Posted in Intern advice, student life, Written by Sophie

Get involved in Social Sport!

No matter what your year of study is, Social Sport (in association with Residence Life and Sport Sheffield) is a great way to get active, make friends and have a laugh. Since being a Residence Mentor, I have found out a lot about getting involved in casual sport which does not require any commitment. It’s free if you live in any of the University Residences (Endcliffe, Ranmoor or City) and it’s really cheap if you don’t – often £2-£3. It doesn’t matter which level of ability you are for any of the sports, just go along and try it out!

You could relive a sport you enjoyed during school, build on your existing skills, or even try something completely new. It’s an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety, to get involved in something if you’re not sure what interests you, and meet like-minded people who want to get active and have fun. If your course is anything like mine, you might want to fill up your hours during the day, or blow off some steam after a long day of lectures in the evening.

Here are some examples of the Social Sport you could get involved in soon, and cater for lots of different interests:

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Amazing for combatting the typical student tiredness, releasing tension or concentrating on your breathing. There’s no need for previous experience, as the experts will take you through all of the correct techniques.

Quidditch

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A unique mix of rugby, dodgeball and tag! Obviously taken from the Harry Potter series, so it is definitely something that caught my eye. It’s exciting to both watch and play so go along and check it out!

Mountain Biking

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Off-road cycling, with a women’s beginners session too! Qualified leaders take you on basic off road trails around the Peak District and all bikes and safety equipment are provided. You will need to be able to ride a bike to get involved.

Ultimate Frisbee

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A fast-moving team sport, played with a flying disc and no referees. Sounds interesting! Some compare it to Soccer or American football, but it definitely has some unique features to set it apart.

Mindfulness and Meditation

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Similar to yoga, but are centred around helping people switch off from hectic student routines. There is a focus on achieving the best results to help you relax, and there is lots of practical advice and tips.

To get involved and book onto sport, visit http://www.residencelife.co.uk/how-to-book-residence-life-sports-and-activities_34103 which tells you all about booking. It’s important to do it a week in advance, as they get full really quickly!

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Posted in Intern advice, Written by Valerie

And so it begins…..

Monday was the start of lectures here at Sheffield and the official start of the academic year. So, it’s time to get organised! – If you’re not already.

Make sure you request the books you need from the library and remember you need to pick them up within two days of your request being authorised.

Now is also a good time to think about any academic skills you need to brush up on. It’s always best to stay ahead, don’t wait for things to become a problem. If you have concerns about any of your academic skills book yourself onto an Academic Skills Workshop at 301. Workshops run throughout the academic year and cover various subjects: Time Management, Academic Writing, Mind Mapping and Presentation Skills are just a few of the subjects covered. You can book here https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301/services/workshops

It’s also important that you don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed or stressed by your workload. The counselling service runs weekly sessions on stress reduction and mindfulness that are really helpful. The sessions are designed to help you relax and also equip you with techniques to control your stress levels. The sessions are also a drop in, so you don’t need to book. More info here, https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/counselling/services/workshops/relaxation

 

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Posted in Extracurricular, Intern advice, student life, Uni work, Written by Sophie

Balancing part-time work/activities alongside your studies!

For many of you, getting part-time work or undertaking extra-curricular activities is really important for developing your skills and getting that extra cash alongside your studies. Working at the 301 skills centre and as a Residence Mentor has made me realise the importance of balancing various deadlines and shifts, and how much employers value this. Here are a few tips that I have put together which have helped me throughout my few years at University, and how you can reduce stress-levels during exam periods.

  • Find a student-friendly job or activity with managers that understand how important your studies are to you.

