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

Having a Productive Winter Vacation

By the time the Christmas holidays arrive, I often feel burnt-out from the Autumn Semester and can find it tempting to do nothing but binge-watch Netflix. You can do this for a few days over the break (especially if you’re feeling particularly fragile after all the festivities), but it’s also important to make sure you’re being productive. Here are some of my top tips for doing just that!

Image result for Work Productivity Meme

Get the important stuff done first

If you’ve got deadlines in January then these should be your priority. I have a 4,000 word essay to write and a difficult exam to revise for but I’m going to try and get a lot of this work done before Christmas so that I can fully enjoy myself. You don’t want to be worrying too much about all the work you have to do when you should be relaxing and having fun!

Look ahead

If you’ve got lots of reading to do for the Spring Semester then it might be worth trying to tackle some of this early. Or, if you’re in your final year, you might be looking to apply for grad jobs but just haven’t had the time at uni – so now is your opportunity!  For other years, it might be good to think about your Summer plans – do you want to do an internship, go travelling, or work part-time? Start applying before everyone else!

Catch up with family and friends

Don’t waste your break being in your room on your own (though, as discussed above, this is often tempting!). The Winter Vacation is a great time to properly meet up with family and friends that you probably won’t have spent quality time with in a while.

Get into a good exercise routine

Nothing helps to spur your productivity like exercise. If I go to the gym, I often feel more energised and able to tackle the various other things I need to do that day. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym to do this – you could work out at home, or go for a run in your spare time.

Relax!

It’s so important to enjoy yourself and give your mind and body some well-deserved relaxation time. If you need to sleep a little longer than usual, go ahead! It’s Christmas!!!

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Posted in Extracurricular, Uncategorized, Written by Katie

Try Something New

Now that essay deadlines are passing, you may have a bit of spare time on your hands so this is the perfect opportunity to try something new. Below are some of the things I want to try out before the year is up.

Cooking

If you read my blogs regularly you will know I am a frozen pizza and instant noodle enthusiast. That is because I can’t cook and I feel like cooking requires too many ingredients, herbs and spices. I’m sure cooking can be made simple and I want to learn. Maybe I can even learn to make home-made pizza!cooking

Some kind of sport

Back in the good old school days I was really sporty but once exams started taking over my life in the form of GCSE’s, A-Levels and uni I ran out of time to do sports. Tennis is a sport I have always wanted to have a go at but never got round to. I have a tennis racket that I bring to uni every year in the hope that I will find my passion for tennis. It has still never been taken out the packet.

Sports

 

Give it a Go

I always wanted to try give it a go and do something I’ve never done before like stunt cheerleading or how to run a cinema.

Start a society

I want to come up with a new and innovative idea for a society. Something nobody has ever thought of. I’m running out of time for this one so you guys may have to do this one on my behalf.

A protest

Okay, I’m cheating a little as I actually did my first ever protest over the weekend which inspired this blog. I took part in Reclaim the Night which was a march against sexual violence and assault. I learnt that political activism really isn’t my kind of thing but at least I can tick it off the bucket list.

Protest

Arts and Crafts

I’m not very creative but I want to learn a craft related skill such as sewing, cross stich or knitting.

Posted in student life, Uncategorized, Written by Britt

5 Ways To Make Your Student House a Home

You may not think it but your surroundings play a huge part in your happiness and ability to study. With that said, here are my top 5 tips for making your student house feel more like a home!

  • Pick up some decent fairy lights.

I must admit, I do have an unhealthy obsession with fairy lights! But they make so much difference in a space that is otherwise dominated by unusually harsh lighting, e.g. in the kitchens of halls. You can grab them for relatively cheap, in a range of colours and styles and can even get outdoor ones for those evening summer BBQ’s (or just the one BBQ, when the weather is somewhat nice on that one day in the middle of exam season).

  • Bring things from home that make the space your own (especially in your bedroom).

This may sound rather obvious but you’d be surprised how many people turn up to a shell of a room and leave it that way for the whole year. Little things like photos, soft furnishings or souvenirs from a favourite trip can all make your room feel a little bit more ‘you’.

  • Dress up your house for the holidays!

If you love Halloween, carve pumpkins to your heart’s content! If people in your house celebrate Christmas, then give the house a Christmas makeover! Or, ask your housemates about any holidays they may celebrate that you don’t – you never know, you might even learn something!

  • Bring the outdoors in.

Purchasing some easy-to-care-for plants such as small cacti can really help to brighten up a room. Or, if you want to be extra lazy, you can get some very real-looking artificial plants for very cheap. This year, my house got some artificial flowers to add a splash of colour to our bathroom and they only cost about £1.50 from Wilko’s!

  • Add those homely scents.

No one likes walking in to a house that feels fusty and, unfortunately, lots of student houses and flats seem to have that smell, particularly when you first move in after the long vacation period. Candles may not be allowed due to health and safety but that doesn’t mean your house can’t smell nice! Pick up some cheap reed diffusers, plug ins or air fresheners instead.

