Posted in Intern advice, Written by Miranda

End of year checklist

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Can you believe it’s already June? The end of another year at uni is almost here and it’s time to start moving out of your Sheffield house for summer (unless your doing a placement!).

May is always a hectic month for uni students, with lots of revision, deadlines, exams and no doubt lots of celebrating too (or to come if you’re not quite finished!). However this means you might not end up leaving much time to think about the things you need to do before you move out for summer. Luckily, this blog is to help take that stress away in providing you a simple checklist of things to remember to do before moving home. You’re welcome!

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1. Handing in your keys!

Probably the most important thing – sort out when and where you need to hand in your house keys before you leave and check all your housemates are doing the same.

2. Leaving your house/flat

Definitely the most boring thing on this list is the dreaded end of year flat-clean (particularly if you’re living in halls!), but it’s got to be done. Make sure you sort out a day in advance when everyone’s free so that everyone is helping!

Whilst your packing your things and cleaning your house, it’s wise to take some photos of the house such as any scuffs or marks so you have a record of everything.

Make arrangements for moving your stuff (there’s always so much more than you’d imagine!) and see if its possible to move it straight from your old accommodation to your new one.

Finally, make sure you sort out when there will be a final house inspection and how/when you’ll be receiving your deposit back

3. Make summer plans to meet up

You all promised to see each other through the summer but before you know if everyone’s made different plans and it’s the end of August! To avoid going all summer without managing to coordinate the groupchat make it a bit easier by sorting a date and location now.

4. Return any library books

Kind of self-explanatory! If you’re a final year student you need to return books by the 10th June 🙂

5. Donate or throw out unwanted items

You might find you have lots of things at the end of the year you no longer want or need (or simply can’t fit in your suitcase/ car). If this is the case make sure you take advantage of the Sheffield Donate, Don’t Waste scheme!

There’s lots of sites you can donate unwanted items such as food and kitchenware (see the site above) and as a last resort you can collect 2 extra red bin bags for waste (from the Student Advice Centre or Propertywithus in the SU), to be collected from your house. Make sure you don’t simply allow your normal black bins to overflow as this is a nuisance for other residents and you may get a fine!!

6. Have a one last final meal (until September…) at your favourite Sheffield eatery

Last but definitely not least.. It could be over 3 full months before you next get chance to experience the joys that is a Notty house pie or Harley burger so take full advantage!

 

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Posted in All things 301, Uncategorized, Written by Miranda

What is it like to attend a 301 workshop?

As it’s coming to the end of semester I decided to attend a workshop to try to improve my exam skills. In summary it was really helpful and I would definitely recommend attending a workshop.

Unfortunately, the workshops have now finished for this academic year, however this can be a heads up for booking on to ones next year and making sure you can get organised nice and early!

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Exam Technique (Essay Writing) Workshop

I attended the Exam Technique (essay writing) workshop and found it to be very helpful and engaging. It was just over an hour long which I thought was the perfect amount of time to squeeze lots of important information in – without being too long or too overwhelming!

The workshop is general enough to be relevant to all types of degrees (which would have essay questions in an exam) meaning almost anyone could attend.

We went through different types of exam essay questions, determining the different aspects within a question – its Topic, Instruction, Aspect, Restriction and Viewpoint. Doing this helped to clarify what a question is actually asking – and how to go about formulating a structured answer in a limited amount of time.

There’s lots of group work in the session so this is particularly helpful for people who learn through talking and doing! The leaders make the session as engaging as possible by making lots of little activities throughout it.

Reasons to go:

It gives you that much needed boost of motivation to kickstart your revision / essay writing / whatever you’re working on!

It improves your confidence in the area. This workshop assured me that I would be comfortable to tackle any exam essay questions by breaking in down into steps.

The workshop conveynors give you handouts and tips. For example one of the workshop leaders (both of whom mark exams – so know what they’re talking about!) suggesting writing page numbers on your answer booklet so you can refer to previous parts of your answer and to help the marker.

Workshops Available:

As I mentioned, workshops have now finished for this year. But next year make sure you go to the 301 website to see all the workshops available to suit everyone’s needs/ modules! Such as…

  • Academic Writing
  • Time Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Dissertation Planning
  • Exam Revision Planning
  • Independent Study
  • Presentation Skills
  • Proofreading
  • Reading for Memory
  • Speed Reading
  • Scientific and Lab Reports
  • And more (!!!)

