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

Useful apps/programs you probably already have!

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

iBooks

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

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OneNote

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

Sticky Notes

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

YouTube

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

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

Life hack:

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

Box of Broadcasts

You might have heard about this from your lecturers.

a gif oCaptain Holt from Brooklyn 99 saying

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

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

LinkedIn Learning

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

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

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

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

Posted in All things 301, Intern advice, Uncategorized, Written by Lauryn

Making 301 Work For You as a Disabled Student

You’ve survived the first month of uni (almost) – hooray! However, for some students with a disability, settling in might be a longer process. Not only that, but some of the course demands can feel quite threatening: presentations may strike dread, the idea of having to make own schedule could be nerve-wracking, and taking notes in lectures can be overwhelming. I’m Lauryn, a new 301 intern, and I’m here to give you my tips and tricks as an autistic student who has survived first and second year.

You at the end of working with 301:

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Photo ID: a gif of a man. He is giving a presentation and waves two large colourful flags, dancing happily

Sometimes, studying with a disability can be really tough. For me, having autism and anxiety means that presentations and time management can be difficult. The 301 Study Skills tutorials are a great way to tackle the things that come as a challenge and become a pro at them. In a 30 minute 1:1 discussion with a specialist from 301, you can develop your skills in any area of academic life that you find tricky and find ways to make it easier.

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Photo ID: A meme showing a photo of someone highlighting everything on a page with the caption “Teacher says highlight only the important parts”

A lot of the time, advice is given in one-size-fits-all approaches, assuming everyone will benefit from learning the same strategies and techniques. However, being autistic, I’ve found that a lot of these don’t work for me. Generic suggestions like ‘only take notes on what’s important’ in lectures doesn’t work for me – everything seems important! Study Skills tutorials will offer more personalised advice suited to you as an individual. For me, this was about deciding just how to prioritise my workload and classes so as not to drain my social battery too much and managing how I worked around times of high stress like exams.

 

More so, Study Skills tutorials are great for developing confidence. It isn’t about highlighting what you aren’t as good at, but about using the ways you work well to frame how you can change your academic approach. If you struggle with focus, but are very good at sticking to a schedule, your advisor can help you use that strength to combat the thing you find tricky. The positive attitude fostered in the tutorials will make sure that by the end of the session, you’re sure you can achieve whatever it is you came in for help with. That presentation you have to give? You’re going to nail it. That essay? Prepared for way in advance.

Coming from someone who used to struggle presenting who now goes to conferences around Sheffield and presents on my research, the Study Skills tutorials have improved my confidence so much. I now have the skills, and the belief in myself, to take myself out of my comfort zone. The skills you learn in a tutorial are applicable in every area of life, so what have you got to lose? Sign up today, and get ready to see those Firsts rolling in.

All of us at 301 cheering you on:

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Photo ID: a gif of  comedian John Mulaney saying “yes” and pointing
Posted in Extracurricular, student life, Uncategorized, Uni work, Written by Britt

Final Year Reflections

So, next week is my last official week of teaching, which means that I am very nearly at the end of my degree. I have no idea where these past three years have gone! Alas, all good things must come to an end, and with that in mind I’ve recently been doing a lot of reflecting upon my time here at Sheffield and what I’ve learnt during it.

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I (somehow) now know what I want to do:

I was accepted onto the Teach First programme to teach Secondary English last summer (which seems like a lifetime ago!), starting this September. I’ve always thought about teaching but the opportunities I’ve had available to me over the course of my degree, for example various teaching/tutoring volunteer projects, have shown me that teaching is what I really want to do. That said, even if you’re still unsure about what direction you want to go in, then do not panic! You don’t have to know what you want to do right now – I’ve just been a bit lucky, I think.

I’ve met some amazing people:

The people I’ve met during my degree  have honestly made my uni experience. As cheesy as it sounds, I don’t think I would have been able to get through the difficult times without them! I’ve made it a personal goal of mine to make sure that I don’t lose touch with the friends I’ve made as they’re some of the best people I’ve ever met.

I’ve learnt how to be a pro multi-tasker:

I’ve somehow managed to juggle three part-time jobs this year alongside a full-time English Literature degree. People think I’m literally insane, however I’ve actually quite enjoyed the busy days. I think it’s taught me that I am able to handle quite a lot when I need to but it has also proved that resting and having days where you do absolutely nothing is equally as important!

These are just a few of my key reflections that I’ve had over the last few weeks. If you sit and think about yours, I’m sure you’ll see that you’ve learnt far more than what you realise!

 

Posted in Intern advice, student life, Written by Sophie

Funding your Postgraduate Degree!

