Being a Sheffield student: The expectation vs the reality

Your club photos WILL be blurred

Rosy-eyed freshers coming to uni in Sheffield often arrive with a lot of cutlery, student cookery books, and expectations. Unfortunately, over your time in the Steel City you’ll lose all your cutlery, never use a single student cookery book, and realise not all your expectations are a reality. Here’s a collection of six pieces of wisdom you’ll discover throughout your time here. Sorry to break your heart, freshers.

I thought I’d go to the Peaks every weekend

As Sheffield is well-known for the stunning views and scenery held at the Peaks, there is no doubt you would expect to go there every weekend. With it being the ideal space to take a break from student life, a lot of students think they’ll rush there as soon as they get the chance.

But in reality, a mixture of a lack of a car and the heap of university work stacked on your desk means you won’t visit as much as you expected. The essays, projects, and deadlines mean most of your energy is invested into uni work. Be prepared to make several cup of teas and plan your breaks, because you will have A LOT of work to do.

I wanted to take some decent group photos

It’s completely normal to expect to take clear, memorable group photos on a night out, but the reality is they will be blurred. After having too many drinks with your mates, it goes without saying nobody has the focus to find their house keys, let alone take a decent group picture.

If you are keen on getting good group pictures, the best thing to do is make sure you take them at the start of the night rather than at the end when everyone is drunk and can’t remember what year they’re in. But even though clear photos are what most students want, blurry group photos can be memorable when looking back at the good times.

I was ready to become a student Masterchef

Why do some people expect themselves to cook elaborate, fancy, and overall top tier food at uni? The reality is nowhere near this expectation. As most students are drowning in work, shop on a budget, and mainly care about the essentials, there is nothing a pack of super noodles can’t fix after a long day.

There is no need for a student to make lavish meals regularly – it’s not a necessity and therefore not a priority. As most students can get their weekly shopping done at Aldi, it increases savings and value for money – which is something we can all get behind.

I was ready to get a part-time job I enjoyed

We all hope to work for our favourite brands with excellent pay and benefits, but you need money and when you get to uni you realise a job anywhere is a plus- even McDonald’s. Although it can be tempting to expect the job from a decent company to fall into your laps, getting one is hard with fierce competition- so it’s wise to accept any so you don’t miss out on the chance.

I thought I’d live with other neat freaks

If you’re a neat freak like me, you hope to share a kitchen with others who appreciate kitchen cleanliness. But this can be very far from reality – not all students care about it in the same way you might expect. Some simply might not have the time to clear things up. Others are just lazy. Regardless of the reason, be prepared to live with others who keep things differently to the way you do.

I didn’t expect to make so much tea and coffee

As a student in the UK,  you expect to make yourself a cup of tea here and there whilst working on your essays.

But nobody warned of the abnormal addiction where you end up making yourself a hot cuppa by the hour. This tends to increase when working on longer projects and essays. A con of sharing a flat with others is being obliged to ask them if they want one too. Most of the time, they’ll respond with a passive ‘only if you insist’ tone which basically means you have to fulfill your side of the offer.

Other stories:

• ‘We can’t take on the crisis alone’: Sheff Nightline volunteer pleads for more uni support

• Sheff students grabbing ‘Forgotten Students Freshers Week’ tickets crashed SU website

• The Leadmill to host an entire week of club nights when doors reopen on June 21