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An obvious one is getting a university job. There are a number of different departments around the university that are always employing people, and an easy one to get is an ambassador job. I worked for the School of English as an ambassador and worked on Open Days, UCAS fairs, or introductory seminars. The Students’ Union is also usually hiring, in the various shops/eateries they have. You might even find research jobs or placements that pop up in your department, which require you to work 100 hours, for example. Keep an eye out on the Careers Service ‘Career Connect’ page, which all students have access to. If you do decide to go for a job with an external company, make sure they know which hours you intend to work. The University recommends 16 hours or less, and I’ve found that doing evening shifts allows me to do course work during my free hours in the day. See what works for you!

  • Organise your life!

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Now that I am a Masters student, I know how easy it is to lose track of what you have going on and when. I now have a wall planner, a diary, and various to do lists dotted around my bedroom, because I know it’s the only way I’ll know what I’m doing and when! We also have Time Management workshops at 301 which are now bookable at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301/services/workshops, with the first one starting on 27th September, 1.15pm. It gives you realistic and practical tips for managing your time and being more productive, which can help you organise your activities around your studies! I always make sure that I write down all of my shifts as soon as I know them, as well as any deadlines, appointments, society meetings, etc. Even using your smartphone to write everything down is a good idea!

  • Know that it’s okay to have multiple breaks.

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It’s so important to know when you need a break, and when you need to ask for help. There are so many times where I have bottled my stress up and I could have easily talked to someone. There are many services across the University, but even just talking to a friend or personal tutor can really help put things into perspective. It sounds simple but sometimes I just needed reminding that there are people around who can help! Also, never feel guilty about taking breaks throughout the day – you know your own body and mind, and when it needs a rest. If that means taking a full day off your studies/activities, then go ahead! As long as your work or activity is not taking over your studies of course!

  • Just need the skills? Volunteering is an excellent way to get them!

If you just need the skills and development that a job can give you, then signing up to activities at the Sheffield Volunteering office is an excellent way to gain them. I have done a few activities with children and it really helped me to figure out whether teaching was right for me. Not only can it help figure out what you want to specialise in, but it’s incredibly rewarding and the hours you work are not meant to impact your studies in a negative way. I did a few hours a week at a project combatting homelessness last year, and it gave me that much needed boost every week to see that I was supporting people.

I hope these tips were helpful to some of you looking for part-time work and worrying about fitting it around your study timetable. University is not only a chance to study but a chance to get that experience for future employers. But remember, your studies should be your number one priority and you’re not obliged to remain in a job or activity that is making you stressed!

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Posted in Intern advice, Written by Maddie

How to make the most of Fresher’s week

Fresher’s week is one of the most exciting times at university for all students, regardless of their level of study!

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As a first year student, this week is particularly important because for most of us it is the first time our parents have left us on our own to discover the world and by that I mean live with 4 or 5 other strangers in the same flat, figure how to work out the stove and how to turn the washing machine on. So fun.

But more than that, Fresher’s week is the first chance for you as a first year student to get immersed into the university life, meet new people and decide what you will be doing with your free time. However, with everything going on, it is sometimes hard to decide on what you would like to do and which events you would like to attend so here I come to rescue!

Here are some of my pro(maybe) tips of how to make the most of fresher’s week that will make your life a lot easier throughout the year.

  • Attend as many events as possible!

I know the introvert in you already doesn’t like this blog post but believe me, it is for the best!

First year is the time when you have enough hours in the day to try out as many things as possible, so take advantage of that! Sign up for events, societies and give a go to things you haven not had the opportunity to try out, like archery or pottery or acting in a musical. The University of Sheffield has an incredible variety of things you could do. In order to make sure you don’t miss any great opportunities keep an eye of your university email and also come down to the Students’ Union to pick up a Give it a Go booklet and any other flyers that might include information about events happening that week. They will be scattered across the whole building, so just take one!

  • Go to the Activities’ fair!

You pass by the Students’ Union and you see a massive queue in front of Octagon. Yes this is where you should be too! That is the Activities’ fair also known as the event where all the societies and services offered by the university gather for a day to showcase what they can offer and also give you the opportunity to become one of their members or sign up for their events. There will be department specific societies, special interest, political you name it, the Students Union has them all! And the best part is that if you are interested, you can sign up on the spot, saving a lot of time!

