love that I have been able to keep my subjects quite broad. I have taken a mixture of biology, health education, philosophy, statistics and community papers this year and had them all count towards my degree."

She eventually decided on Philosophy as her major, due to its far-reaching and diverse topics of interest.

"The best thing about Philosophy is that you can go from talking about horoscopes to environmental stuff, to computers to humanity, depending on the courses you take. It's a great mix. The classes are small and interactive and I think being able to have a voice is awesome."

It’s no surprise that Taylah hopes to use the skills she will gain from Philosophy towards a career supporting the community.

"I want to one day have a chance to influence a community to make a change for the better. Ideally I'd like to achieve something that will leave a positive impact somewhere and do my part to make the world a better place. I believe the staff at UCA have given me everything they can to help me achieve this, along with the extracurricular activities available here at UC."

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