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Humans of Charles Sturt: Sarah Rigby-Pierse

Humans of Charles Sturt: Sarah Rigby-Pierse


‘A lot of things interested me as a child growing up. I tried a bit of everything within my local community. I put my hand up for anything and everything I could.’

Interviewed and written by Charlotte Penhall

We continue the Humans of Charles Sturt series by sitting down with our next student driven piece, Sarah Rigby-Pierse…

‘During Session 1 in 2022, I met a wonderful student at our Port Macquarie campus, Sarah Rigby-Pierse. While we originally met through mutual friends, she quickly turned into one of my best friends and is one of the nicest people I’ve met.

From our friendship over the past year, I believe Sarah has a few things that other students would find relatable.’

Here’s everything you need to know about Sarah as a Human of Charles Sturt, from what’s inspired her to what she wanted to be when she grew up and everything in between.

What is your name and what are you studying?

‘My name is Sarah Rigby-Pierse, and I’m currently in my second year of studying a Bachelor of Education (K-12), specialising in visual arts.’

Humans of Charles Sturt - Sarah Rigby-Pierse
Humans of Charles Sturt – Sarah Rigby-Pierse

What do you love most about studying and your course?

“What I love most about studying here at Charles Sturt is that it’s very flexible. What I love most about my course though, is that I get to learn new things every day that I will then be able to pass on to my future students.”

What does a typical day look like for you?

‘Well, I start the day by waking up and having some breakfast before going to enjoy the sun and surf before my classes. I take a short walk to go to my classes in the afternoon since I live on campus. After that, I come back and cook up a mad feed for dinner before finishing off the day hanging out with my fellow dorm mates or my partner.’

Sarah and her friends.
Sarah and her friends.

Where are you from?

‘I’m from Grafton, where I lived for most of my life before moving onto the Port Macquarie Residence in February 2022.’

What were your interests as a child growing up?

‘A lot of things interested me as a child growing up. I tried a bit of everything within my local community. I played soccer competitively for many years and didn’t slow down in school either. I put my hand up for anything and everything I could. Swimming carnivals, dance, and my high school SRC team. I absolutely loved going to school.’

As a child, what did you aspire to be growing up?

‘Originally I wanted to be a fashion designer due to my love of drawing, but then I realised I would have to learn to sew. So that quickly stopped. I then wanted to join some sort of force. These were jobs like the police, fire brigade, and air force. Finally, once I hit high school and to this current day, I want to become a teacher.’

Who has influenced you most in your life?

‘While there has been a couple of people who have influenced me throughout my life, my family has influenced me the most. Especially my mum for being a strong single parent and pushing me to achieve anything I put my mind to. My family always supports me and it has helped me become the person I am today.’

Sarah and her family.
Sarah and her family.

What advice would you give to students starting at university?

‘Have fun. This is a time when you gain independence and get to discover your interests and who you are as an individual.’

What’s your biggest challenge now or what’s the biggest challenge that you’ve overcome? & How do you like to de-stress from these?

‘At the moment I’m finding my biggest challenge is staying motivated but I’m getting there. Going into tertiary study can be daunting for someone inexperienced with the workload of full-time study. While I’m still trying to find the happy medium between leisure and study, to de-stress I like to go for a drive while blaring music and singing my absolute heart out!’

Sarah and her friends.
Sarah and her friends.

In your life thus far, what has been the biggest life lesson you have learnt?

‘You can’t please everyone. Stop sacrificing your own needs for others just for gratification. Being happy is based solely on being your true self.’

Do you have something planned for the next year that you are very excited about?

‘Well it’s not exactly next year but in the next twelve months for my birthday, I plan on visiting the snow and trying skiing for the first time with friends and family. At the moment I’m thinking about Thredbo.’

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

‘While it wasn’t just for me, Harry Styles once said to a heartbroken fan ‘fill up your own cup, and let them fall in love with the overflow’.’

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

‘As a true Australian, I have to say it’s Vegemite.’

Humans of Charles Sturt - Education student (and artist) Sarah Rigby-Pierse.
Humans of Charles Sturt – Education student (and artist) Sarah Rigby-Pierse.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
‘I would have to say my greatest accomplishment is getting into my dream course at university, through the Charles Sturt Early Advantage. So I luckily didn’t have to worry about my ATAR.’

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
‘I would happily eat my mum’s spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread and a glass of milk for the rest of my life if I had to. Don’t judge me!’

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
‘Where I see myself in five years is teaching art in a rural school, and instilling my passion in the next generation.’

Anything else you’d like our readers to know about you
‘If you’re based on the Port Macquarie campus and you spot me, don’t be afraid to say hi! I don’t bite.’

A final note

A huge thank you to Sarah for being a part of our Humans of Charles Sturt blog series! We wish you the very best with your studies at Charles Sturt, and we can’t wait to see you inspiring the next generation of artists.

If you or anyone you know would like to participate in our Humans of Charles Sturt series, please reach out and email us at

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