These next few blog posts are inspired by an assignment which I was given in my Creative Writing module in first year: to inspire us to write a 1,000 word non-fiction personal essay, we were given a long list of random nouns, as a starting point. For example, I remember choosing ‘sulphur’ as my inspirational word; the oddity of the topic made it a challenging but interesting task! So, in the spirit of this, I have decided that my weekly August blogs will spark from randomly generated nouns, and I will see how my non-fiction writing has improved!
This week’s word is ‘silver’. Instantaneously, I knew exactly what ‘silver’ meant to me and how it might be good material for a blog post. And, even better, it’s about my experience at the University of Leicester! Which, you know, is pretty good for a university student blogger.
‘Silver’ makes me think of piercings. Heavily leaning towards an alternative fashion sense, of course I’m a big fan of piercings. Currently, I myself have seven ear piercings – four lobe and three helix – though I have had three additional helix piercings, an eyebrow bar and a gill, which is a surface piercing. Whilst I’m also a huge fan of black jewellery, I love the look of lots of silver labrets and bars, so that explains my subconscious link between ‘silver’ and piercings.
But it wasn’t until I came to Leicester that my knowledge and interest in piercings expanded. Alongside my degree, I decided that I wanted to develop my CV and earn a bit of extra money on the side, so I applied for a job in an alternative retail store, which happened to also do piercings. As a result, I needed to study up on this new topic whilst I learnt my way around the job: what types of piercings there are, what sizes, what kinds of jewellery, the procedure for piercing, and the way in which they are sold. This proved challenging, as I had to do this in practice, rather than in theory – the only way to learn was as I served customers, and this really cemented the knowledge in my brain. Although I was rusty when I started, both my determination to learn and the assistance from my colleagues meant that I rapidly improved, and I came to love what I was doing. All surrounding a load of silver.
This job taught me a lot of things; but the piercing aspect not only taught me how much of a passion I have for the practice, but it also highlighted how an unexpectedly specific experience could develop transferable skills. While interacting with customers about a topic which I had not fully grasped, I expanded my people skills in articulation and relating to people, along with the ability to think on my feet when the situation demands it. So, though I may not go into a career surrounding piercings, the experience itself taught me a lot and gave me invaluable additional skills.
These kinds of opportunities come aplenty at university, whether you decide to get a part-time job, join a society, take a voluntary job or become involved in a project. They are a very useful part of the university experience, along with the degree and socialising, as the skills learnt will aid and advance you in the workplace. I would very much encourage you to grab the bull by the horns and seizing the opportunities that interest you!
And all that from ‘silver’!
What does ‘silver’ make you think of? Does piercing interest you? What opportunities are you excited for at university? Please leave a comment down below!