The University Dad

After leaving his job in corporate sales, Roagan Hall decided to pursue his dream career in the film industry. Two-years-ago he decided to study BA Film and Media at Sheffield Hallam University after becoming inspired by his first-born son to follow his dreams.

Roagan (27) worked full time in a well-paid job in Manchester to provide for his family, including son Bradaigh who is now two-years-old. But he said he was always working and wanted something more.

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Roagan and son Bradaigh, 2015

“When Bradaigh was born,” he says, “it sparked something inside of me that made me want to change my life and follow my dreams so I can inspire him to follow his dreams, too.”

In September 2016, he moved to Sheffield with his family and went back to university to study his passion for filmmaking. But in the run-up to the start of his first semester, he and his partner found out they were expecting their second child.

Roagan admits he was petrified deep down. He said: “I’d given up a good job to become a student and study, but I kept that feeling to myself. I questioned whether I was doing the right thing by going to university, but if I didn’t go now I never would.”

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Roagan, Bradaigh and Leo

In April 2017 the couple had welcomed their second son, Leo.

So what’s a typical day like for him? And how does he manage his time between childcare and university?

“I wake up early to get ready, then I wake my sons up to spend some time with them. I go in early and finish early so I can pick Bradaigh up from nursery and read to him before he goes to sleep.”

“I often miss freelance events because they start at five and that’s when I spend time with my sons getting them ready for bed”

“At the start of uni I was getting Firsts but towards the end of the semester I was getting 2:1s because I felt I needed to be home more. If I had writers’ block when I was writing scripts, I used to go for a walk to clear my mind. But when Leo was born, I’d think I should be spending that time with him.”

Roagan is studying full-time which involves 12 hours of lectures and seminars, not including group projects and other course-related work.

He said: “I’m a workaholic but my deadlines don’t move, so I have to spend a lot of time doing a bit of work each day.”

“I try to be someone that my eight-year-old self would be proud of,” he says, “so I put in the hard work. Some people don’t turn up for a lot of the lectures or seminars, but I make sure I’m there every day putting in the effort.”

Roagan is now in his Second year and makes short films such as one of his first-born sons’ life, going for walks and learning about the world.

He’s planning on creating more so he can one day show his sons and teach them about morals and that it is okay if they struggle at times:

“Life is like running a race, it is always hardest halfway through. I’m there now, but I wouldn’t change anything. Bradaigh and Leo are the best things that could have ever happened to me.”

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