Here’s a selection of stories from our 2017 BA Journalism freshers about their first week at Sheffield Hallam University.
“My friend heat-butted the bar at Corp and bruised the left side of her face”
Many students find themselves sleeping a lot during Freshers’ week due to the lack of coursework and heavy drinking sessions. But Susie Mareckova describes her time in Sheffield so far as “sleepless”. She’s been too busy seeing some of the city’s main attractions, like The Leadmill and the City Hall.
It’s interesting to get an insight into how people from different cultures and countries see Sheffield and everything it has to offer. Susie – who moved here from the Czech Republic to study Journalism – reckons the city is “welcoming”.
And she’s certainly embraced the culture of Freshers. Describing her first week in the steel city as “interesting”, she pinpoints an “eventful” night at the Corporation club, where her friend Emma “head-butted the bar and bruised the left side of her face” due to a drunken mishap.
From what I gather about her Corp antics, she will enjoy her three-year stay here and hopefully consider moving here permanently after her studies.
”Be as strong as the tables you dance on, the drinks you mix, and the friends you roll with”.
This became all evident very early on to Hallam fresher Jack Goring-Bielby.
It seems the bouncers in one popular German inspired pub and restaurant, aren’t too fond of young lads having a dance on the tables. After a stern ”Come on, that’s the third time now, get out!” Jack’s motley crew of five found themselves outside, red-faced but laughing and ready to hit the next pub.
Derby-born and -raised Jack said there was ”definitely not” anything like life in Steel City back home, especially alongside his new found companions from his halls of residence in the Leadmill Point building. The 20-year-old is clearly loving life at uni and shows no signs of slowing down. He’s off out again tonight ready to paint the town red at Area for the Fresher’s Festival.
Take it easy on those tables though.
Joe Thorn describes his first week at uni as ‘eye-opening’. In fact, ‘eye-closing’ might have been a better description.
Like other students, Joe – who’s from Melton Mowbray – began the week in typical freshers’ fashion. He attended the sports fair, before being drawn into the American Football social – his first taste of the nightlife of Steel City.
On arrival, he was given a plain white T-shirt to act as a canvas before heading out on a trademark Yorkshire pub crawl. All was well until he decided the allotted attire wasn’t doing the trick. So he headed back to his flat to freshen up. Once back, he decided the best course of action was a brief rest of the eyes. And, as fellow freshers drank the night away, Joe slept.
Awaking from a deep sleep, he knew he needed the bathroom. Disorientated, he swung open his cupboard door instead. Luckily, he realised just in time, and raced to the bathroom to be sick. After that, the week went much more smoothly leading to “the best moment of the week”: the perfect recovery food, a Chino’s pizza.
Marta Martin Casado
If Sheffield Hallam University is a culture shock for people coming from other parts of the UK, imagine how it feels for Marta Lozano.
A few weeks ago, Marta was enjoying the culture and warmth of Santa Coloma de Cervello (Barcelona). Now she is plunged into a Northern autumn.
And, maybe surprisingly, she is enjoying it. “I feel so comfortable with the city and the people,” she says. “I did not expect that they could be so nice.”
The 21-year-old is here on an Erasmus exchange to have new experiences. Her first weeks in Sheffield have been funny, she says. She has met a lot of other international students, it’s been busy, non-stop “and amazing, as it is my first time of living alone.”
Moreover, comparing the studying methods between Sheffield and Barcelona, she declares that “it would be great to stay here the whole year, since the English method seems more practical”.
However, living in a new place has not been that easy for her. For a start, “Partying at 9pm it is weird for me. In Spain, we do not start until midnight.” At the same time she says that “it’s really cool to be out and about every day”. Another difference is the English habit of having dinner at 5 or 6 pm. “But I don’t really care about the meals time because I still follow the Spanish habit” – dinner at 9 or 10pm!”
“Who’s banging on my window at 4am in the morning?”
Séamus Toal, an 18 year old Mancunian, says his Freshers’ Week has been “mega”, despite the constant alcohol consumption, which has included “midday bar drinking”, and the problems of being on the ground floor in his accommodation.
“It’s been exciting, cheap, and independent” – despite him having to cook and to clean his room, tasks somewhat alien to this self-confessed lazy person.
And he admitted that, due to the amount of alcohol being consumed, his money was “burning a hole in my pocket” after numerous trips to the many Wetherspoons Sheffield has on offer.
Alongside his drinking frolics, Séamus said the highlight of the week was seeing new Journalism course-mate Daisy being bribed into running through the fountains in the Peace Gardens by the offer of a free Nandos.
“What a complete legend!” he says.
Many students spend their first week at uni sleeping off their hangovers. Owen Taylor has been spending it simply sleeping.
Owen, 18 and from Woodhouse in Sheffield, reckons his week has been about catching up with sleep after a summer of going to bed in the early hours. “I’m not a heavy drinker, though,” he insists. “I just like talking to people. Sometimes until 4 in the morning.”
So it’s not surprising that he describes his week so far as “tiring”. “Not because the week has been tiring, but because I’ve messed up my sleeping pattern.”
He also described the week as “exciting” and “wonderful”, due to starting his course and being able to visit the city centre more often.
Owen’s standout experience of the week was drinking the “awful, bitter” tonic water supplied at Thursday’s film night. Rather more enjoyable was drinking alcohol at Yates in Cambridge Street.
