Finding home an ocean away from family

It’s been four years since I left home to come to uni! Four years! And no, I’m not an international student on paper, but I might as well be. My entire family lives overseas. Like, a nine-to-fourteen hour flight overseas.

The first year was the hardest, as it always is. I cried on the plane over, like a baby, staring out the ellipsoid window at everything I was leaving behind. I still remember the guy next to me, awkwardly trying to avoid eye contact until he realised the tears weren’t stopping and, flustered, flailed around looking for handkerchiefs.

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Moving Day

We will soon be approaching the time of year where hordes of returning students descend on Sheffield to move a year’s worth of drunk-purchases, vintage fair buys, and things you got with your student discount across the city, into new accommodation. I handily avoided this last year by staying in the same house for two years, but now I’m getting ready to move out and into a new flat. I know from experience that moving out of your accommodation can be stressful, so here are my top tips for having a (relatively) stress-free moving day!

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3 easy ways to be on a Digital Detox at University

Do you ever wake up in the morning checking your phone, laptop or computer for notifications, emails, messages etc? Or do you find yourself spending pretty much every single day surrounded by screens – spending the majority of your day in front of them? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you are like me and most students at the University! Well, we are students and a lot of our work be it presentations, coursework or lecture and revision notes require and involve computers, laptops, access to internet etc. Plus staying on the top of emails and messages to cater to the work and study and also being engaged in social media platforms for maintaining a social life is a major priority. There is no denying any of that at all. But let’s just pause for a while and think, how can this never ending cycle of screen and digital engagement impact us? Does it have any negative impacts on our overall well-being? And if yes what should or can we do about it? 

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The perfect study playlist…

Although this January exam period is already a memory of the past, we still have another semester to go of the year and for me, this will involve a significant amount of dissertation writing.  I personally struggle to work in loads of background noise (i.e. the non-silent aspects of any library) but I also find myself drifting off into fairyland or tuning in to the noise of someone munching away on a never ending packet of crisps (honestly, that is the worst) when I work in complete silence.  So yeah, a study playlist is ideal.  But then I get even more picky, because the sort of thing I can listen do depends on the type of work I’m doing.  Sometimes I can’t deal with words because I just end up singing them (or writing them into my assignments) but other times wordless music doesn’t seem to motivate me enough.

I’m always looking for something new to get me through working so I’ve compiled a little list of my current favourites which might appeal to some of you out there if you feel the same!


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‘Finding Myself’

When I hear the phrase ‘finding myself’ I instantly think of this in a comical light, envisioning a gap year in the depths of Thailand wandering free in the mystical sunset air of travelling.  It sounds deep, but when I really take the time to consider it, I have really begun ‘finding myself’ on the very windy path of University, turning the corner into my fourth and final year.

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Sheffield 101: Top Tips for New Students

Hey, I’m Annabel – now a third-year student at the University of Sheffield, two-time mentor, and one-time incredibly nervous and uncertain fresher.

First things first: congratulations on surviving the last year! If you’re already a Sheffield student, well done on everything! If you’re coming to Sheffield for the first time in September, this post is really for you. I hope you’re super proud of yourself for the amazing results that got you a place at this university. It’s easy to get caught up in the preparation and organisation of going to university – don’t forget to give yourself the credit you deserve for the work that got you here.

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