Meet the students who decided to stay put in Sheffield during lockdown

We miss West Street, our friends and Nursery Tav

With the uni year cut short, most Sheffield students have returned home to self- isolate – mum’s cooking and a full fridge are offers too hard to turn down.

However, there are a few students who have decided to stay in the Steel City, for various reasons, to sit out the pandemic.

With West Street Live closed, Tav beer garden out of function and the taste of a £5 round almost forgotten, I checked in on these individuals to make sure they were actually okay and to see how they were coping in these ‘pub-less’ times.

The relationship self- isolators

Yes, you’re the lucky ones amongst us all.  There are many of us sat at home questioning why we didn’t think of staying in Sheffield with our significant other and yes, we are now regretting it.

Jake Boorman- Cross, a film and media production student at Hallam and his girlfriend Charlotte opted to stay in their first year university halls, Fenton House, and self isolate together. Over a month into self-isolation and Jake says that they’re coping well.


Jake told The Tab Sheffield: “As long as you give each other enough time to themselves, its fun to just have time to with each other and not be around flat mates. I think self isolating with her was my best option personally.”

Jake finds that he has struggled due to the gyms being closed, but has been writing scripts and making music to feel more productive.

Ella Hodson, 21, a second year Hallam journalism student, is also another Sheffield student isolating with her boyfriend.

“Sometimes I think I’m okay with it, but other times I just seem to crumble and am not able to string a thought together,” she said.

“I think I have coped a lot better having my boyfriend around, he’s been such a support system.”

When lockdown is over she can’t wait to have an Oat milk Cappuccino from Tamper and then return home to see her family and pets.

The ‘we’ve shaved our heads’ isolators

If you’re a boy and haven’t shaved your head in lockdown yet, congratulations. Luke Gribbin and William Shaw are two second year Hallam house mates living out their quarantine days in Sheffield (with shaved heads of course).

They have chosen to stay in their university accommodation to protect a vulnerable family member at home from contracting the virus and are keeping occupied by playing darts, making TikToks and zooming their friends back home.

Luke, a 20-year-old business and marketing student, said he’s been struggling with motivation for uni work, but is ready to head to Tav beer garden when lockdown is over.

The ‘I’m physically stuck in Sheffield’ isolator

Gabriela Stepkiewicz, who’s 19, is a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Sheffield. Originally from Krakow, Poland, she is one of the few students that are isolating in Sheffield not out of choice.

At risk of contracting the virus in the Airport on her journey home and with many flights being cancelled, Gabby decided it was safer for her and her family to stay in the Steel City during lockdown.

The ‘virtual quiz master’ isolator

Lewis Jones is 29 and a mature Journalism student at the University of Sheffield. Wanting to be independent, he chose to stay in the city to isolate and is currently doing so in halls.

He may not have shaved his head, but he has become a ‘Virtual Quiz Master’ and is now hosting a weekly Thursday night quiz over on Youtube. With over 300 people tuning in each week, Lewis has truly used lockdown to start up a new profession.

After lockdown, you’ll see him in ‘Notty House’, where he has a quiz prize voucher of 8 pints for the pub. “I’m going to go there and order all of them at once and drink them in a row. And get a pie, of course.”

See Lewis’ Thursday night quiz here.

The ‘not even a lockdown will make me leave Sheffield’ isolator

It’s upsetting that final year student’s last term finished like this and we truly feel for them.

Daniel Slinn is a third-year sports and exercise science student at Sheffield Hallam. Wanting to enjoy what was left of his last term at university and too worried to return home in case he was a carrier of the virus, Dan and his housemates decided to isolate together in their student house.

To keep themselves entertained they have been hosting quiz nights, carrying out self-isolation trims and have even held their own Club Tropicana ‘night in’.

Dan commented on his time in isolation so far: “Although the experience has tested the relationship between myself and my housemates, it has brought us together and the bond in the house is now stronger.”

And if you’re not lucky enough to be quarantined in our beloved Sheff, fear not – you can check out 10 virtual ways to have fun in our city here!