A downside was encountering a homeless person who stared menacingly at him at one point. He fully expects the year ahead to be difficult, though – being the sensible person he is – he’ll doubtless survive.
The scary feelings Daisy Owen first experienced when coming to SHU involved an unwanted encounter with a University of Sheffield student in the early hours outside McDonalds.
“We were asked which uni we were attending and so we answered Hallam. To our shock, we had ‘Hallam Scum!’ followed by a screeching laugh aimed in our direction – not the highlight of my experiences so far. “I laughed it off and ran home with my 20 chicken nuggets and fries”.
She added that being labelled scum didn’t knock her confidence. In fact, it helped build her up as a person. Either that or it was her vodka intake courtesy of Plug Nightclub that particular night.
Like many of us, the 18-year-old, from Wrexham, south Wales, has had mixed experiences so far. “It’s been exciting but scary and tiring.” She explained how easy it is to get carried away in Freshers’ and become exhausted from all the partying and the halls drama. “People keep you up until ridiculous-o’clock, sometimes with the all-nighter parties. Good luck trying to fall asleep to people screaming ‘Sweet Caroline’ at 5am.”
At the same time, one highlight Daisy has been the sociable side: “I’ve made lots of new friends and it wasn’t as scary as I thought [meeting new people]. I’ve been excited to wake up with flatmates and pre with them at night. There is never a dull moment in Charlotte Court!”
And she is far from partied out – she doesn’t plan on calming down any time soon. “You’ve got to enjoy it whilst you can, before it all gets too serious.”
If you go down to Suffolk Road today, you’re sure of a big surprise. It’s Charlotte Stanbra with 17 bottles of Nando’s garlic sauce. The best present her student boyfriend could find when she started uni.
Her take on Sheffield nightlife to date is mainly: avoid Tank, enjoy Leadmill and get yourself a Corp blue pint.
The hilly city is only 20 minutes from her home town, Rotherham, so the 18 year old plans to become a regular on the X1 bus – going home to get her washing done.
However, until she manages to find a good vegetarian Sunday dinner in Sheffield, she will still be fine dining on Maggi noodles. Another reason to go home on Sundays?
Joseph Hadfield, 18, has lived in Sheffield all his life. But his first week at university took a downwards turn.
After turning up to a 9am lecture where not even the speaker turned up, he left after 20 minutes – and then had with nothing to do until 4pm. That left him with six and a half hours walking around the city in the pouring rain. He joked, “It was good for cardio but that’s about it!”
Keeping with the theme of events going wrong, after 45 minutes queuing alongside 500 other people to get into Crystal, he and his friends were turned away. But every cloud has a silver lining. It meant he paid his first visit to a casino – Genting, in the city centre. “It was brilliant, but I couldn’t gamble as my student finance hadn’t yet arrived.”
Four years ago, Joseph won BT Sport’s first ever Young FA Cup Presenter of the Year competition.
Then at Yewlands Technology College, he won the unique chance to be part of the broadcaster’s coverage of the 2014 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, alongside its regular presenting team. So he’s now looking forward to consolidating the tricks of the journalistic trade here at SHU.
Marta Lozano Gonzalez
It’s not surprising that Idriss Moutia has been finding Sheffield “a bit cold”. Originally from Lyon (France), he’s been living in Spain for the past six years. But he’s also been finding aspects of it “cool” – in the best possible way.
His most interesting experience during the university’s Welcome week was the Students’ Union Societies event, showcasing all the different societies – from the Afro-Caribbean Society through Disney Appreciation and Harry Potter & Quidditch to Knit Like Your Nana, Tea Drinking and Wine Appreciation.
“it is something really cool for me,” he says, “because we don’t have that sort of thing in Spain nor in France.”
It is Idriss’s first time away from home and he’s enjoying his first taste of independence, but at the same time he admits that there are difficulties. One example is when he has to cook: “I don’t like to cook,” he says, “so I am only eating pasta since I arrived. I miss French food a lot.”
It is not his first time in the UK – “I have been around a dozen times in England” – but is his first time in Sheffield. As part of his university activities, he has been out and about around the city and affirms that the best experience so far has been a night out at the Yates club “because it was my first time going out with my new friends”.
And the thing he likes most about being an Erasmus student in Sheffield? “The British lifestyle.”
“Sheffield has proven itself to be a good night out. However, I’m undecided as to whether it is better than Leeds.”
So says Ollie Haggart, 18, who has found similarities between his hometown of Leeds and his new home, enjoying the nightlife in both cities.
Living in the Pinnacles, he has enjoyed Freshers’ week, describing both his accommodation and Sheffield as always busy. Events happen all the time, he says – although the constant flat parties are only good when he isn’t trying to sleep.
His own taste of music is Indie – his favourite band is Joy Division/New Order and he is looking forward to seeing Liam Gallagher later on in the year.
He’s also a keen football fan. However, he doesn’t follow Leeds Utd, but Everton, having inherited the tradition from his Scouse family members.
Jay Burfield has managed to avoid some of the more depressing aspects of uni life – cooking, cleaning and paying for your own food – by commuting. He’s still living at the family home in Doncaster, just a half-hour train journey away.
The 18-year-old thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people during his experience, revelling in the comical mishaps of some his friends and their flatmates. Like one friend’s flatmate who can only cook broccoli and boiled eggs without assistance. “That’s all she eats,” says Jay.