How to Book:

Visit the 301 website page and login with your Sheffield details to see all the workshops available and make a booking. At the beginning of the year why not drop into the 301 office and pick up a leaflet with the workshops on so you can make the most of them! If you attend 4 workshops you also qualify for the Academic Skills Certificate which is recognised on your HEAR.

 

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Miranda

The definitive guide of where to study in Sheffield!

So, it’s that time of the semester again… Although it feels like term only just started, exams and deadlines are just around the corner. Before you know it summer will be here (yay) and I’ll still be procrastinating and drinking cocktails, but just not feeling guilty about it. The countdown is on…

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On that note, everywhere is starting to get busy. If you enter the IC at peak time you are simply not going to get a desk (even one of those mini-in-between-corner-desks). This time of year brings out the primal side of library go-ers alike and tensions are running high.  Don’t even try rocking up to the silent study at midday or saving your desk with a phone charger whilst you go for a 2 hour break…

However, help is here. Whilst everyone else scrabbles for a desk at 7:45am in three weeks time you can be happily snoozing, catching up on well earned sleep. Here’s the definitive list of where to study in Sheffield (even in exam period)…

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For group studying

Group studying can be really useful and is sometimes a necessity. Learning from your friends is a great way to make sure you understand course material by testing and helping each other, and sometimes group work is a mandatory part of your module. However, you really don’t want to be the group talking too loudly about holiday plans in the area which is not technically silent study, but nevertheless everyone is hating on you for being a distraction. Book a study room using My Rooms and Resources instead. Or alternatively go to one of the sitting areas in the SU, such as above the main entrance or in Uni Central above the Shop!

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For the best coffee

If you’re like me and coffee is a prerequisite to a good library session then you’ll be interested in these options…

Upshot espresso (on Glossop Road just up from Subway) has incredible coffee and quite a few tables. If you don’t go slap-bang at lunch time you should easily find a nice table to yourself to have a coffee and do some reading. Coffee at View Deli in the SU is also pretty good and it’s cheap! The ultimate coffee has got to be at Steamyard, though – depending on the time you go you can get a little table for studying (although it can get pretty busy at lunch time). Make sure you bring your mac and oversized reading glasses so you can channel your edgy studying vibes, and why not treat yourself to a Kronut whilst you’re there?

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For peace and quiet

You can’t beat the IC level 2 for silent studying, however it can get a bit hectic at this time of year so another suggestion is level 5. If you’re an IC rookie you might not have ventured beyond level 4, however the staircase leads to two more levels of silent study, with a great view too!

The Diamond level 4 and Western Bank main reading room are both silent study too. Also, in exam season level 4 in Western Bank is silent as well.

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For when you forget your UCard

Arriving to the Diamond or the IC bright and early and realising you’ve forgotten your UCard is devastating – we all know the feeling. However when you forget your UCard there’s still plenty of options to go and study! You can go to Uni Central or View Deli in the SU and you won’t even have to leave to get some lunch.

If you need a computer then another option is the very underrated study space in the Arts Tower on level 10 (Room 10.2). You also get a fab view and to ride the paternoster so what’s not to love?

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Happy studying from 301! 

 

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Miranda

How to become a Sheffield Mentor!

What is a University of Sheffield Mentor?

  • Mentors are students who volunteer to help mentees (usually first year and international students) settle in to university life and provide a first point of contact for queries.
  • As a mentor you should arrange to meet your mentee when they first arrive at University and keep in contact with them throughout the year, or as long as they find it helpful.
  • Some questions you can deal with yourself, and sometimes you will need to refer the question on to another person or service. You are expected to be helpful and friendly, but the expectations of your role is not unrealistic and you are not expected to “do it all”.
  • You will be matched with up to 4 students from your department, as you will have the most in common with them, however this doesn’t mean you will help them with extensive academic queries and you are not expected to act in place of their academic tutors or as a teacher.
  • Students from any departments can be a Mentor (with the exceptions of Denistry and Medicine which run their own schemes).

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What will I gain?

  • Having taken part in the Sheffield Mentor scheme I found that it helps to develop a number of skills, including communication and interpersonal skills, through liasing with your mentee and giving them clear, concise and helpful advice. It will also help you to develop other skills such as listening, empathising and organisation.
  • Being a Mentor can be hugely rewarding on a personal level, and further to this you might develop long lasting friendships through the scheme.
  • As a mentor you will receive a certificate acknowledging the training and work you’ve done.  A mentee may even nominate you for an ‘Outstanding Mentor of the Year’ Award.
  • It looks great on your CV that you’re keen to get involved with extra things at university and help others, and gives you something interesting to talk about in interviews etc.

