Lessons Learnt

Uhm, I don’t mean to alarm anyone but… I’ve actually finished University! The past four years in Sheffield have both felt like an eternity and no time at all.  Despite what I may have said during stressful periods throughout my degree, I’ve honestly had the best time in Sheffield.  There have been many more highs (and I’m not just talking about the hills) than lows.  I’m sure we can all relate to having learnt something from University (whether that be related to our course or not) so I thought I’d share some of my personal lessons.

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Being mindful, when your mind is full.

It’s easy to advise other people (or yourself) to ‘be mindful’, but actually practising mindfulness is another matter.  When I first came to Uni (almost four years ago now, which makes me feel like a veteran) it wasn’t something I’d really ever tried.  I was introduced to mindfulness properly in my third year, when I downloaded the Headspace app which I found really helpful during a difficult and stressful period of time.

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The perfect study playlist…

Although this January exam period is already a memory of the past, we still have another semester to go of the year and for me, this will involve a significant amount of dissertation writing.  I personally struggle to work in loads of background noise (i.e. the non-silent aspects of any library) but I also find myself drifting off into fairyland or tuning in to the noise of someone munching away on a never ending packet of crisps (honestly, that is the worst) when I work in complete silence.  So yeah, a study playlist is ideal.  But then I get even more picky, because the sort of thing I can listen do depends on the type of work I’m doing.  Sometimes I can’t deal with words because I just end up singing them (or writing them into my assignments) but other times wordless music doesn’t seem to motivate me enough.

I’m always looking for something new to get me through working so I’ve compiled a little list of my current favourites which might appeal to some of you out there if you feel the same!


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‘Finding Myself’

When I hear the phrase ‘finding myself’ I instantly think of this in a comical light, envisioning a gap year in the depths of Thailand wandering free in the mystical sunset air of travelling.  It sounds deep, but when I really take the time to consider it, I have really begun ‘finding myself’ on the very windy path of University, turning the corner into my fourth and final year.

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I’ve seen so many bloggers write about things you must see/do in Sheffield and I always enjoy reading them.  I was sat in the lounge with my housemate the other day when it suddenly hit home that as a fourth year student there are so many things I still haven’t done and I’ll be graduating in the Summer!  I thought if I actually wrote my own bucket list (rather than reading everyone else’s and kidding myself that I’ll actually make a meaningful note to do the things suggested) I might actually get round to ticking some things off!

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Taking a break during “a break”

Broadly speaking, there are two types of people.

Type A: can split their mindset into work and “down time” and stick to this effectively. Okay, when I say this I don’t mean the split is perfect – Type As do have a tendency to have too much “down time”, but none the less can completely switch off from work when they have decided they’re spending time away from it.

Type C: likes to tick off all their jobs before they have their “down time”, which is largely impossible, and they spend a lot of time when they should be relaxing thinking about all the “productive” things they could be doing instead.

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Totally relatable winter woes

Unfortunately, the only ‘writing’ I’ve done over the Christmas break has been revision notes, and so I have to say, it’s lovely to be writing something completely different, making sure to “discard the tonne of references that simply bog down your day” (Meakin, 2018).

I must give my boyfriend a little credit, I told him I wasn’t sure what to write about despite my fingers itching at the keys, and he reminded me of the fact I was hugging a hot water bottle and wearing 14 layers talking to him over Skype.

It got me thinking, and it made me laugh considering all the little things we as students have to deal with during the winter months. So I thought I’d write some of them down, for a bit of light reading I’m sure you can relate to amongst this heavy revision season! Continue reading