Working/revising at home during a pandemic…

Stay at home; the government advice couldn’t be any clearer. Cue people from all four corners of the world scrambling to adapt to studying or working from home, myself included. I’m a postgraduate who over the last couple of weeks has sat my spring semester exams, conveniently timed just as coronavirus began to turn the UK upside down. Cheers 2020! Uni stopped face-to-face teaching a week before I was due to sit them, meaning my exams had to be rapidly adapted to an online format, and done from home. This, combined with moving back to my family home a few days before exams started resulted in a slightly unusual exam season, to say the least!

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PhD during COVID-19 pandemic

   In 2015, a biographical movie was released called “The Man who knew Infinity” based on the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a mathematician who made significant contributions in the field of mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. He completed his PhD during WWI in Cambridge (a period of severe rationing and even bombardment) and personal health issues (including TB to which he succumbed in 1920 at the age of 32), while staying in England away from family in India.

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The seminar wallflower – thoughts on contributing more

Picture this, your seminar tutor has just asked the group a question. There is a deafening silence as they await an answer. This time, you have the perfect discussion point that you’ve been contemplating all week. Just as you gain the courage, someone else jumps in. The cycle repeats. Fifty minutes go by and you realise you’ve been a spectator to your peers’ discussion, yet again struggling to contribute. Sharing your thoughts can be daunting for many of us. Especially if you have anxiety. Seminars can be a nightmare for introverts that are scientifically more productive when alone. Alas, seminars and workshops are a part of uni and it can be beneficial for your grades when you begin to feel more comfortable speaking in a group.

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Fantastic mental health support and where to find it

People who struggle with their mental health are painfully aware that it’s not an issue that can be resolved in a week. Because of this, Our Mental Health Week aims to raise awareness of student mental health support at the University of Sheffield, so that people who need help can access the support they need for the duration of their time as a student here. It also showcases different ways you can improve your mental well-being, through fun (and free!!) activities and events that will be going on all week.

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Stress, stress, stress

Exam season is upon us and stress levels are high. In fact, I think stress levels are high throughout the entirety of university. Often we create a link between university and high stress as if the two are one and the same. Students seem to expect to experience stress to such a degree that they accept it as normal and sometimes don’t even notice it. I speak from experience when I say it’s easy to get caught up in a bubble of assignments, deadlines, essays and revision and whilst stress can act as a motivator of sorts, equally it can hinder productivity. The problem in some cases is that students aren’t necessarily aware of the fact that they’re stressed and therefore can’t work towards helping themselves.

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