“Exciting, confusing and lively” are the words he uses to sum up his week. “It’s exciting because of the new experiences. Confusing because of the city campus layout being all separate, rather than altogether. And the night life is livelier than Doncaster’s.”
And the best thing? Still being able to enjoy his mother’s cooking. “A friend said, you can’t take your Mum’s cooking with you.”
My tedious flat mates ‘drove me to drink’
Eighteen-year-old Will Shreeve-Peacock has spoken of his first freshers’ experience being ‘mental’ despite his ‘steady drinking habits’ and his flatmate’s reluctance to experience Sheffield night-life.
He ventured into Corp on Monday, where he tasted his first blue pint (two shots Vodka, Blue WKD and lemonade). Surprisingly, perhaps, he ended the night on his feet, which not many matched that night.
Despite not being a heavy drinker, Will, from Thorney just outside Peterborough, found that Popworld nightclub on Wednesday was too much for him. He passed out in the taxi to his new home, Central Quay, ending his night early.
Coming from two hours’ drive away, he is excited to meet new people and start his course full-time, despite missing his dogs – four-year-old Yorkshire Terrier Milo and Corgi, Izzy.
As for Sheffield itself, Will said it was ‘bigger than I thought, with places being further to walk than home’. He’s also pleasantly surprised with what he found here: ‘I didn’t expect the best, but it’s a decent place’.
“All I’ve done is drive”.
It has been an eventful, but tiring week for Rose Draper. The 18 year old from Rotherham has had to face the “longest week of her life”. And, while she has enjoyed some experiences, a number of situations have tripped her up along the way.
On the third day of completing the 20 minute journey from her home to University, she was involved in a so-called car accident. The woman in front stopped her car and accused Rose of bumping her car into hers. “She pointed out some scrape marks and said I’d caused them. But I hadn’t felt a thing, and my car didn’t have any marks on it. She wanted £200 on the spot for the damage.”
Rose called her boyfriend and his Dad, who checked out both cars and decided the woman, who was from Poland, was trying a scam. Not something Rose expected to have to deal with on what is supposed to be the best week of her life so far.
Despite the mishaps, she is looking forward to the next instalment of her university experience – travelling to London to co-host a four-hour long show featured each Saturday on Sky.
So near… and yet so far
Long train delays – that’s how 20-year-old Charlotte Freeman-Coates describes her first week at Sheffield Hallam University. Being part of the 25th cohort of Freshers since the City Campus opened in 1992, her daily commute from her home in Doncaster to the wonders of university life is not one that she wants to be consistently late.
On Monday, she arrived two hours early for a 9am train, just to be sure of being on time. The train was going to Reading, and she had to wrestle her way into the area between two carriages alongside 22 others, trapped “like sardines”.
Not long after setting off, they heard that a track problem around Meadowhall shopping centre would delay the arrival by 80 minutes. Desperate for a drink or a snack, she discovered it’s difficult to grab a cup of ‘whatever takes your fancy’ from the trolley when there are “lots of angry businessmen all wanting their coffee”.
She considered “playing leapfrog” in order to escape the ‘businessman barricade’ but decided against it. Maybe next time she’ll just arrive one hour early for the train.
It’s clear to see that first year Andy Gordon has already settled into student life, as he sums up his time here o far as “pot noodles and beer”.
The 18 year-old, despite – or perhaps because of – keeping busy with the abundance of activities occurring throughout the week, is struggling with the higher prices of pints ‘down south’.
But he’s taking comfort in living near the home of the Blades – Bramall Lane. It’s a place he hopes to visit soon as his beloved Sunderland also come south, on Boxing Day. But he’ll be seeing the familiar red and white jerseys of the Black Cats before then, as he plans to continue using his season ticket to the Stadium of Light.
In the days after moving to Sheffield, Lewis Stone-Riley and his flatmate sat binge-watching the first three Harry Potter films whilst drinking alcohol, something that every university student will have done at some point in their studies.
This was the 18-year-old’s introduction to the Infamous ‘Fresher’s Week’ where alcohol is readily available, with any number of bars offering discounts to entice students in.
Lewis, from Wath-upon-Dearne, was already intoxicated upon arriving at the first club of the night, Beer Killer, due to drinking half a bottle of Malibu beforehand. He vaguely remembers singing along to the Oasis classic Don’t Look Back in Anger.
“Sheffield is a completely different place from Wath,” he says when asked about the differences between the city and his former pit village. But he didn’t feel nervous moving here: “Going out at night feels safer here than in Barnsley.”
It also helped that he moved in with a friend – from a school that has recently been placed into special measures by OFSTED. ‘We were jumping off a sinking ship,” he says.
Despite daily commuting, 20-year-old Tom Barton from Chesterfield has enjoyed Fresher’s week a lot.
He described his week as “expensive, funny and interesting”. Well, it’s true that going out most nights of the week can sometimes cost a lot. However, Fresher’s week should be all about the fun!
Tom is in a band and brought one of his bandmates along for one Freshers’ night out in Sheffield. Quite a few journalism students went clubbing together that night to get to know each other a little better.
His favourite memory of the week was a party at his coursemate’s flat on Wednesday night.
“It was fun watching his mate throwing up out of the 2nd floor window!” he laughs.
Here’s hoping no-one was walking past…
Marta Martin‘s first week in Sheffield could be summed up in three words: different, chaotic and entertaining. A Spanish exchange student, from Girona, it’s the first time the 21-year old has lived in a new country, and she’s not used to being at home only at meals’ times and to rest.
