First Impressions of Sheffield

I arrived in Sheffield almost two months ago. Yet it just feels so new. This picture perfect town with its picture perfect people. I came to Sheffield from India with two of my friends feeling cocky and confident that I would easily find accommodation without any delay. Little did I know that the following two weeks would be an endless struggle with hunting for houses, getting lost around Sheffield and lugging heavy suitcases from one guesthouse to another. This being our first time in the UK, we were pretty clueless regarding transport options and ended up spending too much on travel in our initial days. Coupled with falling sick due to climate change, I wouldn’t have said that it was one of the best times of my life – at least, not until now, when I reflect upon it. 

Now that we are all busy with our lectures and assignments, I miss those days walking around Sheffield with my friends. Eating at little cafés, clicking pictures at picturesque locations and, most importantly, random shopping sprees. I remember being amazed by the extent to which people are fashion conscious over here. It fills my shopaholic heart with delight to see great deals on clothes and shoes, especially the student discounts.

Once our accommodation was sorted and student registration completed at the University; it was pretty much a smooth ride from then onwards. The Student Union deserves a special mention since it played a vital role in my first impression of Sheffield. The first time we came to the SU, it was like entering a different world altogether. Here was a place that was run by students, but with such efficiency. Accommodation dilemmas? Go to propertywithUS. Want a Bank Letter? Go to SSiD and you’ll be handed one within seconds.

Back in India, when I was applying for my masters at various universities, the highly commended Sheffield Students’ Union was one of the major reasons for that I applied to the University of Sheffield. That, and the fact that the university is a part of the prestigious Russell Group. I love all the university buildings, each unique in it’s architecture. The Information Commons is much more than a library, I literally spend my weekends at this place. I remember being awestruck at its modernistic setting and infrastructure. Never before had I seen such a modern and high tech library.

I have made a bucket list of all the things that I wish to do while I am in Sheffield. Going to the much-praised Peak District is next on my list, especially to eat the authentic Yorkshire pie at the place mentioned in the Intro Week video. I think I am settling into life in here. Instead of random strangers I see friendly faces and extremely polite people who are always helpful. Coming from a metropolitan city in India, the very fact that shops shut at 5pm here in Sheffield was a bit of a culture shock for me initially. It’s all about perspective. I feel people here devote time to living life rather than just constantly running around in a rat race. It was another thing that I liked about Sheffield. Living life to the fullest has always been my agenda. Sheffield has even gotten me hooked to fried fish. Having always been a not-so-enthusiastic non-vegetarian, I stuck to eating chicken in India. Ever since I have come here, the fragrant aroma of fried fish gets my taste buds tingling. Stumbling into sudden small fairs and pop up shops on the weekend, having coffee and walking down West Street on a cold breezy day have become a much loved part of my routine.

I miss home a lot but I love this current phase of life. Between catching up with studies and discovering new places, I didn’t realize when I fell in love with this place. I am making memories of a lifetime, and I will take these with me when I go back home.

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