Sheffield 101: Top Tips for New Students

Hey, I’m Annabel – now a third-year student at the University of Sheffield, two-time mentor, and one-time incredibly nervous and uncertain fresher.

First things first: congratulations on surviving the last year! If you’re already a Sheffield student, well done on everything! If you’re coming to Sheffield for the first time in September, this post is really for you. I hope you’re super proud of yourself for the amazing results that got you a place at this university. It’s easy to get caught up in the preparation and organisation of going to university – don’t forget to give yourself the credit you deserve for the work that got you here.

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Let’s talk action plans

I don’t know about you, but thinking about the future scares me big time. Almost my whole life, people have been asking what I want do “when I get older”. Now, suddenly, I am “older”, and the feeling that I really should know the answer fuels a steadily increasing panic.

The pressure is on. The future is racing towards us, and with it come swathes of older people – parents, teachers, friends of the family, lecturers – all of whom seem to be determined that we should have some kind of plan, that we should know. Maybe you do know: if so, I’m happy for you. I, for one, definitely don’t. Continue reading

The Hope Valley Line: your ticket to some first-class days out!

Sheffield has absolutely fantastic transport links, and there’s no better time to explore them than right now. I know, I know, it’s Winter, and you’re cold, penguins have set up camp in your house kitchen, and you don’t remember the last time you wore less than three layers, but hear me out. Even in the depths of British Winter, there’s no place like the Peak District, and you can explore it without freezing to death, I promise. Continue reading

Stressed about exams?

What a silly question, of course you’re stressed about exams. We all are – sleepily emerging from the warmth of post-Christmas food comas, we’ve been thrown into a vicious cycle of remembering we have exams, spending so much time stressing out about revision that we don’t leave much for actual revising, procrastinating, revising, and then panicking some more.

But you know what? We’re going to get through it. Continue reading

Just say yes

I’m going to be honest with you: I really struggled with university in the first year. That magical experience the media tells you about, where you instantly find your best friends and are happy together? I didn’t get that. First year, for me, was an isolated experience. I’m a very anxious person; I struggled with moving away from my strong, loving support network of close friends and family at home… I felt alone, a lot of the time. In the second semester, I accepted that Uni for me just wasn’t going to be the experience it seemed to be for so many of my friends. I decided it was something I had to survive, not enjoy, and though I dreaded leaving home again after the Summer and coming back, I did.

I’m so glad that I did. Continue reading

Get outside: the peak of Sheffield Uni life

Sheffield is proudly one of the greenest cities in the UK. It’s flooded with beautiful parks, gardens, and green spaces. If you need somewhere to sit under with a picnic blanket on a summer’s day, to shelter under in a spring storm, or somewhere to kick up those beautiful autumn leaves, it’s home to the largest number of trees per person of any city in Europe. What more could you possibly ask of your city?

I’ll tell you what more: you could ask for about a third of the city to lie within a famously beautiful national park… and Sheffield would deliver. Our city is the gateway to the oldest national park in the UK. – the Peak District. Continue reading