The Sheffield Scholarship Celebration Event

As we approach the end of 2017, it feels timely and appropriate to pause and take stock of the year so far –  to give thanks for all the positive experiences and memories, and to show gratitude to the people who helped to make these moments possible.

A significant memory from my own year has to my attendance to the Sheffield Scholarship Celebration Event held at The Octagon on Tuesday 7th November 2017. The evening, designed to congratulate those in receipt of a scholarship award, was a truly memorable event for me. As I sat chatting to other scholarship award winners, surrounded by balloons, confetti and buffet galore, I felt a sense of awe at the welcome that had been extended to us. If I’m being honest, I’ve never really been celebrated in that way before. I’ve never had an institution invest in me so fully.

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Taught Masters vs. Undergraduate degree

I recently started my master’s degree in Translational Neuropathology (yeah the name kinda scares me too) here at the University of Sheffield! As well as all of the changes that come with moving to a new university, I have also found that doing a masters is quite different to undergrad. Sure, there are some similarities, it’s still a taught cause after all, but it definitely takes some getting used to. At four weeks in, here are the differences I’ve found so far:

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On being a first year International Student

“Have I made the right decision?” , “What exactly am I doing?”, “How will I cope?” , “What if I don’t fit in?” , “What if I don’t make any friends?”.

These were some of the questions that were running through my mind on the day I started my journey to Sheffield.

Many of us feel scared from time to time, which is normal. I just never thought that I’d be feeling this way on my way to Sheffield from Nairobi, Kenya. You see, this is my first time in England and the longest time I’ve been away from home so I did not know what to expect once I arrived. Before the day of the much anticipated flight, I had felt happy, excited, anxious and even sad. However, I was not scared so I was shocked when I was overwhelmed by this feeling as I was just about to board the plane. Continue reading

First day, first blog!

 So, here I am – first day of University, and as a mature student, something I’ve been waiting to experience for a very long time. I’m excited!

Mature students have a raft of things going on in their heads that students straight from A levels – hopefully – don’t have to think about. For me it was walking the dog, feeding the menagerie we live with, making breakfast for and getting youngest child off to school and that’s on top of having the right stuff, wearing not too embarrassing clothes and finding the right building.  Continue reading

Adopting Sheffield United

First things first, I am a football fanatic and as I arrived at Sheffield I began to grieve having left behind my one true love, my football team, Derby County. Now, I’m from Nottingham, home of the football team Nottingham Forest. Those who know their football will see the controversy here, those who don’t fear not, I shall explain: Nottingham Forest and Derby County are huge rivals so I’m a bit of a maverick.

I had 3 teams to choose from here – Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United or Sheffield FC. I immediately eliminated Sheffield Wednesday; they play in the same division as Derby and have the most expensive tickets – easy decision. Sheffield FC are the oldest football club in the world and play in a very low league so these were tempting as I really wanted to join a club with a smaller fan base  but alas they play near Dronfield and I’m way too lazy to get the train. So by default I was left with Sheffield United. Continue reading

How to cope with being a neat freak in student halls

Before I started living in uni halls, I did not realise how pedantic I was about cleanliness. Living in a place where my parents did most of the housework was something I seriously took for granted, and it was only when I was taken out of that environment that I noticed how much I liked order and general tidiness. Going from that, to sharing a flat with other teenagers, definitely brought out the neat freak within me – mostly because now if dishes are left on the draining board, they won’t magically disappear the next day. They will fester. And even if you do all your own washing, it doesn’t mean your housemates are as bothered as you about it building it up and causing a disgusting smell. Continue reading

How to start using your brain again: getting back into studying after time out

Is it just me who occasionally forgets how to write legible letters on actual paper and make it resemble handwriting? If it’s been a while since you’ve had any need to whip out your pencil case and do something that requires a few more brain cells than watching YouTube videos, it can be overwhelming when you first get back into the routine of work at uni. Whether it’s been a summer off, a whole gap year, or even just a long weekend of doing nothing, sometimes it feels like your brain needs a reboot. Continue reading

An introvert’s guide to Fresher’s Week

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You may be surprised to know, that for a considerable number of people, dancing awkwardly in a claustrophobic room full of incredibly drunk strangers, is not the epitome of existence.

Frankly, I would never relive Freshers Week. As an introvert who prefers deep and genuine relationships with a select few rather than shallow, automated acquaintances with masses, the week was incredibly exhausting. Continue reading

Small town to Steel City – moving up

‘You’re moving to a big city and you don’t know anyone there?’ ‘Don’t you know the people up North speak differently?’ ‘You do realise it’s going to be so loud and noisy all the time?’ These are all opinions and questions I faced in the run up to moving to Sheffield from East Anglia. Friends, family, co-workers, even the hairdresser, all arguing they couldn’t do it, they wouldn’t know anyone or their way around. It was almost as if I’d told them I was packing up to fly to Australia alone and never come back. Continue reading

Fears of a mature student

Returning to full-time education was something that I had wanted to do for many years. For varying reasons, it has taken me to the grand age of 35 to get there though! I’m now four weeks into my foundation year and I would like to share my experiences so far. I hope that other mature students may see some common experiences that show them that they are not alone and provide some useful tips for navigating through these fears. Continue reading