YOUTH ADVOCATE. CHANGE MAKER.

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Paige. Law and Business.

What inspired your studies?

I’ve been passionate about advocating for other people for as long as I can remember. One of my biggest goals is to get more young people onto boards. I think it’s really important that youth have a voice and play a real role in the decisions that get made.

How are you making your own voice heard?

I’m the youngest and only South Island member on the Ministry of Youth Development Partnership Fund Board. I’m also deputy chair of Youth Voice Canterbury and was past chair of the Selwyn Youth Council. Plus I’m one of the youngest Rotarians in the country. It’s good to be busy!

Those must take up a lot of time, how do you fit it all in?

UC has been perfect for being able to manage everything. Your schedule is really independent here. You have set lecture times but you can study when it suits you. I’m actually getting better grades at UC than I did at high school! I also know that if I did fall behind there’s support here to help me.

It sounds like you’ve made it work for you!

I love the balance between independence and support at UC. Personally, I’m a really independent person, but if you need help it’s there. You can get extra tutoring if you need it, you can go to the Academic Skills Centre in the library and the lecturers are super approachable too. You can tailor your approach – independent study, full support, or a mix of the two.

"I’m really passionate about combining law and community initiatives to make change."

What have you enjoyed most about being a UC student?

The chance to pursue what I find fascinating. I struggled with motivation in Year 13 but being here has reignited my passion for learning. I love doing the assignments because I feel like there’s a purpose to them. I’ve also been given the chance to go overseas which was really exciting.

Overseas, wow! Where did you go?

I went to a university in Beijing for five weeks. In high school I never dreamt that I’d be able to go overseas as a first-year student. Nine of us from different degrees all went together. It was a great chance to meet a cross-section of different people.

Beyond uni, what are your aspirations for the future?

I’d love to be a lawyer. My big goal is to get a bill passed one day that makes bullying policies compulsory in schools. I think it’s essential, especially these days with social media such a constant presence in young people’s lives. I’m really passionate about combining law and community initiatives to make change.

What advice would you give those starting at UC?

Go for opportunities in first year, even if you don’t think you’ll get them. So many students don’t apply for things because they think it’s too soon. UC is truly a world of opportunities. Get stuck in!