First years: how a student mentor can help you!

Firstly, congratulations on your A Level exam results and for gaining a place at the University of Sheffield, a place that has been my second home for three years now (and I wouldn’t have had it any other way).

You might have many questions about university life before starting your new course, but might not know who to ask.  My advice would be to apply for a student mentor, which was something that I was very grateful for in my first year.  It’s really simple – all you need to do is sign up for one by creating your own profile on your pre-registration tasks (you should have received a link to this in an email).  It will ask you to tell them a bit about yourself, such as your interests and why you would like a mentor. Continue reading

The benefits of writing a dissertation

I promise you – there are some benefits!

I have now finished all of my assignments for my final year at university, and I feel like I can reflect on the time I spent preparing and writing my dissertation. I will admit, I did find some times stressful, and times where I didn’t feel like my research project was worth anything.  But you do pull through these moments, and if you put in enough work, you can end up with something you’re really proud of.  I haven’t received my grade yet, but I can say I have learnt a lot over the course of writing a dissertation, and I hope this calms the nerves of some of you who are starting to think about one.  Here are some of the pros of doing a dissertation: Continue reading

The group interview: not as nerve-wracking as you think!

I recently took part in my first ever group interview, and being the worrier that I am, I was extremely nervous for it.  I knew that it would revolve around a lot of scenario questions, and I was wondering how on earth I would come up with interesting ideas and show off some creativity, which comes so naturally to others.  I was also worried about clashes of opinions and personalities and how this might affect my performance.  But once I had gotten into the swing of things, I realised it was completely different and a lot less nerve-wracking than I had originally thought.  My prior misconceptions of the group interview had disappeared, and I now reflect on it with clarity and an open-mind, and what I managed to get out of it. Continue reading

Volunteering alongside your studies: What can you get out of it?

As a final year student, I thought I would share my experiences of volunteering, as well as some of the benefits of volunteering alongside your degree.  If your degree is anything like mine, you will have a lot of spare time on your hands – I noticed that I should probably be undertaking extra activities with the other 162 hours of my week (and not just eating and sleeping!).  I now feel like I’ve made my years in Sheffield much more fulfilling and rewarding, as I’ve taken part in lots of projects within the university and in the surrounding community. Continue reading

How student life has changed me for the better

If there’s one thing I can learn from my whole university experience, it’s that it has changed me in more positive ways than negative.  It doesn’t seem long ago that I was shipped off from my hometown in a 4×4 that, when fully packed, I probably couldn’t breathe in due to the amount of rubbish I had brought with me (a rookie mistake).  By the time my second year came around, I managed to gain a little more oxygen, so at least I had learnt from my first mistake.  Taking examples like these and turning once negative situations into more positive ones has really helped when times are not going quite as planned.  Every student’s university life is different, but I thought I would share some of the ways in which my life has changed, even if just one person can relate and feel better about themselves. Continue reading

Getting your motivation back after the festive period!

It’s the end of the festivities and it’s back to reality.  Every university student knows just how difficult it is to scrape together all remnants of motivation that have been left in early December.  Even festive television can be distracting, especially when Harry Potter is plastered all over ITV (I’m secretly thankful for this).  But, essays don’t write themselves, and hopefully these few tips can ease you back into the swing of your former studious life. Continue reading

You’re coping better than you think you are at University

Who needs a desk to study? Get comfy!

Who needs a desk to study? Get comfy!

Now settling into my third year at Sheffield, I’ve had time to reflect on my experiences from all aspects of my student life.  I’ve realised that just about everyone is fighting their own battles.  I look back on the times when I struggled with a situation and think, “Wow, I really managed to pull through that and come out of the other side”, and at the time, I thought I would crumble under the pressure. Continue reading