Clearing 2017 – what #TeamHallam is all about

Clearing can be a tense and difficult time for those involved, both in terms of the students getting their results and trying to secure their place at their chosen University and on their chosen course, but also for those on the receiving end of the calls and enquiries at the universities and colleges, trying to give people answers as soon as possible, and give them some good news about their further studies.

This year I was asked to take part in the clearing process at Hallam, helping with fielding enquiries coming through on Facebook. This was a new thing to come to Hallam this year – allowing students coming through clearing to apply to their courses through Facebook Messenger. I was also there as back-up for the giant light box that the student engagement team had arranged which I was curious about but, I expected to be inside in the clearing suites for the day, fielding applications on Facebook. After a little training session the week before Clearing, I was feeling confident about dealing with the applications we’d be getting so, on the morning of results day, I was feeling pretty tired after the 6AM start, but ready to get to it!

The complimentary breakfast rolls and plentiful tea and coffee on arrival to the clearing suites more than made up for the early start and I met up with colleagues as we set things up ready to start taking applications. Since things were a little slow on social media after I’d inhaled by bacon roll, I popped upstairs to Hallam Square outside the Owen building to see what was happening with the giant light box.

Now, when I heard there was a giant light box, I figured it’d be about the size of a generous flat-screen television. However, when I got there, I found it was actually about six feet tall! When slotting in the letters on the top row, I had to balance on my tip toes! From this point on the day just got better and better. As things stayed pretty quiet in terms of Facebook applications, I stayed with the giant light box all day!

The idea behind the giant light box was that, throughout the day we would be fielding Tweets from those who had been accepted into Hallam through clearing and were voicing their delight on Twitter using certain hashtags, including #GiantRT #TeamHallam and more. Certain Tweets would then be recreated in giant letters on the light box, we’d film the assembly of the Tweet on the light box and then send a fun, sped up version of this back to the person on Twitter. We had the Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union Sports and Activities Officers there to assemble the letters on the board and do fun dances, actions and silly things on the video. Which is why we ended up having the Sports Office Josh Nimmins doing the worm on a red carpet in Hallam Square!

As the Tweets came in I was preparing the strings of letters and numbers that would be needed to recreate the Tweet on the big board and later on when things got a little quieter, I had a turn being in the videos too! At around mid-morning the sun finally made an appearance in Sheffield and the beautiful sunny day we’d been promised arrived.Throughout the day various members of Team Hallam arrived to see what we were doing and have a chat with us, as well as members of the public and students. We had some great Tweets to recreate with multiple uses of various emoji’s and the word ‘buzzing’ which the team found pretty hilarious. I had such as ball just having fun with the team I was working with, other people working at Hallam that day and interacting with students on Twitter and enjoying the glorious sunshine.

Being a part of Team Hallam really makes you feel as though you’re part of something, everybody worked hard to help people get through clearing and the sheer joy coming through social media for students who will now be coming to Hallam was wonderful to see and be part of. Later in the day a member of the team went down to the Moor and came back with Krispy Kreme donuts for everybody, and then in the afternoon we ordered Dominos and just sat on the floor in Hallam Square, chatting and reading the Tweets that were coming through. It’s days like this that make you feel really glad to be part of Team Hallam, no matter what capacity that’s in and no matter how small your role might be, it’s just fantastic to be involved and feel like you’re making a difference. As well as having fun of course!

And as mentioned above, it was all made just that extra bit better by Sports Officer Josh doing the worm for us. So here it is!

Thank you everybody who was there for Clearing 2017, good luck and congratulations to everybody who’s coming to Hallam through clearing and I can’t wait to see some of you around campus. Also thank you to everybody who sent tweets in cause it would have looked a bit silly otherwise!