Even though she’s only been in Sheffield for a week, she’s already travelled to York with a couple of her new friends, as well as getting to know the student night life in Sheffield’s finest pubs.
“I had trouble understanding people’s accents at first,” she admits, “but you get used to it after a couple of days with the locals.” Learning a new language and all its forms can be difficult at times. Nevertheless, Marta intends to make her Erasmus experience the fullest by travelling around England and getting to know as much about the country and its people as she can.
“Moving out was a big thing for me, so living in Sheffield is all part of the experience”
Adam Watchorn is an ambitious 18 year old who has decided to study journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, and has almost completed his first week at the university. Adam, from Southwell in Nottingham, said his first week in Uni life has been very interesting. “I’ve had little sleep. It’s been great fun, and I’ve met a lot of good people in places like ‘The Leadmill’.”
Located around 15 minutes away from the university is Adam’s accommodation, ‘Liberty Halls’. It’s right through the high street, so it’s not too far away. It’s really nice, and so are my flatmates. The four of us have got on really well so far. Moving out was a big thing for me, and living in Sheffield is all part of the experience.
The journalism course provides a great opportunity for Adam to learn how to work effectively within the TV industry, an industry he is very interested in. “I want to graduate, that’s important. I ultimately want to be in the TV industry. If opportunities for placements come around, then that is something I would be interested in. It would look great on my CV. ”
He has made the most of freshers’ week, spending his nights in venues such as ‘Corp’ and ‘The Plug’. “I’ve been out every night since Saturday, so I’d say the best thing has been the parties. My flatmates haven’t been out quite as much as me, so they probably think I’m a nuisance, coming in at 3 every morning. I’ve woken up every morning with a ringing in my ears.”
Could be those TV studios calling…
East Londoner Thushyanka Manisegaran, 18, arrived at Sheffield Hallam with her parents on Saturday. It was, she says, “the car journey from hell” as she was forced to share her car seat with several bags of Pot Noodles, her lunch and tea for the next few days.
Growing up in a different community with different surroundings and people, Thushya described her first few days at Sheffield as a culture shock. As she explored the city, she also realised the accents were completely alien to her. At first she struggled to understand local people, but now she feels her ears have tuned into the accent.
Although Thushya is enjoying Freshers’ Week, the grime-enthusiast felt slightly disappointed with the music played at CODE. Unfortunately, her favourite artist Not3s wasn’t played in the club but she managed to have fun by busting her moves.
Asked for one word to describe her first week, she answers “exhilarating”. She is still discovering the city and feels enthusiastic about the shops and clubs she has yet to visit.
18 year old Sheffield native Ellie Colton just wants to go home and wash. “I smell like chicken nuggets,” she says. Why? Because she’s spent the early hours in a nearby McDonalds after a night of drinking.
Ellie hasn’t had much sleep so far – being kept awake til 3am by nearby club Corporation, and then being woken again at 11am by a particularly intrusive flatmate offering posh filter coffee. Living only 20 minutes from her family home, accommodation is an aspect of university life that she’s found surprising, living with people she politely labels “interesting characters”.
Nevertheless, she seems to have already found some long-term friends with whom to spend numerous nights out – one of which lead to the unfortunate loss of her mobile phone. “I can’t keep up with group chats,”,she laughs. “I have literally no idea what’s going on.”
For Ellie, Freshers’ has been wonderfully eventful – the freedom to stay out all night is not something she is used to. “Strict parents raise the naughtiest kids,” she warns.
Sheffield by design, Sheffield by culture
If you need one word to describe Connor Thorpe, it may as well be Sheffield.
His home suburb of Beighton is a mere 30-minute tram ride away from the city centre, where he’s now living in student accommodation. So his mother can easily pop up to buy him a Nando’s and take away his washing. But the 18-year-old still feels independent with “No more Mummy and Daddy”.
So it’s not surprising that he describes his first student nights out as “hectic” and “messy”. A night life regular, he says, “The change came with Freshers’ Week, this was why it was so hectic. I like most of the clubs here, apart from Tank. My favourite places to go are the Leadmill, Code and Viper Rooms”.
Being from Sheffield also gives him the edge on student life here. If you want cheap food, he says, “Go Spoons”.
A steadfast Owls fan, he calls the Blades “a horrible, horrible football club”. And away days are nothing out of the ordinary: in his ten years of following football, he’s been to an estimated 75 away games.
“It’ll be fine” he said…
Rob Green has recently moved into a student flat in Sheffield, swapping life in the countryside for life in the city. But instead of the communal life he was expecting, he’s discovered that his flatmates – one boy and two girls – are pre-occupied with work, old friends or…their other half.
So he’s been making friends instead during Freshers’. One of the highlights has been Corp Wednesday. “It was great,” he said, citing free entry, a skool disco, and some blue pints. He has slowly realised that city life can make you want to drink more than you are capable of.
Now 19, Rob spent last year working at a caravan park between York and Scarborough, near his family home. To earn cash, he worked 58-hour weeks with just two days off at Christmas. At the end, he rewarded himself with a fortnight in Barcelona. So having three journalism classmates from that city should give him another taste of Spanish sun.