  • Go shopping!

Pans, pots, pillows and all the boring stuff. Yes you will have to do it if you do not want to sleep on a bare mattress for the rest of the year. It is best to get this out of the way as soon as possible. But before that, do your research. There are plenty of shops in Sheffield for all budgets so make sure you choose the one in the price range you want. You don’t want to go into the first shop you see in sight and spend £50 on a pot, or that will become your most prized possession for all your university years…

  • Go discover the city

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This seems an obvious thing to do, but it is easy to get caught into the university bubble and forget that there is a whole new world beyond the concourse. Sheffield is known for the numerous coffee shops and parks where you can go and have a relaxed day out with your friends. So when you find yourself out of ideas on what to do, go out there and find your favourite places in Sheffield, places you will like to come back to later in the year and the ones you would like to show your friends and family when they come visit you.

There are so many more things you could do during freshers week and this is just a short list to get you started. And while you’re doing all these don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the experience. 3 or 4 years may seem like an eternity but they will pass buy quicker than expected!

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Amber

Settling in at Uni

Congratulations on getting your place at Sheffield! The next few years will definitely be full of ups and downs! In particular, the first few weeks of your degree can be a pretty daunting and emotional time, so here are some tips to help you get settled in!

 

Facebook groups

Social media is a really great way to connect with your peers and find useful blogs and information about the university. Lots of groups start popping up around the time of A Level results, and it is worth being aware that they are not all the same. The ‘Official’ freshers/firmers groups run by the university are definitely worth joining to meet your course mates and keep up to date with information. It is worth bearing in mind that there are a number of unofficial groups, usually set up by local clubs who will try and convince you to splash out on tickets (and often week long wristbands) with mentions that they are ‘the biggest student night’ and that they will sell out. Do not rush into buying tickets, you will not be left with nowhere to go and your best bet is to wait until you can find a few flatmates and agree on going somewhere together as you will likely want to get to know them! You don’t want to turn up in freshers and have to worry about selling tickets because you all turned up having bought separate tickets! As mentioned, the Facebook groups are a really great place to get you in touch with your housemates so you can start getting to know each other and making plans! There are also always loads of people asking if anyone is on their course which can be the start of great friendships (this is how I met one of my best friends at uni!) but don’t worry if you can’t find anyone!

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Packing

It can be really hard to work out what to pack for university, but there are a few things which may help you with settling in. Don’t go overboard (you are likely to be tight on space!) but definitely bring a few things to make your room feel homely: posters, cushions, photos from home are all great to make your room feel a little more like your own. If you decide to bring posters it is worth remembering that you aren’t meant to use blue tack in halls in case it marks/damages the paintwork, but you could still stick them to your wardrobe and pin them to your noticeboard! It is also worth buying yourself a doorstop, as the doors are heavy fire doors which don’t stay open. This is handy for moving boxes into your room during moving in day, but may also help you get to know your friends. Prop your door open and put some music on while you unpack or after your parents have left and your future housemates are likely to come and chat to you… Knocking on the door of a stranger can be pretty daunting but coming to chat to someone with their door open is less so! Finally on the packing front – food and drink! If you drink alcohol, you may wish to bring some with youl as it saves you having to go out and buy some the night you move in. The same can be said for dinner for that night, if possible get your parents to do a shop with you once you arrive in Sheffield and pick something quick and easy for dinner that night to maximise the time you can spend getting to know your new flatmates. Lastly, it can be worth bringing biscuits or something you can offer around as an icebreaker – particularly if you enjoy baking, your housemates will love you!

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Moving in day

I would recommend that the first thing you do when you have started unpacking is to make your bed! You probably won’t want to do it after unpacking for a few hours or later on when you could be socialising with your flatmates, and you definitely won’t want to do it when you return from a night out!Use that doorstop!

