Starting the long and windy road to becoming a Doctor – how to survive starting a PhD

It is coming around to that time of year again when campus will be crawling with people; excited freshers starting their university experience, 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates back again for another jam-packed year, and let’s not forget, all those new and continuing postgraduates.

It can be just as daunting for a new PhD student as it is for a fresher. Moving to a new city, having to make new friends, starting a brand new course, it can all be very overwhelming, even if this is at least the second time of doing so. But with a few hints and tips, starting a PhD can be such an exciting time for any student. Continue reading

Two nights in Norway – a perfect weekend break

As any science PhD student can probably tell you, having things to look forward to at the weekends are what gets you through the days when science seems to be taking it all out on you.

So this past weekend I jetted off with my mum for a brief holiday away to Norway. The trip was a Christmas present to anywhere in Europe for a weekend so I chose Bergen, Norway. A 1.5hr plane trip from Gatwick took us straight to Bergen and 30 minutes later we were right in the middle of the city. Our lodging for the weekend was a hostel 5 minutes from the old fishing port. Hostelling is an amazing way to save money as well as meet other travellers and we managed to stay in the best hostel in Norway! In our room we had one Argentinian lady who had been travelling through Ireland, Scotland and now finishing her trip in Norway; we wouldn’t have met her in a hotel! Continue reading

Time to switch off?

Nowadays, with modern technology the way it is, it is very easy to fall into the temptation of checking your phone every 5 minutes. What happens if someone has texted? How many people have liked my recent Instagram picture? Who has commented on my Facebook post? But recent studies have shown that we are spending more and more time looking at screens and less and less time interacting with others around us. There is even a syndrome called FOMO: Fear of Missing Out, defined as ‘anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media’. Continue reading

Parkrun? What’s that?

The thought of waking up before 9am on a Saturday may fill most of you with dread. Why on earth would anyone want to be up at that time of day? Well, if you ask that exact question to the 700+ people who make the trip to Endcliffe Park at the end of Ecclesall Road every Saturday, they will say just one thing in reply: ‘Parkrun’.

So what is it? Well Parkrun is a weekly 5km run that starts on a Saturday at 9am. It’s a completely free event run solely by volunteers. Continue reading

Stuck for something to do on a Saturday night?

Stuck for something to do on a Saturday night? Don’t fancy heading into town or nothing on at the cinema?

I think I have found a great alternative, taking a trip to watch the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team at the Sheffield Arena. They are one of the best teams in the country so well worth a watch during your time in Sheffield. So, this is exactly what I decided to do on Saturday night when the Steelers were up against Coventry Blaze in a league match. Continue reading

‘Eccy Road is the place to be’

So, as a newcomer to Sheffield this academic year, not knowing anything about the area, I found myself living on Ecclesall Road. When you mention Sheffield and Ecclesall Road together in one sentence, to people living in Sheffield, or people who have lived in Sheffield, or even people who have never been to Sheffield but know someone who has, they all know Ecclesall Road, or Eccy Road as the locals call it. Apparently (according to my mum, among others) ‘Eccy Road is the place to be’. Continue reading

Joining a sports club as a postgraduate

Joining a sports club is a huge part of a lot of peoples university life and most club members out there will tell you just what an amazing experience it is; training, matches, teammates becoming lifelong friends, and of course, the Wednesday night socials! But what happens if you want to join a sports club as a postgraduate, in particular a PhD research student? It can be a very daunting prospect, perhaps more so than at undergraduate level. Will you have the time? Will you make friends? Will you make the team? Will you be able to fit it around your research? Continue reading