5 reasons I’m grateful I chose Sheffield

Having recently worked as an Open Day Ambassador for the Languages Department and talking to A-level students come to figure out what they want to do next, I realised just how big a decision going to university is. I know this sounds obvious and I’m a bit slow in realising this (after all, I am in my fourth year) but it got me thinking how different my life would be if I had chosen a different university. Because I come from Northern Ireland, I didn’t have the luxury of going to multiple different open days (one person I talked to was basically booked up every weekend with open days!) as practicality and costs got in the way of that. The only university I visited was in Scotland and I did quite like it there, so I will admit there have been a few times where I debated whether I had made the right choice in putting The University of Sheffield, which I had never visited, as my first choice. As I settled into Sheffield, those thoughts soon melted away and now I genuinely can’t imagine anywhere offering a better experience. So this is really just a little appreciation post about all the things I’ve loved about Sheffield. Well, not an exhaustive list, but a selection of highlights. Continue reading

A real slog: master the monotony

Two-and-a-half years ago, when I first decided to take on a PhD, there were a number of challenges that I was warned of by both students and supervisors – longevity, isolation and motivation over four years, to name just a few. But, now approaching the end of my third year, with the seemingly endless desert of time stretched out before me in which to actually “write the bloody thing”, I can now assuredly say that none of those things have posed the greatest test. Not even close. Continue reading

On my first year in Sheffield

I can’t believe my first year is already over. At some point, it felt like this year was never going to come to an end but here we are! When I look back to who I was at the beginning of the year, so much has changed! I have learnt so much and in general, I have grown as a person. I’m still not good at adulting but simple things like buying my own groceries and planning my weekly budget makes me feel like I can actually make it as an adult. Aside from that, here are a couple of things I’ve learnt from my first year in Sheffield. Continue reading

Reflections on University: First Year

With my first year exams over in a few days, I can’t help but think of how fast this year has come and gone; I’ve met people I would consider friends for life, and made memories that will be treasured. I remember starting, being terrified yet excited about living alone for the first time, wondering how I’d get by. As with anything, it’s had its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. However, there are small bits of knowledge I’ve gained in this year about first year that I think is important for all new students going to university to consider- some advice and reassurances that I’d like to have known at the beginning of the year. With the year coming to a close, and new students soon arriving, I think this is the perfect time to share this information. Continue reading

An Erasmus conspiracy

I’ve spent the last five months on Erasmus in Madrid and I’ve loved it! The lifestyle is chilled, university classes were fun and I’ve been able to watch endless football matches.

BUT I feel I was sold a lie – this lie began before I even arrived and it regards the weather. I chose Spain mainly to watch the football but also so I could get some sun and a tan however there has been a significant lack of it and I only have two weeks left.  Continue reading

The Bolehills Roly-Poly

Besides being my favourite park in Sheffield, Bolehills was made for Roly-Polies. The increasing gradient of the slope that encases the children’s playground was designed for them. Laying on your side: your eyes gorging on the panorama of reservoirs, peaks and forests; your nose grazing on the post-rain smell of petrichor, it only takes a little push, and suddenly the sky and earth become a wheeling blur around you, your pulse quickens, until suddenly: gasps and chuckles competing in your throat, you find yourself spread-eagled on the ground, waiting for the spiralling earth and sky to disentangle themselves for long enough for you to stagger up the slope and repeat the entire dizzying process.

Continue reading

The challenge of learning a third language

I started in October to study a third language with the Modern Languages Teaching Centre. Actually, this is not the first time I have studied a third language: I studied French in school and I lived in the German part of Switzerland for a year, where I started learning German. I say third because as a foreign student from a Spanish speaking country, English is my second language. Continue reading

What to expect when you’re expecting (to graduate)

As well as all the regular exam stress that this delightful time of year brings, the end of the academic year can bring a whole host of other confusing emotions to final year students. Sometimes it’s joy at the prospect of never again having to sit in silence in a cold echoey room for three hours. At other times, it may be sadness at never again being able to stop off at McDonald’s post night out on your way back to your shared house with your flatmates. But I think most of all it’s a general aura of uncertainty about what the future might bring. So as an official graduate (who admittedly has stuck around in postgraduate education) I thought I might offer some insight about graduation, leaving uni and what happens next. Continue reading