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Homesickness

Moving to university is really exciting but you are bound to feel homesick at some point as it is such a big change! I found writing letters quite therapeutic and it was such a lovely feeling to receive one in return. Your family will also probably appreciate that you took the time to write them a letter, particularly older relatives such as grandparents! Skype is also a godsend, and if your laptop or computer doesn’t come with a webcam then it is worth buying one online so you can chat to friends and family and see them too!

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Good luck with the move and enjoy yourself but remember that it is okay to feel nervous too!

Posted in Intern advice, student life, Uncategorized, Written by Britt

Getting into ‘study mode’

So it’s now the end of August and before you know it it’ll be time to lug all your stuff back up to Sheffield (if you’ve not already done so). Or, if you’re a first year student, you’ve got your first big moving in day – exciting times!

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Whilst this time of year is really fun, especially with the chaos of Freshers’ Week, it can also sometimes feel like you’re expected to snap straight back into the swing of studying after a long summer break. When lectures start you’re still getting over the dreaded Freshers’ Flu and suddenly you’ve got 6 pieces of reading and a report to write. However, do not fear! Here are my top tips for getting your body and brain into ‘study mode’:

  1. Invest in a diary/planner/calendar. I honestly could not live without my diary – I have no idea what I’m doing on a given day until I check it! I make it a habit to write down all my class times, shifts and social plans as soon as I can to ensure I have my week organised on paper. It really helps you to visualize the week ahead and figure out when you’re going to do that seminar reading (or when you can go to the pub!)
  2. Start any course reading early. This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend £200 on books that you may not necessarily even need. However, if your module conveners have stated specific textbooks ‘recommended for purchase’ then it may be a good idea to do so, even if it’s a cheaper edition from the local charity shop or a second-hand copy from a previous student. By making a start on your reading early, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed in the first week of term as you will have already got a good grasp of what your tutors are talking about.
  3. Set some easy-to-do small tasks. Things such as drawing out your teaching timetable, familiarising yourself with the course structure and ensuring you’ve got a handy pack of highlighters are all great little things you can do to get yourself off to a good start. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking those things off your list!
  4. Take care of yourself. Of course, Freshers Week is fun albeit a little crazy. However, at the risk of sounding like a concerned parent, it’s also really important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and are eating well. You’re unlikely to feel brilliant in the first few weeks of term if all you have been doing beforehand is going out, staying up until 5am and spending loads of money on takeaway food (though this is fine to do some of the time!). It is crucial to be well-rested and refreshed ready for uni!

I hope these tips have inspired you to feel ready for ‘study mode’ – have a great few weeks before the hard work (and great fun) begins!

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Sophie

Student mentoring: a rewarding experience!

If you’ve applied to be a student mentor (whether you’re in your second, third or fourth year) you will probably be emailing your mentees very shortly, and I hope you’re looking forward to it!  I found this to be an incredibly rewarding experience, as you’re able to give your own personal, honest account of your time at university so far, and really put your mentees at ease.  You may also want to put something back into the community that once helped you too!  It looks great on any type of CV and I found that student jobs/positions across the university value it highly.  I thought I would just talk to you about some of the things that worked for me while I was a mentor, and how you can signpost them to 301 if they’re struggling with any study skills!

  1. Use a template for your first email, but make it personal.

A template is an excellent way to write an introductory email to a mentee, but making it personal ensures that the new student feels welcomed to the university, and can rely on a friendly face when they move here.  Take the time to look at their profile and see what interests them – you may find that they share similar interests to you, or you can direct them to the societies we have on offer at Sheffield.  I always recommend the Activities Fair in Intro Week, as it’s a great way to get students started on an activity they may not have tried before!

  1. If you’re not sure, signpost.

A mentee may want really specific help during their time at university, and it is often best to signpost them to the appropriate service if you do not know the answer yourself.  For instance, if they’re having specific worries about any study skills, such as Academic Writing, recommend some of the tutorials and workshops we have on at 301!  Not many people know that MASH (Maths and Statistics Help) and all of the other services here are for people across all disciplines, so do let them know!  This goes for other services across the university too – always direct students if you’re not confident in giving the answer yourself.