Amy Gregory lost her Spoons virginity during Freshers’ Week…
The 18-year-old had never explored the realms of a Wetherspoons bar before. So she joined a bunch of fellow first years to try out the ‘cheap as chips’ venue and enjoyed such greatness as the 2 for £12 pitchers. “It was certainly an experience,” she says.
Another “exciting” experience is the fact of moving from a small place – Upper Newbold in Chesterfield – to a much bigger city. The quietness of her home town is no match for the hustle-bustle of Steel City. “I’m really enjoying the experience,” she says. “And I’m excited for what is to come.”
“University is much like a Jack Russell. On the surface it appears fun and cute, but upon closer inspection it’s is much more vicious.” That’s Journalism student Jamie Hollins’ take on Sheffield’s infamous ‘fresher’s week’.
Jamie (21) who recently moved into student accommodation less than two minutes from popular nightclub The Leadmill, claimed that his new living space is “Okay, but not for £100 a week.” Despite this far from glowing endorsement, he said the highlight of his week was, without a shadow of a doubt, finally embarking on this next chapter of his life. His personal low was saying goodbye to his dog, Betty.
Sheffield’s fantastic nightlife has been buzzing this week, thanks to the influx of new students. For Jamie, The Leadmill is the place to be as it’s the closest to his accommodation and seems the most fun. He also visited Tank, but says, “once was enough”.
Overall, he has enjoyed his first week, fuelled by cheap take-away food and packet noodles, despite not being able to remember much of it. Sounds like an accurate summary of many students’ first week: “I think it was fun, from what I can remember.”
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m just going with it.” So says 20 year old James Collier, from the village of Willerby in East Yorkshire.
As a result, he’s had very little sleep, describing the week as “draining”. This may explain why his best experience of Sheffield so far, is wandering through Sheffield at 3am, wearing a straw sombrero.
Why a sombrero? “It was a ‘fiesta event’ at the O2 Academy, and everyone ended up wearing these sombreros. It was a pretty random experience.”
James described his other experiences of Sheffield to date as “interesting” and “different”. This is because he has moved away from his home village to the much larger city of Sheffield, with new experiences and activities around every corner. His adventures have also allowed him to take in the sights of Sheffield, such as the grand City Hall. A stranger in a strange land, he is enjoying every moment.
One experience he may wish to forget, however, is the night another student entered his flat and, after drinking a whole bottle of vodka, proceeded to vomit all over a flight of stairs and James’ shared bathroom.
Stepping off the train on the first morning of Freshers’ didn’t go quite to plan for Luke Burgwin. Outside the train station, a seemingly drunken woman was shouting at passing traffic. When the lights turned red, she walked into the middle of the road and hit one of the waiting cars. Luke, who’s from Barnsley, described the experience as “mental – but nothing out of the ordinary.”
His university week started with, along with other journalism students, a treasure hunt around the steel city. It enabled him to experience one of life’s great pleasures, a Wetherspoon’s serving Heineken at £2.50. Having found their own buried treasure, Luke and his group never finished the hunt.
When a young adult has to pack their bags, travel up the M1 and move to a different city, the first night in their new surroundings may seem rather a daunting prospect.
But the first night of Freshers’ didn’t fill 18-year-old Henry Rowe with dread – in fact, it did the opposite. When asked about his favourite night in what has been a hectic introduction to life in the Steel City, the Derby lad said his first night in South Yorkshire was actually the best.
“I enjoyed the thrill of not knowing anyone or anything,” says the first year Journalism student. “It took me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to meet new people.”
Despite taking to social situations seamlessly, Henry has struggled to navigate his way around the city, complaining that “You can’t walk in a straight line in Sheffield.”
Maybe the alcohol has had something to do with that…
‘Elliott, why is your head out of my window?’
Joshua Chapman describes his week as being a state of constant tiredness, yet always having the need to revitalise in the day to ‘prep for the night ahead…’ Yes, the 19-year-old is living the vicious cycle of a first year university student.
One memorable night, he asked his flatmate, ‘Elliott, why is your head out of my window?’ He soon discovered why – the painful result of too little food, and too much alcohol.
Drink aside, he has found his first week here encouraging, with his peers pushing him to be the ‘best he can be!’ To date, he’s certainly living by his motto of ‘work hard, play harder.’
And his greatest impression of the week? ‘The way I’ve made so many friends and met such lovely people… just like you, is my greatest impression.’
Jon-Joseph Murtagh, or Jon-Jo to his friends, has managed to avoid some of the fabled perils of fresher’s week – getting drunk, fresher flu and a noodle diet.
How? Because the 18-year-old is still able to live at home, just a 20-minute drive away, in Chesterfield.
Uni life wasn’t Jon-Jo’s first choice; a last minute change of heart resulted in a switch from an accounting apprenticeship to a Journalism degree. Despite being good at maths in school to support the accounting career, his real interest had always been broadcast, especially radio. “I love listening to radio,” he says. “Especially BBC Five Life and Radio 1.” This fuelled the leap to clearing and his place at Sheffield Hallam.
Because of this last-minute change, he missed his window to get into student accommodation: “It was all such a rush.” But he’s eager to move in next year if all goes to plan.
Luckily, being a local lad means Jon-Jo has already got some friends in the area, some even at Sheffield Hallam with him. Existing friends have been a big boost as he is still easily able to go out and meet people despite not living in student halls. However, he claims he hasn’t been “out out” yet, avoiding the hair of the dog unlike many other fresher zombies roaming around campus.
