Posted in All things 301, Intern advice, student life, Uncategorized, Uni work, Written by Lauryn

Useful apps/programs you probably already have!

There’s so many great programs and apps out there for student life. From studying to organization, there’s a computer program or a phone app for just about everything. However, the prices or subscription fees for these apps aren’t always student-friendly, or maybe that ancient Toshiba laptop isn’t up to running 18 different lots of timetabling software. Luckily for you, there are loads of apps that you probably already have access to (for free!) that are super helpful. I’m Lauryn, and I’m here to show you a few of them in today’s Intern Advice.

iBooks

It sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? But for the first year at uni, I bought all my books for my course second-hand. You know what’s cheaper than buying a used copy of A Tale of Two Cities for one week’s worth of classes? Downloading it for free from iBooks. Not only was it super convenient to be able to read on any device I happened to have with me (no more forgetting my books for seminars!) but I could annotate and highlight passages without getting precious about my beautiful hard copies of books. If you do a subject like Literature, Classics, or Philosophy, getting your books on iBooks is a no-brainer. Some of them will cost money, but a lot of the classics are free, and you’ll be surprised by just how many are on there! If you don’t have iBooks, click here for a great list of other places to find free books for your course (and not just for humanities! There’s some great science textbooks on there too!)

a gif of Damon from Vampire Diaries sarcastically saying

OneNote

Welcome to the program that has got me through three years of university. If you have Microsoft Office, you’ll have access to OneNote and it is so deceptively useful. For my degree, I read a lot of webpages and if I printed them all out to annotate them I’d be paying off my loans for my entire life. With OneNote, I can annotate and highlight webpages, make notes on them, and organise all my different pages into their own notebooks so nothing gets lost. If you don’t have Office, SimpleNote is a great free dupe.

Sticky Notes

This one sounds so silly, but you have no idea how many times it’s saved me. I’m notoriously forgetful and often leave books for seminars at home, or remember in the middle of the night that I have a big deadline coming up. The likelihood is, if you’re a student, you’re always on your laptop (and not always for academic reasons – I see you watching Netflix in your study breaks). For me, attaching a sticky note to my desktop reminding me of deadlines, to-do lists, things I need for classes, keeps me from forgetting them. Plus, the pastel colour scheme is just such a strong aesthetic.

YouTube

Keep reading because I have such a life hack for this one.

YouTube is so useful. I use it to listen to audiobooks for class, to watch educational videos (shout out to Crash Course for getting me through not only my GCSEs and A-levels but for explaining basics like poetic meter to me), and to watch demonstrations of techniques I haven’t quite mastered.

Life hack:

Make a separate account for everything work-related. ONLY use it for studying, and switch back to your normal account for procrastination and watching Vine compilations for nostalgia. That way, your academic account’s suggested videos remain primarily educational, meaning you’re less likely to get distracted by that ten-minute clickbait vlog. Plus, you don’t have to sift through hours of revision playlists in your Watch Later to find that random Buzzfeed video you were searching for.

Box of Broadcasts

You might have heard about this from your lecturers.

a gif oCaptain Holt from Brooklyn 99 saying

It’s such a good resource, so it’s getting a mention here too. You’re welcome.

Box of Broadcasts is a great site that allows you to (re)watch and record programmes from over 75 free-to-air channels and search an archive of over 2.2 million broadcasts. It’s a subscription service paid for by the university, so it’s totally free for you to use. All you need to do is sign in with your university information and you’re free to browse. I recommend making separate playlists for work and personal use. For example, I have playlists for documentaries, my dissertation, and one for old movies I like. You can even make clips from the things you watch, label them, and get personalised email alerts about new programmes you might be interested in. For me, making clips is really useful for presentations, as I can show my audience specific parts of a film or TV show without having to scrub through the whole episode or movie to find the specific part. It looks really professional and saves precious time.

LinkedIn Learning

Another one you have access to through the university now. When you think of LinkedIn, you probably think of job-hunting, and frankly that’s moved away from LinkedIn quite a bit now. I tend to look for positions on sites like Indeed or TargetJobs. However, LinkedIn has not said its final hurrah yet. If you watch YouTube, you’ve probably seen sponsorships for things like Lynda.com and SkillShare. LinkedIn Learning is a free alternative for students, jam-packed with thousands of accessible videos and tutorials for learning new skills such as statistical analysis, deductive reasoning, or use it for developing personal skills. For example, I did the course called Time-Tested Methods for Making Complex Decisions, because I’m super indecisive. The video on that course by Maria Konnikova about how to think like Sherlock Holmes was super useful to me, and helped me see new ways of assessing situations.

a gif from Sherlock of Mary with words overlayed to simulate Sherlock deducing things about her. Words appear such as 'clever' and 'liar' in white as the camera zooms in on her face.

Access LinkedIn Learning through MUSE. Go to View All Services then scroll down to LinkedIn Learning to get started right away.

And that’s all the tips I have for you today. In a world where we’re advertised to constantly about the newest program or the most high-tech app, sometimes it’s good to remember that simple and effective is just as good. Plus, it’s a good reminder we should never underestimate the power of Sticky Notes.