  1. Arrange for your mentees to meet together.

When you offer to meet up with you mentees during Intro Week, it could be a good idea to get them to meet with you together!  That way, they may have a friendly face during lectures, and they could discuss their worries with each other if they would like.  If one of your mentees does not feel comfortable meeting with others, arrange a separate meeting.

  1. Always check in on them.

During the most stressful times at university, or if you haven’t heard from them in a while, remember to check on your mentees to see if everything is going ok.  They may not know where to turn to, and you may be able to offer the most appropriate support for them.  Sometimes people just need someone that looks out for them!

I hope this post has made you feel excited for being a mentor – I remember being very eager to get started and to help students within my department!  I hope you’re all having a lovely summer. 🙂

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Jenny

Coming to Uni: The essential packing

 

Coming to University is a daunting time for all involved, you’re overrun with advice on what to pack but it’s rarely uni specific. Having been at the Uni for 4 years now I feel pretty well placed to advise on this matter so here is a definitive practical guide on coming to Sheffield from an old-timer!

Top tips:

  • Don’t fall for buying single bedding, chances are your second or third year house will have a double bed. If you invest in double bedding and just get a single bottom sheet you save both money and hassle! (Plus you’ll be thankful in the cold winter).
  • Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Tesco are the main stores in Sheffield so it’s worth getting their reward cards! I know co-op and Sainsbury’s do a student-parent card that can be topped up which can be a lifesaver!
  • Get the 16-25 railcard, the £30 upfront cost for the year is easily made up and ⅓ off travel makes going home and exploring the local area much easier!
  • If you can’t drive then get a provisional licence, you really don’t want to take your passport out as ID.
  • Ease back on bringing stationary. I was too keen before the course started and got myself lots of colorful ring binders, project books etc. Most were barely used. Bring a A4 notepad, stapler, pens and pencils then sort the rest later!
  • Don’t forget about hangers, tea towels and bin bags these boring things are easily forgotten!
  • When you’re budgeting don’t forget to include the ‘easily forgotten items’- detergent, bin bags, money for topping up your laundry cards, bus/taxi money for nights out.
  • On the topic of laundry, a boring subject I know! If you are in halls you’ll have to use the shared washing machines which annoyingly don’t have draws for detergent. So make sure you get liquitabs or a gel for a proper wash.
  • Don’t leave packing until a few days before the big move, get organised and save your family the stress!
  • On move in day everyone will be raiding the shops to get essentials. So I would advise bringing as much cupboard storage stuff/ consumables as you can. Including toilet paper, toiletries, bathroom/toilet cleaner, bin bags, alcohol and cupboard food.
  • Check what is actually in your room– is there a bathroom bin? Is there a toilet brush?

Packing:

  • I would advise bringing two sets of bedding so you always have one washed- go for something that will cheer you up and brighten your room if possible. Primark and Wilkinson’s are overlooked gems!
  • Bring distinctive but non-expensive cutlery and crockery. Trust me after the first year alone you will have broken some or lost some, and a distinctive color can save on arguments on washing up plus it’s harder to use. I managed to set fire to a colander and burn a hole in a saucepan so I wouldn’t advice flashing the cash on fancy stuff.
  • Bring some storage boxes– depending on what you own this might vary but I would suggest at least bringing one. They’re ideal for student halls as you can just put them under the bed when you lift it open (that will make sense once you move in).
  • Bring shoes for uni that can withstand some serious hills and rain. You will be walking a lot in Sheffield so invest wisely.
  • Bring a winter coat. Sheffield can get very cold in winter so make sure you wrap up warm in a big cosy coat.
  • Don’t forget to bring some summery clothes as Sheffield in September can be surprisingly warm.
  • Bring a clothes horse, easy to use and set up but will save you a small fortune.
  • Bring an extension lead as the plugs are not always in the most sensible places.
  • Bring a laundry bag that you can actually carry clothes in. Depending on where you are living it can be a bit of a trek to get to the launderette.
  • A bag big enough for all the things you need to go back home for the weekend and a sleeping bag for when mates come to stay/ you visit a friends.