Alex Cutts may be from Sheffield, but she’s seeing a different side to the city since starting at uni.
“I’ve not really been down here before,” says the 18-year-old, from Grenoside of SHU’s city centre campus. “There are loads of cafes and restaurants I’ve never been to before – though I’ve been to the clubs. And it’s been good meeting different people – I’ve met people from Leeds, Manchester, Oxford, all over.”
She says “Freshers’ is expensive”, and then describes the highlight as being visiting a Wetherspoons every night, making it clear why Freshers’ Week has dented her bank account.
When asked what she looks forward to most in the next few years, she replies, “The Sesh” – before correcting herself and saying she’s excited to meet more people and get to know everyone better. Clearly she means while standing around in Wetherspoons drinking cider.
Viccie Seaward describes her Freshers’ experience as “hungry, hilly, and homesick” after having spent two long and laborious weeks living here already, but without the luxury of a microwave.
“It’s like a holiday in the mountains”, laughs the 18-year-old from Derby, referencing her hikes among Sheffield’s trademark topography, and her camping diet of crackers.
When quizzed on her new life as one of the city’s thousands of students, Viccie says she’s had a few quiet nights in, with one disastrous night out at Pop World.
“It was vile!, she says. The club was empty apart from her small group, but the DJ tried his cheesy best to get them going. Shoutouts, it seems, really don’t work when your crowd amounts to fewer than ten teenagers.
Thankfully, more positive things have come of this week too. Vic is glad to have met people with “similar interests and similar backgrounds”, having even discovered a mutual love for cinema and musicals with one of her new friends.
Once the week is over, Vic looks forward to starting the course, but not a lot else. “I’m tame”, she shrugs. “I like watching TV”.
And here’s a selection from 2016.
By Kieran Cross
Eighteen-year-old Jack Flintham described his Freshers’ Week experience as stressful after moving to Sheffield from Newton, North Derbyshire.
On Wednesday night he was refused alcohol at a local Wetherspoon’s pub despite having what he believed to be valid identification.
Jack claims that this left him as “the only one drinking lemonade” while all of his new friends were enjoying alcoholic beverages.
Despite this disappointing experience, Jack claimed that his first taste of university life has been “ultimately enjoyable” although he finds it a “bit strange that people are up playing table tennis at 3am” at his accommodation.
By Jack Flintham
Kieran Cross, 18, from Sandford near Poole, Dorset has had an “enjoyable” week despite a hole appearing in his new flat.
In the early hours of Friday morning Kieran discovered that someone had struck a hole in the spare bedroom wall of his accommodation. Hopefully the person responsible will own up to the damage or else himself and his flatmates face a £100 fine.
Thankfully the vast majority of Kieran’s week has been enjoyable, although exhausting. Especially the first night when he visited the O2 Academy and made a host of new friends, an experience which he described as the “highlight of the week”.
By Bradley Roberts
Harry Lynch-Bowers has spent his Freshers’ Week preparing a unique new venue in Sheffield – the Botanist bar which opens on October 1.
The 20-year-old from Aldershot has been helping set up the unique public house based on plants.
When asked what he thought of the bar, he said it looked ‘like the winter gardens’ with vines and plants surrounding the inside and ‘the most hipster thing’ he’d ever seen.
Despite the building being under construction, this particularly different bar has potential to grow up to be a popular destination of the Steel City.
By Harry Lynch-Bowers
At 18-years-old, Bradley Roberts sits with a wise smile ahead of his years, his black striped shirt sagging over his seemingly new blue jeans.
He has that Chesterfield wit that you’d find in anyone who made it out of the backwaters of his run down urban city.
Brad escaped Boythorpe, seeking out a new city to study his BA in Journalism and was drawn to Sheffield because of its “quaint charm that few cities really have”.
Talking about a certain night this week, his brown hair flopped down to just above his blue eyes as he spoke, “I went to the O2 academy for this Ice Breakers thing everyone was going to. Just for fun. My flatmates were going so I followed thinking, why not?”
He then went on to say: “The night started off great but soon things started becoming repetitive and boring. A good song only came on after every other track and there were way too many people for my liking”.
The bar was packed, waiting 10 minutes to get a drink, “It was dreadful!” Brad proclaimed.
“You couldn’t move. I kept checking my phone for the time and it just went on until we finally got our drinks but by that time I’d had enough and went home.”
By Connie Cribb
For late university arrival Lauren Rhodes coming into her new Sheffield student flat wasn’t as stressful as expected.
Instead, she was immediately welcomed and invited for a night out to Code with the rest of her flatmates.
It was a bit of a rocky start for the 18-year-old from Harrogate, who had only just flown back to the UK after a family holiday in Spain.
“I flew into Leeds on the Saturday night, and the next day I was in Sheffield. ”
Like a lot of freshers, this was the first time she had lived away from home.
“I miss my car, and my bed and my friends, the girls,” she says. “And I really miss my dogs.”
By Lauren Rhodes
Hallam fresher Connie Cribb has switched village life in Cornwall for vibrant city life in Sheffield.
Daunting, yet exciting and a turbulent five and a half hour drive for the journalism student, with homesickness almost guaranteed.
The 18-year-old has been finding her feet ny attending a silent disco at popular nightclub Crystal. With old classics from Elvis, to chart toppers from current rap sensation Drake, the off key singing was in full swing, providing entertainment for all. A fab night accompanied with an abundance of new friends.
