Posted in Uncategorized, Written by Britt, Extracurricular

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!

 

 

 

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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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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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.

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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!

Posted in Uncategorized

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!

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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.

 

 

Posted in Intern advice, Uncategorized, Written by Britt

The importance of travelling and working abroad

I’m sure you’ve heard everyone say it, but travelling really is an amazing experience. This is particularly the case if it’s coupled with something meaningful, for example getting involved in a programme that gives back to the community or equips you with valuable work experience.

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Last summer, I travelled to China to teach conversational English skills to 7-10 year olds at a Chinese summer camp. I can honestly say that it was the best experience of my life. After I had completed my placement, I travelled around China with some of the other summer teachers – we went to Beijing, Shanghai and of course climbed The Great Wall!

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Although such experiences are truly incredible, many volunteer/work programmes can be pretty expensive and I did have to save up for a while in order to be able to afford it. That said, the university do offer bursaries to help students fund their placements (depending on the rules of your department). For instance, I’m in the Arts & Humanities Department and I received a £500 bursary from the university which essentially paid for my return flights to China!

These things are often planned in advance so I am not suggesting that you try and get yourself onto a summer placement before uni starts! However, it is something to think about for next summer and, if you’re sure it’s something you want to do, you can certainly start saving early.

I suppose the purpose of this blog post is to encourage you to be brave. Save up, take a deep breath and go out there and see the world!

Posted in Uncategorized

The A-Z of Societies at Sheffield University

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Did you know that there’s over 300 societies at the University of Sheffield?!

Joining a society is one way to make sure you get the all-round experience of university at Sheffield. Its a great way to meet new people, learn or develop a skill or interest, give something back by volunteering and just generally have a fun break from uni work!

The beginning of a new academic year is the perfect time to sign up to a new society and see all it has to offer! As inspiration take a look at the 301 A-Z sample of all the weird and wonderful and ever-expanding University of Sheffield societies…

A – Anime Society

B – Black and Minority Ethnic Students Committee

C – Chess Society

D – Debating Committee

E – Erasmus Exchanges Society

F – Film Unit Committee

G – Gospel Choir Society

H – Horticultural Society

I – Ice Skating Society

J – Jewish Society

K – Korea Society

L – LGBT Plus Committee

M – Mental Health Matters

N – Nightline Committee

O – Open Mic Society

P – Pole Fitness Society

Q – Quidditch Society

R – Rock Society

S – Sexpression

T – Tea Society

U – UNICEF on Campus

V – Vegetarian and Vegan Society

W – Women in Business

X – Sorry! even Sheffield uni doesn’t have a society beginning with X! But maybe you could be the first to make one…

Y – Yoga and Pilates Society

Z – Zumba Society

And if none of these appeal to you, have a look on the Club & Societies site to find one that does!

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Written by Britt

Part-time work and transferable skills

SUMMER is finally here, yay!!! Exams and essays are done and it’s time to relax and take a break from all things uni.

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Whilst it is very important to enjoy yourself over the summer, it’s also a great time to get some work experience. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a summer placement or internship – though these are great ways to get experience that is specific to a certain field. However, part-time work in sectors such as retail, hospitality and care are also fantastic opportunities to develop those all important ‘transferable skills’ that graduate employers are always talking about! Here are some of the skills part-time work can equip you with:

  1. Working under pressure. This is particularly the case in shops, bars, pubs and restaurants as these places tend to be pretty busy over the summer period. You will learn how to keep your cool in fast-paced, high-pressure environments, proving to employers that you’re able to cope with the demands of the working world.
  2. Motivation. Nothing says ‘I’m motivated’ like making yourself go to work when the temperature is in the 20’s and all your mates are sat outside at the pub. Whilst this may seem a bit rubbish at the time, it will show employers that you’re driven to succeed as you’re willing to work over the summer period when many others aren’t.
  3. Communication. Most jobs involve some level of communication, whether this is with customers, other team members or in writing. Being able to communicate effectively is a vital skill in our modern world and one that is highly desired by many graduate employers.
  4. Problem solving. Maybe someone has received the wrong meal, a member of staff has phoned in sick or just everything seems to be going wrong on that particular day. It is your job to assess the issues and come up with a reasonable solution so that the working day goes as smooth as possible. This shows that you can think on your feet and don’t simply panic whenever there’s a problem!

I hope this has inspired you to think about the part-time job opportunities that are available to you over the summer period! So, go out there and look for some work – you won’t regret it!

Posted in Uncategorized

Why attend a 1:1 meeting

Did you know you can book 1:1 meetings with our tutors here at 301? If not, you definitely know now! But what exactly are the 1:1 meetings offered by 301 and how might they help you?

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During a 1:1 meeting you have the chance to sit down with one of our tutors and ask them for support according to the issues you have been facing in your studies. There is just the two of you discussing and the tutor can focus on your questions regarding academic matters such as not being sure how to deal with exam revisions, or how to reference and essay properly or even how to perform in a seminar and take notes properly so you get the most of your degree. They will be there to support you through all.

But if this information is not enough to get you to have a look at what I’m talking about, here is a list of why I think you should make use of this service:

  1. The support you receive is personal

 

And I am aware you can get that from your department as well, given that you have a personal tutor and you can also go to the office hours of any of your lecturers. The 1:1 meetings at 301 do not come to replace that, but to add an extra layer of support. The matters you will be discussing with the tutor are not directly related to your subject of study, but more to the way your study and any questions you might have about academic support.

  1. They are flexible

We are aware that some student have classes all day long and are only free later in the day, while others have less contact hours so they might be more available during the day. With that in mind you can book a 1:1 appointment from as early as 10:00 or as late as 16:00. There are different times available during the week so you don’t have to worry you won’t be able to fit one into your schedule.

  1. It’s time efficient

While the workshops are great if you want to gain more knowledge about a certain subject, the 1:1 meetings are amazing if you are in a hurry, or just want to squeeze one between two lectures. In 30 minutes you have the chance to discuss specifically the issues that interest you and focus on finding a solution!

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  1. You get access to additional resources

On top of the personal advice you get during the meeting, the tutors can also recommend specific resources you can look at if you would like to gain more insight into certain matters, or if you are really concerned about a problem and would like to really make sure you have it covered!

  1. You can be open

The meetings are organised in such a way that the only two people in the room are you and the tutors. The information you share with them is treated with utmost confidentiality so you do not have to worry about anything. The more open and honest you are, the more they will be able to help you!

And here you have it! A brief overview as well as some of my top reasons why you should definitely make use of the 1:1 meetings at 301. If you are definitely interested you can check it out here and make a booking: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301/services/studyskills

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