Hopefully you’re excited for the big move, you’re going to have a great time!

Useful shops:

  • Primark
  • Wilko
  • Argos
  • Supermarkets – especially for cutlery/crockery and housewares
  • Ikea
  • Charity shops
Posted in Intern advice, Written by Maddie

How to prepare as an international student coming to Sheffield

Studying abroad can be one of the most challenging, yet formative periods of your life. It is not an easy process, but it is one that takes you out of your comfort zone and puts you in situations that allows you to develop both personally and professionally

If you were fortunate enough to have chosen Sheffield as the university where you will be studying, than you will be happy to find out that they are doing excellent work in supporting international students adapt to the university life.

The first and most important thing to know is that the Students’ Union is led by sabbatical officers, out of which the International Student Officer is there to support all international students and advocate for their rights. They are elected out of the student body and work full time so they are available for you to knock on their door and tell them you problems. You can find the whole officer’s team, including the International Student Officer in the Student Union Building, on the 4th floor.

You can also get involved in several initiatives across the university that support a better integration of international students. One of them is the International Student Committee which advocates for cultural understanding and diversity, organising events such as International Cultural Evening or World Food Festival. You can volunteer with them and even run for a position on the committee, while getting to know loads of amazing people and advocate for cultural understanding both at university and in the wider Sheffield community.

Finally, you can get involved in your national society and share a bit of your culture with everyone else on campus.

This is only a glimpse of what opportunities the university can offer, so you can make the most of your experience, but I would also like to mention a few tips and tricks on what day to day things you could do to adjust better to this new chapter in your life.

  1. Homesickness

 

Probably one of the most common issues international students are dealing with is homesickness, which may seem inoffensive, but if let to develop can interfere with your studies and your overall experience. Fortunately there are several ways to deal with such a situation, one of which, making sure you speak to someone about it. The Nightline at university is a great place to start, as you can talk with an individual and express your feelings while being completely anonymous.

(more details here: https://www.sheffieldnightline.co.uk/)

Another way is to come together with members of your national society (or set one up!) and have traditional celebrations. And the best advice of all, make sure you stay in touch with your family. With all the deadlines and stress at university, is easy to forget to give your parents a call, but that can help you more than you think in a hard moment.

  1. Get to know the city

3 or 4 years seems like a long time to spend in a city for your degree. However, as a final year student I can attest that it passess a lot faster than you think, and by the end of your degree you find yourself not knowing the city you have lived on for so long at all. My advice here is to get out there and befriend people in your area, your neighbours, try out the attractions in Sheffield, the coffee shops and the Peak District especially, and truly become part of the community. This will give you a different outlook on the city and make you feel more at home.

  1. Know what you don’t know and how to fix it

This one applies especially if you have a different education system in your home country. Know what is expected of you as a student, what studying techniques are the most efficient ones and what are your strengths and weaknesses as well as how to apply them best. If you already thought about this but are unsure of where to start, then 301 is here for you. As an international student in Sheffield in my first year I found it difficult to understand what is expected of me in seminars, what is the best way to take notes in a lecture so I can take in all the information presented and hardest of them all, how to go through all the readings I had to do and make sure I extract the right information. The 301 academic workshops have helped me tremendously in getting a hand of all these and perform better, so if you are still unsure why not give it a try by following this link: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301

 

And here you have it, a few quick tips on how you can improve some of the most common issues international students are struggling with to make your life a bit easier and the university experience an unforgettable one!