Sheffield is definitely a step up from Downderry, a far cry from the bustling city life and the sticky floors of nightclub Corporation. But I have no doubts that Connie will settle, with her new, exciting journey laid ahead.
By David Evans
Aspiring cycling journalist, Tim Bonville-Ginn from Halifax near Huddersfield fell for Sheffield due to the “relaxed city atmosphere”.
Tim described his Freshers’ Week as “eventful, draining and ill” after catching the inevitable freshers’ flu.
The cycling enthusiast claims his freshers’ highlight was the “good vibes” on Wednesday night at the popular free warehouse rave event at local nightclub Code.
Tim’s biggest regret (other than excessive vodka) was being drunkenly led on in Plug during Monday night’s antics. He claims the standard night out begins with ‘ring of fire’ and ends in regret.
By Tim Bonville-Ginn
Dave Evans, 18, from Brighton, lost his ID and his legs during Freshers’ Week at Sheffield Hallam University.
The aspiring radio presenter had a “drunken, tiring and disastrous” week which started when he lost his ID when out at nightclub Corporation.
But his main regret of the week was being carried home by his flatmates after a night of drinking tequila.
“I can’t do tequila,” he said.
But he does have one great standout moment from the week – singing Hey Jude by The Beatles at 4am in the indie room at Corporation.
By Ben Stephens
Fresher Chloe Linkens spent a frustrating day in her first week getting lost and trying to track down a parcel.
The 18-year-old from Allestree in Derby had recently moved into accommodation and was annoyed to see that the earphones she had ordered online had not been delivered.
Chloe received an email stating that the earphones had been placed for collection at a local convenience store.
She set out to find the store but got lost along the way and didn’t reach it until 9pm.
The convenience store claimed they did not have her delivery and so Chloe fearing the worst asked to look for the parcel herself which to her annoyance she eventually found.
Chloe, after being finally united with her earphones stated “the fact that the most interesting event of my week was getting lost trying to find a parcel proves I have no life”.
By Beatriz Alonso Montalvo
Lauren Surtees, the 18 year-old girl from Newcastle, arrived to Sheffield a week ago in order to start “a new life”.
Although her sister and her boyfriend are also at the same university, Sheffield Hallam, she feels free to go out almost every night with friends who are in “the same boat as her”.
However not everything has been perfect during the first week as her flatmates organised a party in that kitchen where around 30 people keep talking until 6 am.
“Not a good night to sleep”.
Apart from that she is very happy with her choice. Her classmates seem to be “lovely”, the course itself interesting, and her new life is just perfect.
By Lauren Surtees
Spanish-born, Beatriz, has recently moved over from Madrid to study journalism at Sheffield Hallam University.
She said the largest struggle she is facing is having to “cross the road”.
Many undergraduates may tackle the same issue but usually after one too many drinks whereas this student claims that the change in road signs has caused her to “nearly be run over a few times”.
That’s not the only change. Beatriz, 18, added that her whole routine has changed from moving to the smaller, more relaxed city of Sheffield, to having to eat her lunch at different times due to the lack of siesta we have here in England.
Although her world has changed around Beatriz said she’s has found her stay so far “overwhelming yet exciting” and has made many friends already, while also enjoying her freedom from home.
By Chloe Linkens
Sheffield born and bred Ben Stephens has lived in Halfway for most of his life. Halfway? Halfway to where?
Some think it is halfway between Sheffield and Chesterfield, though others may argue it is Clowne, not Chesterfield. Even Ben himself is “not sure” of the answer.
Halfway is home to the Park & Ride tram service, which Ben, 18, uses on a daily basis.
As a Sheffield Hallam fresher he is one of many students who commute from home, rather than halls.
However, despite being familiar to Sheffield he has still managed to get lost: “On the first day, I got the tram and I thought I could get there pretty easily but I couldn’t. I got further into town than I should have”.
Once he realised this, Ben used Google Maps to find his way back.
Although getting lost is a student’s worst nightmare, it isn’t this which fazes Ben – it’s the prices that irritate him the most. When at college, Ben paid 70p for a one way ticket.
Now he has no choice but to pay £13 a week for an adult ticket. Although it gives unlimited access to the trams, Ben says: “I don’t really want to pay it but I have to. If there was an easier form of transport I would use it because trams are always packed”.
So even if trams seem like one of the more convenient methods of transport, it’s worth bearing in mind that the prices aren’t always the nicest. Also remember that if you think you know Sheffield well, you could still get lost just as easy as the rest of us.
By Branwyn Harris
Adam Kerr nearly failed to be a student at Sheffield Hallam University after forgetting to bring in his GCSE results.
Being from Consett near Newcastle means he is already familiar (maybe even too familiar) with heavy drinking.
Adam says he’s “not had a sober night’s sleep since Saturday”, and has visited many of Sheffield’s key clubs including Plug, Corporation, Viper Rooms and Crystal.
This fresher has not just managed to ruin his liver this week, but also managed to slice open his finger whilst preparing for another heavy session.
The Devils Brew, also named Tequila, is known for affecting common sense and one’s basic ability, nevertheless most don’t end up with a hand full of stitches before even drinking it.
Whilst preparing Mexico’s most famous shot Adam managed to cut his finger along with the limes – adding an extra flavour to the drink for his lucky flatmates.
By Adam Kerr
Nineteen- year-old Branwyn Harris from Doncaster is no stranger to the beginning of student life in Sheffield, having been invited to two previous Freshers’ Weeks.