Posted in Intern advice, Uncategorized, Uni work, Written by Britt

How to stay motivated

It’s November and the days are dark, rainy and veryyyy cold. You have deadlines looming but the only thing you want to do is put your fluffy pyjamas on and watch endless episodes of the latest Netflix series or Louis Theroux documentary. Whilst this is ok to do some of the time, it is important to remember that uni work is your priority! So, here are some of my top tips for staying motivated during the dark times ahead:

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1: Create a study timetable.

Having a study schedule written down on paper makes your to-do list feel more manageable. Prioritise the most important tasks (e.g. revision for an upcoming exam over general course reading) and ensure that your timetable is realistic and achievable.

2: Reward yourself.

If you’ve been in the library from 9am-5pm and got loads done then you are more than entitled to go to the pub with your mates that evening! You can also give yourself small, short-term rewards, for example allowing yourself another piece of chocolate if you write another 150 words of your assignment. Little things like this get me through a difficult essay!

3. Think about the end result.

Whilst it sometimes may seem tempting to sack it all off, think about how far you’ve come. You’re already at a Russell Group university studying for a degree so don’t give up now! Just picture yourself on graduation and remember how proud you, your friends and family will be knowing that you stuck it out.

4. Get support.

Ask housemates to proofread your work, speak to the library about referencing information or come to us at 301 for study skills help! Putting yourself out there and accessing support makes you feel like you’re being proactive in your success – a great motivator!

 

Posted in Extracurricular, Uncategorized, Written by Britt

Do something worthwhile – volunteer!

For some people, university life brings with it quite a lot of free time and often it can seem like there’s almost too much of it. Whilst I definitely do not feel like this in third year, I did find that I had some time to offer particularly in my first and second years of my English Lit degree. For me, volunteering was the perfect solution!

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There are so many projects available across the university and also the wider Sheffield community. Here are just a few examples of current volunteering projects:

Clubbing Crew Volunteer: involves supporting adults with learning difficulties to have a fun night out at your SU!

Charity Shop Volunteer: roles are currently available with Oxfam, Bluebell Wood Hospice and many others around the city.

Guildford Grange Volunteer: form friendship with an older person through arts, crafts and games in a local residential home to help combat loneliness.

Word Club Volunteer: Work with Year 2 children after school to supplement their literacy learning.

WISE Mental Health Volunteer: deliver workshops to educate young people on mental health and common mental health illnesses.

These are just some of the projects available – there are so many more to choose from! Have a look on https://www.sheffieldvolunteering.com/ to find a project that works for you and to register your interest. Alternatively, you can pop into the Volunteering Office in the SU (near Coffee Revolution) to see what else there is on offer.

Volunteering is great for developing skills that you can’t necessarily get from your university degree alone. And don’t forget, you can also get HEAR recognition for your sustained commitment on a volunteering project!

 

 

 

Posted in student life, Uncategorized, Written by Katie

Alternative study spaces

Whilst the library is home to many students when studying, life doesn’t need to be that dull. Mix it up and find a better study spot to be the envy of all your friends. If you want a bustling environment here are some of my top study picks.

  1. Spoons

The king of cheap cocktails has much more to offer than you probably ever knew. When it comes to student life, cheap is cheerful making spoons a favourite. Before 2pm there are free refills on coffee. This was only filter coffee in the past but has now been extended to other coffees too. It’s quiet enough without being totally dead making it the perfect study environment. Breakfast and lunch are also cheap so you can study there for a while.

spoons

  1. Coffee Revolution

Every Sheffield Students top coffee shop has to be coffee revs. It has a nice environment and is perfect for studying but it does get very busy so if you can’t find a space try one of our other suggestions.coffee

 

  1. Any other part of the SU

The SU has many great spaces for studying. It doesn’t have to be a café that you study in. There are several great spaces in the SU.

SU

  1. You course building

Lots of the main buildings have nice little café where you can grab a coffee and study. Even of their isn’t a café, there may be little places within the building you can sit and study. I’m still finding nice little study spaces in the maze that is the law school.

Management

  1. Your room

Make your bedroom into the perfect study space. Endcliffe has huge desks and even if you are not in Endcliffe, most students have desks in their room. The key here is to keep the desk empty apart from your study materials.

 

  1. The Arts Tower

If, like me, you prefer to study in a space with huge open windows for natural lighting the Arts Tower is the place for you. You can study in the computer room on the 10th floor. It’s usually quiet and a great place to get on with your work. There is the added bonus of the paternoster and the café downstairs.

arts tower

  1. Mix it up everyday

My final tip is to keep it interesting. You can find other nice cafes or places on campus. Explore. You can even use iSheffield to see computer availability and try to cross off every space on the list.

variety

 

Posted in Uncategorized

A To-Do for your first month at University

Congratulations to everyone who has recently found out they’ll be starting at Sheffield Uni this year. You’re going to love it! As a veteran student having now undertaken 4 years at uni (with another one to come) I’m going to give you a to-do list for your first month at uni so you can make sure you’re making the most of it!

