Finishing a PhD (or trying to)!

It is coming around to the half way mark of the PhD academic year, which means for some final year PhD students, it is only 6 months to go until the end of their degree.

Now this can be a scary thought for some, or a relief for others, but it is seen by many as potentially the most stressful part of the 3 or 4 years of a PhD. You have to complete a thesis (basically writing a book), potentially write a paper or two, all whilst trying to figure out what you want to do once you have finished. And for those who know what job they want, it is just a case of finding someone who will pay you to do said job!

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Early morning wake up call

So it’s that time of year again. Exams are fast approaching and you are well prepared, right? You have been attending all of your lectures, all of those extremely insightful seminars or tutorials of yours and of course you are on top of the reading. You are being a good student instead of scrolling through student problems laughing to yourself about how relatable they are to your current situation. Am I right or am I right? Wait… maybe I am not actually correct? Imagine that! All joking aside, here is your early morning wake up call to get you back on track, as I know some people have fallen behind along the way. I shall attempt to inspire all of those struggling during this sad time in our student lives. I cordially invite you all to join ‘Hagan’s Academic Cult’. Continue reading if interested. Continue reading

Shopping for books in Sheffield

With the closure of the infamous ‘Rare and Racy’ of Devonshire Street in 2017, Sheffield students and locals have been forced to search elsewhere for out-of-print material and second-hand bargains. At the same time, this closure served to highlight the threat to Independent Sheffield. With city planning evolving every year, this threat becomes ever more real. Below is a specially selected array of independent books shops across Sheffield’s city centre and outer districts – be sure to check them out, support local businesses, and find some diamonds in the rough.

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Students, their phones and a social media cleanse

Social media cleanses, we all know what they are, but we are all reluctant to try one. Or we don’t think we’re in need of one. Some people are addicted to their phones, but we deny that we ourselves are. In the minds of many, social media cleanses are for the hopeless, the radicals, and the down right crazy. They’re not for the likes of us, or at least they weren’t for the likes of me.

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Putting the ‘pro’ in procrastinate

Have you ever got stressed for assignments whilst watching Netflix, knowing you should be doing your assignment instead, but you feel like you cannot stop procrastinating and that stresses you out even more? It’s also known as the procrastination doom loop that sends us spiraling.

Procrastination literally means “put off till tomorrow” in Latin. Which is what we all probably say when we have that lecture to go through, or finish that assignment, or maybe even just start the assignment!

Personally, the sudden uncontrolled freedom of university has its advantages, but one of the disadvantages is when I put off things for “later”, and end up doing absolutely nothing. Weeks fly past me, as I binge watch on Netflix, do nothing most of the day, and then find myself stressing over everything when it is two weeks until exams. It can’t just be me feeling this way, right?

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Strike for climate change!

Most of you will have heard of the recent strikes by school children demanding action for climate change. They were sparked by Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old girl from Sweden who initiated the strikes by sitting in front of the Swedish Parliament last August. Since then, the movement has only grown, with students from over 100 countries walking out of class worldwide and Greta being nominated for a Nobel peace prize.

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Here’s what you need to know about making friends at University

You might have opened this article because, like me, you are one of life’s worriers and making friends at university is one of the many things you have started to think about, even though September is many months away. Equally, you might not have given much thought to the friendship aspect of university life yet – this article is not to tell you that you should start worrying. On the contrary, the first thing you need to know is that friendships will fall into place when you get to university. That is not to say that friendships don’t require work or that you shouldn’t put yourself in situations to find friends. You should join societies, remain open to meeting new people, and introduce yourself to other students. However, making friends is not something you need to worry about – before university or when you get there. I admit that I would have scoffed to read this article before I went to university, wondering why the writer assumed it was easy to stop worrying. Although the concern may be something that continues to persist in your mind, I can give you some evidence to support my claims. Firstly, you can look to your own experiences, and then I’ll share a somewhat embarrassing story of my own to prove my point.

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If you don’t write essays to revise for essay-based exams, you’re not alone

It feels like a dirty confession to make, but I don’t write essays as a revision technique. Despite the fact that most of the GCSE’s and all of the A-Levels I took were essay-based subjects, and the degree I’m currently taking is almost entirely assessed by essays, essay-writing has never been my go-to revision method. It isn’t because I hate essays, I like to think I have a normal love/hate relationship with them but because they don’t work for me. The reason this confession almost feels sacrilegious is because it is something I’ve heard repeatedly for years from teachers, ‘practise writing essays’ and ‘write practice essays’. School was a constant stream of ‘practice essays’, ‘practice essays’ and, you’ve guessed it, ‘practice essays’. It would be a lie to say that I’ve never written any; I had to write my fair share at school and did write a few at home. I’m not trying to say they aren’t helpful but that they aren’t equally helpful for everyone, and I’m one of the people that can revise more successfully in other ways. This article isn’t to give you an excuse to stop writing essays but a reminder that it is okay to prioritise other revision methods. I feel guilty sometimes, wondering if I should write an essay and am in fact being lazy- and sometimes I am, but normally it is more than that.

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