Spirit of Sussex Award -Psychology Nominees: Shannon Plant

The Spirit of Sussex Award (SoSA) Connector team has been in contact with Psychology students to highlight their impressive extra-curricular activities. This month the SOSA Connector team wish to highlight the activities of Shannon Plant, a second-year Psychology with Neuroscience student. 

This is what Shannon had to tell about her activities outside her course:

Have you been a part of any societies whilst at Sussex? If so, which ones, why did you join and what did you do for them? 

Yes! I joined the board games society when I joined Sussex, however more recently I joined the neuroscience society, created their discord server and organised their first social event (I even made the poster for the event!)  

What are the best things about being a part of those societies? 

I think the best part of being in any society is being able to talk to like-minded people and have intellectual discussions that aren’t assessed and as such are much more relaxed.  

What have been your personal highlights at Sussex outside of class time?

I think a big personal highlight was joining the active US beginner’s running group in my foundation year, as I had never run before and it helped me really get into running – I run 6 days a week now!  

What have you been doing during lockdown?  

During lockdown, I started a small business selling stickers I had manufactured based on designs I’d created. It really helped me continue to have things to do and look forward to, as well as developing organisational skills, digital marketing skills, building a network of friends selling their artwork online in the UK and slowly learning how to create digital art! I still have a lot to learn, but it is extremely fun and satisfying to see my progress and seeing products I’ve created being used and enjoyed by people across the country and in the US. 

What motivated you to get involved in those activities? Where do you hope to take your activities in the future?  

I was motivated to start a business by becoming more interested in art communities on social media and seeing small businesses that they had built. I also really enjoyed challenging myself to invest in it and see how much I was able to grow. In future I am planning on expanding with more designs and eventually a wider array of products, I’d also like to try to find ways to make my small business as eco-friendly as possible, so I’ve been hunting around for UK and EU manufacturers that have similar values while I have been closed. 

As for running, it became a really good tool over lockdown to help with my mental health, and I have since started challenging myself to get further and further each month hoping to work up to being able to run a half marathon soon – although I have a long way to go! 

How else have you been staying busy/connecting with others during lockdown?   

I’ve been staying busy during lockdown by focusing on school, sharing revision resources and trying to arrange occasional study sessions over discord. I have also been running a D&D campaign once a week and caring for my grandmother to connect with others.  

Have you done any charity work in the past 12 months? If so, what did you do to raise money for those charities?  

I raised £100 for Kent Surrey Sussex air ambulance over January by participating in their Run31 challenge! The challenge was to run 31 miles over the whole month and I ended up at over 100 miles. I think I was inspired by the air ambulance in particular, as it is local and what they do is extremely important. 

Do you have a part-time job at University? If so, what is it, and what do you do in the role? 

I have a part-time job working at my local village club! I essentially manage the bar for the members, it’s very small so I know everyone there (and what they drink!). Being friendly and remembering what drinks they like (and how they like them) is most of what I do. However, I was also hired as a cleaner there before lockdown. I have also recently been put in charge of their social media presence but as we aren’t open, I haven’t done much yet aside from setting up the Facebook page and designing the new profile picture! 

Are you feeling inspired? Log onto the Spirit of Sussex Award website to start logging points for your own extra-curricular activities to secure a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. The award is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students at Sussex, and you will receive your certificate at your Graduation ceremony.

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