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Mentors’ Comments:

  • I thoroughly enjoyed being a mentor, and felt it was extremely worthwhile, it was great to know that you were able to help someone else and they appreciated the time you were able to give them. It was very satisfying!”
  • “I’ve found it to be a very rewarding experience and hope my mentees love Sheffield as much as I do!”

How can I apply?

  • You can find lots of information for prospective mentors at this link, and apply online using the Sheffield Mentors Hub and the preferred deadline is Wednesday 5th April!

 

Posted in All things 301, Intern advice, Written by Miranda

Successfully writing coursework…

Hi there! It’s Miranda again with some (hopefully) helpful tips on how to write a great piece of coursework. Now I’m in my 4th year I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of writing coursework and the best ways to go about it, so here’s some tips 🙂

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Attend one of our workshops

At 301 we run lots of workshops on Academic Writing to help you improve your techniques. This is the best starting point if you’ve never been to a workshop before. Even if you’ve written lots coursework at university, there’s always room for improvement and you’ll almost definitely learn something new. If you’re a workshop newbie you could attend the Academic Workshop: Overview session, or alternatively there are other sessions on academic writing flow or style.

There a workshop on Academic Writing: Essays at 14:45 on Wednesday 22nd March so why not book on?

If you’re still not sure which workshop to attend, check this mindmap out and it will tell you!

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(No 149. on the map)

Get organised, early

Ok, so this isn’t exactly ground-breaking, but the best essays are obviously those which have been most well prepared for (and generally not the ones written last minute..) You should do lots of research and planning, and then a bit more, and the best way to do this stress-free is to start early!

Write your introduction last

Although I’d heard this advice at the start of first year I never really tried it properly until this year. It might be tempting once you’re ready to start writing to just dive straight in, in an attempt to get as many words down as possible, but its really helpful to write the introduction last to make sure it gives an informative and concise overview of the essay. If you right you introduction last, and do it well, then you’re framing your reader to give you a good mark, too!

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Reference as you go along… Properly!

So you probably don’t leave all your referencing until you’ve finished the essay (unless you like to live dangerously), but do you reference properly? You can make your life so much easier by taking extra care to write down page numbers for references, and compiling your bibliography as you go along. There’s nothing more dull than having to go through and re-do all your references as the end, and if it’s boring you’re more likely to miss a mistake.

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Put it down for a couple of days

If you manage to get your essay completed a few days early you’re in a great position. It can be really useful for park it for a few days, and look at it with a fresh pair of eyes to see where you could improve it and to spot any errors.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Miranda

6 Reasons to study a year abroad!

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If you’ve already been accepted on a place to study abroad in 2017-18, firstly – congratulations! Secondly, I’m extremely jealous! I hope you can use this blog as a sort of checklist of things to do on your year abroad, and things to look forward to!

If you’re still debating whether you should study abroad during your time at university, I hope this can persuade you, as I found first hand it was absolutely invaluable in so many ways.

Last year I was in Utrecht in the Netherlands as part of the Erasmus scheme. I studied on exchange from the Law Department so studied a diverse range of subjects from Children’s Rights and Juvenile Justice, to the Role of the Supreme Court in the USA and lived in a flat of 7 people on the university campus. I can honestly say that the year was one of the best years of my life so far, and I think this echoes the same view of many others I met in Utrecht/ who have undertaken a year abroad from Sheffield University. So why exactly is it so amazing? Whilst it can be a little daunting to uproot mid-way through your degree to a new country and university, there are so many advantages of doing so. So, here’s just 6 examples of many reasons why you should study a year abroad!

1. Experience a new culture

The chance to immerse yourself in a new culture for a full year without taking on any financial or personal risks is, for many people, a once in a lifetime opportunity. One of my favourite parts of studying abroad was seeing the way that Dutch people live and how their culture differs from ours. As for Dutch culture in particular; I loved how organised and direct Dutch people tend to be, and the convenience of being able to cycle anywhere you want to go, and, of course, the cheese.

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2. Travel

Whilst the opportunity to visit a new place in itself is fantastic, the chances to travel don’t stop there. The workload on exchange tends to be slightly less intense, the flights within Europe are ridiculously cheap (such as a return from Amsterdam to Germany for €35 or to Poland for €15…), and you’re likely to meet many other like-minded students who want to enjoy travelling – the perfect storm for an amazing year of adventures across Europe or further!

Not only this, but you’re likely to make friends on your year abroad from across the world – i.e. friends to visit across the world. The best kind of travelling is with a local!

