Goodbye Sheffield – but hopefully not forever!

A running theme in the majority of the blog posts I have written has been how much I absolutely love Sheffield.

Moving from Belfast to Sheffield with little knowledge of the city was terrifying, and yet not once in three years have I ever regretted my decision. As soon as I arrived off the tram at the uni in April 2014 at my open day, I knew immediately that I wanted to go here. That feeling only became more intense, and more certain as I found out more about my course, saw Endcliffe Village, and toured other parts of the uni. I can remember everything about that day so vividly. Continue reading

Let’s talk about stress

Before starting at University I would never have considered myself to be a stressful or anxious person. As GCSE’s and A-Levels came and went, without breaking out into so much as either a literal or figurative sweat, I watched as others tried to cope with the effects of stress that exams inevitably bring with them. That’s not because I didn’t find the work challenging or difficult, but for whatever reason it didn’t affect me in the same way as it would do later in higher education. Plus, my attitude towards academic work at school perhaps wasn’t as mature as either it should have been or is nowadays. 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

A sucker for punishment: should I do a PhD?

I think the most important thing to start with is that any decision to undertake a PhD should not be made lightly. It involves another 3 years’ full-time study (6 years’ part-time study) and, if you’re not lucky enough to have been awarded funding, a fair amount of money for both fees and living expenses. Not only do you need to consider the practicalities of doctoral study, but you need to also decide whether you can maintain a level of motivation and self-discipline that will see you research a subject in enough depth and with enough enthusiasm to make the thesis worthwhile. If you feel you can do all this, then a PhD may be the route you want to take – but here’s a few things I’ve learnt up along the way. Continue reading

Things to definitely not do when trying to revise

Term is slowly yet surely coming to an end and if you’re like me, who has still not sat any exams yet, it’s becoming a struggle to concentrate on revision. The weather has been unusually hot, friends from home had their exams weeks ago, and the temptation to just ditch everything and go home is all too real. But NO. The days until the freedom of summer can nearly be counted down on one hand. Just one more week to stay focused and in order to do that, here is a list of things you should definitely not do when trying to get some hours of revision in. A list of things which I have done a number of times in order to perfect the art of procrastination. Continue reading

An unexpected entrepreneur

I’ve always been perplexed by what exactly an ‘entrepreneur’ is. Or what on earth ‘enterprising’ means. However, I feel I’ve inadvertently become exactly that.

It all started over a lunch a few weeks ago. The previous week a few of us had covered the Doncaster and Derbyshire local elections during what the Department of Journalism Studies calls ‘production week’. Effectively, the newsroom acts as though we were a professional organisation, publishing 9-5, Monday to Friday. As somebody with an interest in politics I put myself forward to cover the elections, and ended up managing a politics team of 5-6. Despite being dreadfully ill (I really do need to get around to that ‘balanced diet’ thing, my immune system tells me that there might be something to it), it was fantastic fun, eye-opening and reminded me again why I want to become a journalist. Continue reading

Second year recap

Exam season may feel like the wrong time to reflect on your academic year but taking a break from revision to write down the goods and not-so-goods of the year can be therapeutic. It could even prove useful in helping you figure out what you’d like to keep or stop doing next year. I decided to divide my list into two parts. Things I wish I had done differently and the things I am really glad I did. Continue reading