 

 

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Amber

My Top Uni Experiences

I can’t believe that my degree is over, and how quickly the time went! Now that I’ve finished I’ve been looking back at my time at uni and although it was incredibly busy and sometimes stressful, I’m pleased to say I don’t think I would have done anything differently! I got involved in everything that I wanted to during my degree and my university experience was about far more than just my degree. Here are some of my favourite university experiences, you could take inspiration from these if you are looking for some ideas of what to get up to next year!

Societies

I knew before I came to university that I wanted to make the most of the huge range of societies that the university had to offer. I would advise new students not to rush into buying membership for everything, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to try something new! Societies are great as they allow you to meet people with a shared interest, but from a range of different cultures, backgrounds and fields than the people you might meet on your course. Not only this but classes/lessons through societies are often FAR cheaper than what you would be paying elsewhere! I knew I wanted to find something active and I ended up joining Bellydance Society. I fell in love with the dance and the culture that surrounds it, as well as making so many amazing friends and at the end of that year I applied to be on committee. I got the position I applied for and also continued in my position this year. As Publicity and Events Officer I have gained brilliant experience of marketing and event management including planning and running sell-out shows. Being on committee was one of the most stressful but rewarding experiences of my degree and if you find a society that you love I would really recommend applying for a committee position.

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Volunteering

At the beginning of my final year I realised that I had done lots of things for myself during my time at university, but hadn’t really done anything to give back to the community that have made me feel so welcome. So I went to the volunteering fair and looked into a range of opportunities, there is everything from helping at animal sanctuaries to working with people such as children with disabilities or elderly people in care homes. I chose to volunteer for ‘Clubbing Crew’ which runs nights out at the Student’s Union once a month (on a Friday) for adults with learning disabilities. The experience has required very little commitment – just one evening a month, finishing at 1am which meant it didn’t interfere with my study time but has been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences. The feeling of knowing you have helped someone have a good time is amazing – when you see a shy and quiet individual turn into a total diva, dancing away with a giant grin on their face, is fantastic. I would 100% recommend a volunteering project as it will benefit you and the community.

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Outreach

Throughout my degree I have been involved in outreach opportunities within my department. For me, this has consisted of volunteering at our departmental museum during open evenings (which led to me gaining a part time job as a museum tour guide) and assisting during the Animal and Plant Sciences ‘Annual Christmas Lecture’ which involves 1000 local primary school children descending on the Octagon for a lecture by a member of staff, followed by activities designed and ran by undergrad students. Although I don’t particularly want to go into teaching, the experiences have massively increased my confidence working with children and I have found it really rewarding to help inspire the next generation of scientists.

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End of year ball

The end of year ball for your department is a great way to celebrate the year with your coursemates, and a good excuse to buy that dress or suit you’ve had your eye on! The food at my ball was pretty good and although I have heard mixed things from other departments at least there is usually free alcohol to wash it all down! I would especially recommend attending your ball to final year students. I saved some money so that I would be able to buy photographs so I have memories of my time at university.

rave

Varsity

Even if sports isn’t your thing, I would thoroughly recommend attending a varsity event. It’s a great way to get into the unviersity spirit, particularly if you have friends competing. In particular, the final event, the ice hockey has a great atmosphere and is really good fun! However make sure you plan to get there early and either leave early or wait for the rush to finish after the event as the trams are usually packed!

ice-hockey-crowd

Walks in the peaks

With the Peak District on our doorstep, Sheffield is a fantastic university if you enjoy walking. During my first and second year I went on walks in the Peaks with Natural History Society (now named Nature and Wildlife Society) who run walks once a month out into the Peaks. During my final year, having been so busy I have often been unable to go walking on the dates that the society had arranged, this led me to contact the Walking Club who usually run two walks every week. Both societies are full of very friendly people and walks usually just cost a few £s in bus or train fare. Walking with a society is great if you don’t want to worry about working out transport and planning a route. If you are feeling more adventurous, obviously you can always get on a bus and go by yourself or with friends!

5.-looking-into-Hope-Valley1

I hope your time at Sheffield is as great as mine was!