If you’ve applied for a postgraduate degree, you might be thinking about how you are going to fund it. The funding avenues are very different to those at undergraduate level, and it is important to know what sources of funding would be appropriate for you. As I am currently undertaking a Masters degree, these avenues will be most appropriate for Masters degrees, but you would find PhD level funding in similar ways.giphy (26)

The main way to find out what funding a university has is to check their website! They will likely have a list of funding avenues that you can browse and check their requirements. For instance, the University of Sheffield has a ‘Postgraduate Student Funding Table’ with a list of sources (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/finance/pg). Depending on the type of degree you would like to study, there will be different routes for different departments. I applied for the Arts and Humanities scholarships, as I am studying English Language and Linguistics, but there also scholarships within departments such as Law, Management, Dentistry, etc.

There may also be university-wide scholarships, such as the Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarships, with 100+ scholarships worth £10,000 each for students that meet part of the widening participation criteria, or that have high academic success. Each university is likely to have set aside some money to fund postgraduate degrees, so be sure to see what they have on offer.

A source of funding that is not often utilised is the ‘Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding’, which gives you access to charities and external bodies that would like to fund students regardless of subject or nationality. You can register via your student email address or simply login while you are on campus to gain access to the site. You can search for specific criteria that you meet, such as where your usual home is, what your parents’ jobs are, whether you come from a widening participation criteria, and even, whether you are a vegetarian/vegan (some students have been funded via this charity before!). It is worth having a look through the website – the amounts that charities give may be a lot smaller than the scholarships but if you manage to secure a number of these, you could be receiving enough money to fund part of your studies.

Finally, there are Postgraduate Government Loans which are providing loans of up to £10,609 for postgraduate taught Masters students aged under 60. If you are wanting to take out a loan via this route, be mindful that when paying it back you will be doing so alongside your undergraduate loan, as opposed to it being added on top of your first loan.

Make sure when applying for funding that you really put across your passion for the subject and how the degree/funding will help you (and the wider community) in the future. What are your short-term and long-term goals? How will others benefit from your study? Do you have any particular dissertation ideas in mind?

I wish you the best of luck in applying for any postgraduate funding!

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Posted in Written by Sophie

Finding support when you need it! Part 1

Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to go if you’re in need of support. There’s so many support services available on campus and it can be overwhelming when you’re not sure what each one specialises in. In this blog post I have listed a number of services that may be beneficial to you, no matter what your problem is. Hopefully I have covered most grounds here!giphy (8)SSiD

SSiD are here to answer the majority of your questions about all aspects of university life. If they cannot answer the question for you, they can direct you to appropriate services that will be able to. During your time at university, problems may arise where you’re not sure which service would be best, so SSiD can help. They’re also there to print new UCards, results, certificates of student status, and are able to confirm your student status too. SSiD are on Level 3 of the Students’ Union.

Central Welfare and Guidance (CWaG)

Central Welfare and Guidance support students who are experiencing personal difficulties that may be impacting study or their university experience in general. They have direct links to external agencies depending on your situation, such as: Rape Crisis, SY Police, Domestic Abuse and Community Mental Health. Some situations that CWaG include, but are not limited to: serious ill health, bereavement, bullying and harassment, mental health problems and domestic/sexual violence. They’re your number one service for anything welfare related, so pop in to see them on Level 6 of the Students’ Union.

University Counselling Service (UCS)

As well as the University Health Service (UHS), the University Counselling Service are available for anything Mental Health related. Not only are there appointments available for all students, but there are many online resources and sessions running. There are Mindfulness Stress Reduction sessions, Group Therapy and Individual Counselling sessions, and various workshops. You can access Self-help resources here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/counselling/self. If you think you’re having any mental health problem, the UCS can help you at 36 Wilkinson Street. To book your first appointment, you can register with Student Access to Mental Health Support (SAMHS) for triage appointments: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/mental-wellbeing.

Nightline

There are sometimes evenings when you just need to talk to someone about something that has been troubling you. Nightline, a volunteer-led association run by Sheffield students, is an excellent service who will listen to you, and not lecture. No problem is too big or too small, and all of the students are trained to keep things non-directive, confidential and anonymous. They operate between 8pm and 8am any night during term-time, on the number 0114 222 8787. You can also call 0114 222 8788 for information. They also have a listening service via email if you don’t mind waiting longer, on nightline@sheffield.ac.uk.

301 & Maths & Statistics Help (MASH)

The place to be for anything academic skills-related. Whether that be wanting to beat procrastination, brush up on your writing skills, or deciding which statistical test to use in your research, 301 and Maths and Statistics Help can help. You don’t have to be an undergraduate either, postgraduates are also more than welcome and you can be from any degree background. We have workshops, one-to-one sessions and online tutorials, so however you would like to work we have it available for you.

On top of all of these great services, there are SU officers that can help with any of your concerns and complaints, and can make change happen. There are also societies within the SU, such as LGBT+, Black and Ethnic Minorities students committee, and more that you could get specialised support from and meet like-minded people. This is not an exhaustive list – there is plenty of information on SSiD’s page via the university website too!

Check back next week for Part 2! 🙂 giphy (9)