As the start of a new academic year fast approaches, Sheffield begins to brace itself for a new wave of freshers ready to fall in love with the Steel City just like the students who have come before them.
So, what do you need to know about the place that you’ll soon be calling your second home?
1. If you thought Scots were proud of their nationality…
… Wait until you meet someone from Yorkshire. We’re a proud bunch who get very excited about anything remotely linked to our home county. A group on Hollyoaks mention that they’re off for a night out in Sheffield and we get a tingly sensation and turn to the person nearest with a big grin: “ey, ey!”. Anything from that to Jess Ennis dominating in yet another major world athletics competition, which calls for a lot of punching the air and another “ey, ey!” (little bit louder now).
2. Eh up. … Ey?
Our dialect and slang is particularly endearing (if a little difficult for the unfamiliar ear to understand). If you’re being a “mardy bum”, then you best lighten up. If someone thinks you’re “chuffing hilarious”, you’re practically a comedian. And anyone who asks you to “mash them a brew” is wanting you to pop the kettle on.
3. We are a friendly bunch!
A study commissioned by Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group found that Sheffield was the happiest city in the UK. 72% of Sheffielders also said that doing good deeds puts them in a better mood so being met with a smiley face and a willingness to go above and beyond is not unusual.
You’ll particularly find this in the Students Union – it’s amazing how lovely everyone is!
4. Best of both worlds
Head into the city centre and grab the 218 bus – you can start the day checking out the Peace Gardens, Winter Gardens, and the lovely town, and head out towards Chatsworth travelling through the glorious Peak District.
Whether you fancy the nightlife and opportunity of a big city, or the calm and rolling green hills of nature, Sheffield has it all!
5. Hidden gems
Sheffield is bursting with independent gems – from wonderful vintage stores found in Devonshire Green including Mooch, to delightful little cafes such as Marmadukes on Norfolk Row, to the fabulous independent cinema, The Showroom – fantastic for student prices.
You’ll find unique experiences, warm atmospheres and unmatched customer service that encapsulates the Sheffield charm.
5. Paris, New York, Sheffield.
Who would’ve thought that this endearing little city would be home to so many contributions to all aspects of the cultural scene?
Films range from The Full Monty (guaranteed to have you rolling on the floor) to the more recent This is England, which is about to start another spin-off series on Channel 4. (The same production company, Warp Films, is also responsible for other modern cult classics Four Lions and Submarine.)
And we’ve made our own small contribution to your GCSE poetry anthology with Simon Armitage and University of Sheffield favourite, Ian McMillan who featured at the State of Sheffield project earlier this year.
But the music scene is perhaps where we’ve had our strongest influence. From Pulp to Arctic Monkeys, the contribution to music from Sheffield has spanned several decades. There is something very charming about the Yorkshireman’s guide to lyrics and their retention of the accent when sung.
Pulp’s Common People epitomises this:
“I took her to a supermarket,
I don’t know why, but I had to start it somewhere.
So it started there.
I said, ‘Pretend you’ve got no money’.
She just laughed and said ‘Oh you’re so funny’.
I said ‘Yeah? (heh)
Well, I can’t see anyone else smiling in here’.”
But note also, Alex Turner’s accent when singing this fantastic verse in the (relative) oldie but goldie I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor:
“Oh, there ain’t no love, no Montagues or Capulets
Just banging tunes and DJ sets”
7. Oh, and Rome.
And let’s not forget the parallel between Rome and Sheffield (well, one of them): both are built on seven hills!
It is a common misconception that the Steel City nickname came from our history in industry. In fact, it is an homage to Sheffielders’ thighs – worked out every day by the natural landscape.
So excited for all you freshers to join and hope you have an amazing time!