Is a gap year just an excuse for a long holiday?

The phrase ‘gap year’ receives different responses from different people. For some it appears to conjure up the idea of a work-shy affluent student who wants to ‘see the world’ before they are forced to get a job. To others, it represents opportunities to gain valuable work experience. So just what is a gap year, and is it worthwhile? Or is it just an excuse for a long holiday?

Personally, I would define a gap year as either of the above and everything in-between. I didn’t go on the traditional travelling gap year, however I did take a year out of my undergraduate studies to work in industry. But I have some friends who have been and still are abroad, either on their gap year, or some who have managed to make a life for themselves abroad. Continue reading

So you want to become a blogger?

With the rise of social media and online journalism, and the subsequent demise of ‘traditional’ journalism, more and more people are turning to blogging (the reason why you are reading this blog right now!) to get writing experience. So what is blogging, how can you do it, and can it improve your career prospects? Keep reading to find out.

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5 tips for freshers

First of all, for all you freshers – welcome to university! Uni will be the most important years of your life so far, with big expectations on you to develop academically and personally. As a veteran (after a 4 year undergrad, and now in the second year of a PhD!) I am here to give you some tips to make your life easier, help you achieve more, but also enjoy your time in (and out) of Uni! Continue reading

“Ma nitkellimx bil-Malti” – I can’t speak Maltese!

One of the best things about being a student is the long summer breaks. Unfortunately as I am a PhD student, now I have to book time off for a holiday! I always like to go abroad, I love learning about the culture, experiencing different ways of life, and of course trying new food!

My holiday this year was to visit an old school friend who is living on the beautiful island of Malta! Continue reading

What happens when you combine Science with Arts and Humanities?

This piece was inspired by a recent Sheffield Students blog article, “Science Vs Humanities”, which I enjoyed reading it because it made me reconsider the importance of Arts and Humanities, as compared to the Sciences.

For as much as I think some students and the public don’t see the point of arts and humanities degrees, many also don’t understand the importance of science and its students. That isn’t to say that the majority of the public don’t think science is important, it’s more that they maybe don’t fully appreciate how it affects their day-day life. Continue reading

Life’s too short to just sit at home… sometimes!

Studying for a PhD, I’m a pretty busy guy. I have noticed recently that time just seems to be flying by, the months whizzing past (I mean, how is it April already? I swear it was only Christmas a couple of weeks ago!). Thinking about time moving quickly, I then remembered that I will be 24 years old at the end of the year. No big deal some may say. Yet it simultaneously feels like a lifetime and just a few months ago that I moved to Sheffield as an 18 year old, ready to start my Undergraduate degree. And yes, studying for a PhD is apparently so demanding that I am prone to forgetting my age sometimes… Continue reading

Putting the ‘media’ in ‘academia’

This article was also published on my personal blog: Microbe Stew

I’m writing this post on WordPress. Some of you will see it directly via the WordPress reader, but chances are most of you will be drawn here via social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and so on… The relevance of this? Social media is important to academia (apologies for the rather cliched title!). Continue reading

How to beat those January blues!

It is that time of year again: new years’ resolutions nagging at you; regretting that 30th mince pie on Christmas day; short, cold and dark days; all combined with not having Christmas to look forward to anymore! So it is no surprise that many people suffer from January blues every year. Here I have some suggestions on little ways you can make a big difference to your life this winter, which are easily achievable, unlike that promise to give up chocolate! Continue reading