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3. Appreciate your home

So studying abroad can make you fall in love with another culture, but it can also make you really appreciate your home country and university. When I came back to Sheffield after my year abroad I realised I hadn’t made as much of an effort to explore the area as I had abroad, and had taken for granted all the things you can do and see as a student in the UK. Since arriving back in Sheffield I have realised that there are 3 things in particular I’d taken for granted: Sheffield SU (Pop Tarts, ROAR, Tuesday Club, Bar One, Interval, New Leaf (bae), the countless societies and other events, the list goes on…), the Peak District, and also some English food that is simply not the same anywhere else (I’ll admit I did actually miss meal deals and Greggs quite a lot).

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4. Learn a language

A huge benefit of going abroad for a year is the ability to develop your language skills. Whether you’re developing some previous skills from GCSE or A Level, perfecting your University level language skills, or starting from scratch and learning the basics, learning a language can be really interesting. It makes you stand out in the crowd and is generally  just an all round cool skill to have.

5. Improve your final year grades

I had heard people say that doing a year abroad can help improve your all-important final year grades before I studied abroad, and I must say that since I’ve been back I have definitely found it to be true.

As you develop new ways of thinking and learning you are pushed out of your comfort zone and to try new things on exchange, and I found this helped give me a more well-rounded understanding in my legal studies. I learnt different and diverse topics which I would not have had the chance to otherwise, and this has benefitted me hugely in my degree at Sheffield. For example I studied a module in Utrecht which sparked a particular interest of mine, and I am currently undertaking my research paper in a related area.

Further to this, it develops your skills beyond your literal academic knowledge, such as independence, organisational, research and communication skills and “thinking outside the box” (excuse the cliché) which all feed in to your overall academic development.

Whilst getting good grades is a huge advantage in itself, having a year abroad alone also looks good on your CV: it sets you apart from others and gives you something interesting to talk about in interviews.

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6. Learn about yourself

At a risk of sounding super-cheesy, doing a year abroad truly does teach you a lot about yourself as a person. It opens your eyes to new ways of thinking and learning. You will become more confident, independent and self-aware. You will meet people who change your perspective on things and people you’ll never forget.

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“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”

 

 

 

 

Posted in All things 301, Intern advice, Written by Miranda

A brief intro!

Hello!

I’m Miranda, a final year law student, and as of January I’m one of the new Student Interns at 301! For those of you who are wondering “What is a Student Intern?” or “What is 301?” (or if, alternatively, you’re just looking for a good reason to procrastinate without feeling guilty because this is at least sort of educational…) then read on!

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So firstly, what is 301?

  • 301 (or 301 Student Skills and Development Centre) is a team of fantastic people dedicated to helping all students at Sheffield University with their academic needs.
  • We are located in the impressive building opposite the SU on Glossop Road (i.e. the road which Harley is on).
  • If you’re guilty of making “New semester, new me” resolutions which go out of the window after Week 2, or even if you just feel there are a couple of areas in your skills you could tweak to improve, then 301 could be the perfect answer to keeping you on track post-Christmas break. With the help of 301, this semester could be the one where you get organised early on and take the pressure off the dreaded deadline/exam season.
  • At 301 there’s many different workshops to book on to, to help students with commonly reoccurring issues/ areas for improvement, for example:
    • Proofreading
    • Critical thinking
    • Note taking
    • Dissertation Planning
  • If you have a more specific area of your research or study skills which you’d like to improve you can make an appointment with a tutor for a 30 minute 1:1 tutorial.
  • Also available is MASH, offering drop in appointments to help with your Maths and Statistics needs.
  • Check out the 301 website at https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301/index for loads of useful online resources and more information about what you’re missing out on!

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What is a Student Intern?

  • Week 4 into the role, so far being a 301 Student Intern is proving to be a pretty perfect student job. The staff are extremely friendly and it’s a great way to gain an insight into how the different schemes at the university work.
  • It’s really flexible and the hours aren’t too much so it’s easy to balance alongside university work and social life. If anything having a part-time job is really useful in making sure you manage your time effectively!
  • The work is interesting and involves manning the reception desk, organising and collecting Workshop information and data, and maintaining the 301 social media accounts. 

How can I become one?!

  • Keep an eye out on our blogtwitter and the Sheffield career connect page!
  • Get to know more about how 301 works by taking advantage of the workshops and other tools available online and in the building. 
  • In the meantime if you’d like to get involved in other university programmes related to helping students develop their skills then why not apply to be a Sheffield University Mentor for new students and international students (applications for 2018-2019 open in March!), or see if you can get involved in the PASS scheme if your department runs one!