Posted in All things 301, Written by Chimmy

301 Study Skills Online

Did you know that you don’t have to go down to 301 to seek help? You can work from the comfort of your room using our study skills online. This online resource is easy to navigate as it is divided into sections which you would find useful at different times in your journey through university. For students fresh into university, the University Study resources are useful starting points to get you settled and ready to take on this new adventure that is University. At any point during your degree, the everyday skills and communication resources are useful as you can only improve on those. As the name of the section implies, skills like time management, reflective practice and even communication are also useful when dealing with situations not directly related to your studies like job applications!

A study resource I have personally found useful is the lecture recordings, all its benefits are extensively covered under the University Study section. Hey now! this is NOT an excuse to ditch lectures but a good one to use during personal study time or revision just as a refresher on what was taught or to go back to that section you might have missed out when checking your phone (yes, you) or even more enthusiastically taking down notes. Given that we are well into the second semester you should be aware of which lectures would be recorded, so take good advantage of this service if it is available to you. 

At some point at university, you will be required to write an essay or a report. The writing section provides an overview of academic writing as well as information on essay structure and planning, report writing and proofreading your work. Those with maths or statics modules are not left out! MASH (as you should hopefully know about by now) is there to help if you run into any kind of problems or if you just need a refresher or help whilst revising for exams. There are online resources on almost every topic and access to additional external resources like mathcentre. 

Fast forward to later in your degree when you start working on your dissertation (or you might have already started working on it) and you need all the help you can get. There is the research section just for this, that talks about effectively planning and completing your dissertation. It also includes top tips and brief descriptions of what each section of the report entails. Additionally, the Research section includes a link that explores PhD study at the university of Sheffield and the various options and opportunities available to you as a PhD student. 

newCheck out our digital workshops on Independent Study, Academic Writing and Maths Anxiety.

All of the skills section includes top tips how to effectively develop the skill. There also links to book on to the workshops where possible or a 1:1 tutorial if you feel like you need more help. Click the image to explore our online study skills resources.

study skills online

Posted in Uncategorized, Written by Sanchari

An Egg-cellent Easter

Are you staying in Sheffield over the Easter holidays? Are you afraid that you might not have much to do around here since your friends might be leaving for home?

DON’T WORRY!

Sheffield has plenty of things for you to do over Easter. I remember the first time I was in Sheffield and honestly, Sheffield looks like a ghost town without its students. Since I didn’t have much to do, I actually went out and explored Sheffield like never before.

So here are some of the things you can see or do in Sheffield over Easter (when you are a little free from all the term-time stress).

Mayfield Alpacas Animal Farm

Who doesn’t like to play with some cute Alpacas? Entry to this park in only £4.50 which would then lead you to a world of interesting animals from all over the world. A walk around the park enables you to see the whole variety of animals that are there at Mayfield Alpacas Animal Park, with plenty of helpful and informative boards full of interesting facts about the different kind of animals. When you visit you will be able to see Alpacas from South America, meerkats from Africa, exotic birds from every continent alongside horses and farm animals of every kind.

a gif of an alpaca. The camera zooms in on the alpaca and it winks.

It also offers fantastic views across the Mayfield Valley, so there really is plenty to see.
You can take a bus (Bus No. 181) from the Botanical Gardens which goes to a stop named Sheephill Road which is just 5 minutes walking distance from the farm. The whole journey would take you around 40 minutes from the Students’ Union.

Rivelin Valley

If you would like to look and relax in nature then this would be the perfect place for you to be. The trails in this valley are relatively easier (since it’s not steep) and short too. So if you fancy a good short walk in the midst of nature, this would be your place to be. The nature trail runs along the side of the rushing river which is surrounded by attractive woodlands. Along the way you’ll pass a series of weirs, and little waterfalls with a variety of interesting flora and fauna. This great park is free to visit, and boasts a nature trail, amazing woodlands, a cafe, playgrounds, FREE water splash and paddling pool in summer. You can take Bus No. 51 near the Students’ Union to go to this stop named Blackbrook Road, and it’s a 15 minute walk from there. The whole journey would take around 45 minutes.

a photo of a small waterfall in Rivelin Valley in Sheffield. Around the waterfalls are lots of very bright green trees. It looks peaceful.

Peak District – Padley Gorge

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Peak District if you’re living in Sheffield or you’ve probably even been there at least once. But you most probably went to places like Stanage Edge and Bakewell and so on. If you want a taste of visiting Middle Earth, Padley Gorge is the place to be. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, you’ll definitely feel like you’re on the sets of this film. This place has beautiful streams that you can walk through and meanwhile enjoy the forests surrounding you. The trail isn’t that steep either so it’s suitable for anyone really and it’s amazing!!

a photo of Padley Gorge in Sheffield. A rocky path runs through a forest of trees. The leaves on the trees have fallen off. The trees are covered in green moss and the sky is grey. It looks creepy.

Sports Sheffield sessions

‘I’m gonna start working out from tomorrow!’. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there at one point. If you were busy during your term time to get fit or try out something new, Sports Sheffield offers a really good recourse for that during Easter! You can try out their free sessions on Badminton or Squash and also try out the gym and swimming facilities. Just have an eye out on their page and you’ll be able to see all the updates and get fit during Easter!

So these are all the places I had visited during Easter since I had a little more time than usual during that period. If you have any other fun things to do around Sheffield, please leave a comment under this blog.
Else, get Egg-cited for Easter!!

a gif of some chocolate-dipped Peeps on top of shredded coconut. Above this, the words 'Happy Easter to my peeps' is written in calligraphy in pink, yellow, purple, and blue.

Love,
Sanchari