Sheffield as a city, and the university itself, is absolutely fab for social and extra-curricular activities. There’s easily enough things available for you to do something different every day for a month, if you’ve got the energy! From the peaks to the restraurants, and the freshers fairs to the nights out – get ready for a very fun month!

1. Attend the Freshers Fair

If you’re new to the whole uni thing, the freshers fair is basically when companies come to ply students with freebies and competitions. If you’re not already sold there is FREE dominoes.

pizza

2. Attend the Activities Fair

If you go to the activities fair you will have the chance to find out more about the 300+ societies Sheffield uni has to offer, and sign up for as many as you like.

3. Try out places to eat around the University

If you’re ever struggling for something to do in your first month why not check out one of the places to eat in the SU? There’s Bar One, Interval, Grill and Go, New Leaf to name a few! Also within a couple of minutes walk from the SU is Notty House which does 10/10 pies, Harley for burgers, Street Food Chef for mexican food. So many options!!

4. Go on Sheffield Uni nights out

Sheffield Uni has won best SU in the country countless times and for good reason. Some of the nights out run by the SU are incredible. With Pop Tarts for cheesy old school music, ROAR for the sports teams, Tuesday Club for house/electro dance music and Climax the LGBT night there is definitely something for everybody. On top of these Sheffield boasts other infamous nights out at Leadmill and Corp.

5. Attend a Give it a Go session

If you’re not ready to commit to a membership with a society or sport you can attend one of the Give it a Go sessions where you attend a one of session on a pay-as-you-go basis. Previous Give a Go sessions included things like Boxing, BBQs, trips to Alton Towers etc.

6. Watch a Film at the SU Auditorium

Sheffield uni has it’s own Film Unit society which organises loads of films to be screened in the SU Auditorium for only £3. Examples this year were Beauty and the Beast, The Edge of Seventeen and the Seventh Seal.

Posted in All things 301, Uncategorized, Written by Britt

Get off to a good start – brush up on your study skills!

The summer break is pretty long and once September comes I often find myself feeling a little unprepared for the year ahead. For me, it takes a while to get back into the swing of writing essays, reading literary criticism and contributing to seminar discussions.

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A great way to positively start your academic year is to brush up on your study skills with our workshops here at 301. Whether you’re a first year or third year, it’s likely everyone feels slightly rusty!  I found the workshops really helpful in developing my writing skills as they provided key hints and tips related to essay structure – something that I found particularly difficult to grasp during my first year.

We have a number of workshops coming up, all focused on different study skills – you simply choose the ones that suit your needs! Examples include Speed Reading, Time Management, Note Taking, Presentation Skills and Mind Mapping (and these are just some of the options we have!).

Also, it’s worth noting that attendance at the workshops is recognised by the university under The Academic Skills Certificate. You are simply asked to reflect upon your experience at each of the workshops in a 2,500 word reflective piece. This goes on your HEAR and can be used as evidence of extra-curricular participation – which almost always comes in handy for job interviews!

To book, simply go to our homepage at https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301. It’s completely free!

 

 

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!

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Making the most out of your final year at Sheffield University!

You might not be thinking about being back at uni yet, but the summer’s flying by and it’s somehow already mid August. Whilst you might be slightly dreading returning for the amount of work required in final year, this blog should hopefully reassure you that final year is not all doom and gloom!

Whilst its important to make sure you do work hard in final year, there’s also lots of fun things in store this year!

1. Join a Society

It’s never too late to join a society! I know loads of people who joined one in final year and have loved it. It’s a great way to relax and find time to do other things than studying. You’ll meet new friends and have chance to do loads of social stuff too. If you still need convincing check out our Blog ‘A-Z of Societies at Sheffield’ for some inspiration!

2. Attend your end of year ball

Everyone loves a good ball and there’s something extra special about your last year one, probably because you appreciate the break from studying much more!

cinederlla

3. Lots of “last evers”

Alongside some of the not-so-fun ‘last evers’ such as last ever exam and last ever all-nighter-last-minute-deadline-panic, you’ll have a full year of fun last-evers such as the last time you’ll go on your favourite night out with your uni friends, the last time you visit Peddler Market or your favourite restaurant, and your last ever Corp if you can stomach it!! If you try to balance out your hard work with lots of treats throughout the year you’ll find final year is really not as bad as its reputation!

4. Make the most out of the services available at 301!

I personally had never used the services at 301 until final year, but I’m so glad I did! I alsmost felt like it was too late in final year but when I went to my first Academic Skills workshop I realised there was still much to learn! With such amazing services available on your (SU) doorstep, make sure you take full advantage whilst you can! Book on to a Workshop, or book a 1:1 session with a tutor.

5. ENJOY IT!

You can feel like there’s a lot of pressure in final year, but the most important thing is that you give yourself time to rest and relax and enjoy your time as a student, whether it be doing lots of sports with your favourite club, or breaking up study sessions with friends going out for lunch or coffee dates and drinks.