We asked Sheffield students how they felt about coming back to uni

Some are scared, but others are excited

It’s been over 14 weeks since the UK was put into lockdown following the threat from the pandemic, which saw most Sheffield students leave the city and head home to their families.

Next year, the University of Sheffield has planned for online lectures and smaller class sizes, and Hallam has prepared for ‘predominantly online’ teaching.

With pubs reopening, cases falling, and sweeping changes to the uni experience, we asked the students of Sheffield how they feel about the return to the motherland.


Ritika Psola is a 19-year-old Health and Human Sciences student at The University of Sheffield, whose time in the UK was cut short.

She is an international student from Hong Kong so had to quickly say goodbye to friends and fly home immediately. However, the severity of the pandemic in the UK has made her nervous to come back.

She said: “Hong Kong has had a very low amount of cases, so I’ve been able to live life very normally. I also feel safe knowing my family is here if I ever fall sick.

“Being international there’s always been ups and downs, but at the same time, I’ve enjoyed every part of my uni experience.”

Ritika is also concerned about other aspects of university, and said: “Being part of the basketball team is one of my favourite parts of uni, and it would be really sad if we weren’t able to have a normal season.”

On her university’s response, she said: “At the moment, the university hasn’t said much about their plans for next year. I just hope that when we all go back, they implement changes that consider the health and safety of all students.”

Ritika is remaining positive and looking to the future: “I’m really excited to move back in with all my housemates and to spend time with everyone again after six months.

“The friendships I’ve made at uni are definitely life-long and the reason I don’t feel as homesick when I’m there.”


Molly Mitchell, 19, who is heading into her third year of studying Education with Psychology and Counselling at Hallam in September, fears for what university could be like after lockdown: “I’m concerned that there could be a lack of help and actual contact with uni.

“With it being my third year, I worry that it could be ruined in terms of the social life, plus finding a job will be tougher, meaning less money to support ourselves.”

But Molly is refusing to let the effects of the pandemic impact her experience, and said: “I’m excited to start my dissertation and graduate – hopefully getting into the field straight from uni.”

Of course, there are social aspirations for her too: “I’d like to make memories for my last year, spend time with my closest friends. There’s also much of the city I want to explore, as well as the clubs I haven’t been in.”


Ben Dodd, 20, a Hallam Journalism student, is excited to return to university after spending his lockdown with his family in Mansfield.

“I can’t wait to be productive again and get back into a course I really love – and being able to see all my friends.”

Ben admitted that he is concerned about the virus, but more how it will impact his last year at university: “I think with our age group and the fact that I’ll be living away from my parents again, there’s a lot less risk all round.

“I think that Hallam have got it about right with the lectures online and I hope sessions like workshops are in person and all the equipment that we’re paying for is useable.”

Asked what he is most looking forward to, he said: “A really messy night in The Washington – and I hope it comes soon!”

Other stories recommended by this writer:

• Sheffield Uni tutor warns of threat to student learning from ‘devastating’ staff cuts

Sheffield student nurse speaks out about her awful treatment throughout the pandemic

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