A seasoned professional some would say, however she has found herself in unfamiliar territory this year – locked in a courtyard.
After visiting a friend’s new home Branwyn tried to leave the complex but soon found she would struggle to escape without a required fob. Unable to get back into her friends flat or leave the building Branwyn was locked in Leadmill Courtyard until 6am when the on duty security guard set her free.
Branwyn does not miss many of her home comforts, just her local boozer and cat called Eugene Fitzherbert Tiddlywinks Harris.
Hopeful of not being locked in Leadmill anytime soon, Branwyn will be calming down the sesh lifestyle in the hope of beating her uncle to a first in her journalism degree.
By Katharine Tilston
Hallam fresher Catherine Donaldson had a night out on the town in pyjamas and heels during her first week in Sheffield.
The 18-year-old relocated 240 miles north from her hometown of Bournemouth – a five hour car journey.
Catherine who has enjoyed drinking and clubbing for six nights running hasn’t managed to get to bed before 3pm.
Not wanting to miss out on another social occasion she decided pyjamas and heels was the best outfit option for one her nights out.
And she has even managed to attempt pole dancing in the local chicken shop – Chicken Stop.
Coming from a town “in the middle of nowhere” she will miss the “peace and quiet of the country side and the sea” and her mum looking after her,
“My mum does everything for me, she cleans my room, cooks everything I eat, even empties my bin”.
By Catherine Donaldson
After living on his own for two years in Bulgaria 19-year-old Milen Donchev has now replaced his independent lifestyle with living in a flat with three girls.
The Hallam journalism student is already frustrated by his flatmates who “can’t keep silent” in the early hours of the morning.
Two nights in and his flatmates banged on his door early in the morning to ask to hug him.
They then came back moments later to “remind him of how much he meant to them”.
And so it went on night after night.
It took him bursting out of his room in his underwear one night for his three female flatmates to realise he wanted some peace.
By Liv Hunt
Fresher Charlotte Callaway moved into her new student home six days ago and already wants to move out.
The 19-year-old has felt isolated from her fellow flatmates and has not received the ‘typical uni’ experience that she expected before moving to Sheffield from her home in Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire.
“Two of my flatmates are Spanish and the other girl keeps herself to herself. So it’s kind of lonesome.”
She is determined to meet new people who she feels she may have more of a connection with and has recently found new accommodation.
Sheffield Hallam fresher Liv Hunt vividly remembers “climbing on elephants” during her first week at university.
Although she has been home sick the Birmingham lass has tried to throw herself into the city’s nightlife.
Unfortunately she was left disappointed by the vibe at the O2 and decided to leave and embark on her own “adventure”.
This led to “climbing on elephants” and a failed attempt at conquering the height of a bus.
Her journey ended as she stumbled upon a drunken bar crawl with older university students.
Hallam fresher Monique Grimwade spent her first time in Sheffield exploring the night life which resulted in having a “messy night” in the Leadmill.
The 19-year-old enjoyed the cheap Jaeger bombs however the free beer pong was the highlight of her night : “I loved it, and I am so going back”.
The intense night took its toll over the journalism student from Cambridgeshire and she ended up at a falafel restaurant in town the next day.
Although she considers the roads in Sheffield to be “much bigger” with “too many hills” in comparison to home, she is really enjoying student life at Hallam. She described her first week as “messy, interesting, but fun”.
By Monique Grimwade
For 19-year-old Chloe Bowen Freshers’ Week has been an “eventful, exciting and tiring” experience dodging sick and gaining leg muscle.
Being thrown into a new environment with new places and new people Chloe has found herself settling in nicely by drinking , shopping, and sleeping off hangovers until 4pm.
Chloe’s first night in her new accommodation was spent dodging her flatmates sick. After spending the entirety of the night on the floor in her hallway, it was eventually cleaned up the next day by the culprit, using Chloe’s own tea towel.
Despite generally enjoying the company of those in Sheffield, it’s unlikely that she will be making fast friends with this particular flatmate.
In response to being asked what’s different in Sheffield to her own town of Telford, she expressed that people are a lot friendlier however one of the most significant things she’s noticed is that “a lot of people fall over”.
Chloe appears to be enjoying her new life at university, after making friends and “gaining leg muscle” from enduring the slopes and hills of the city.
By Tom Palmer
Aspiring journalist, student and music lover Joseph Roberto, 18, finds himself both blessed and cursed by his appointed accommodation at Fenton House in Sheffield.
Joseph described his new Hallam student accommodation as convenient for both its exclusive on-suite rooms and location within the city.
Despite the benefits Joseph has listed, he also brought to attention the loud, mostly disruptive audience attracted by the nightclub Corporation, for his residency is neighbour to the club.
Joseph stated with clear irritation, “You can hear the roaring at night.” although “Living next to Corp can be a blessing.”
By Adam Hagan
Aspiring singer songwriter Colin Baker, 21, has made the switch to the ‘Steel City’ after months travelling Europe.
The Grimsby student swapped Rome and Amsterdam for Sheffield to start his BA Journalism course.
Bearing in mind that Colin has set eyes on some of the world’s most iconic cities, Sheffield may not have been able to live up to expectations, Colin however, told me otherwise.
When asked his thoughts on the city so far, the budding musician described Sheffield as certainly “different” and “out of the ordinary”.
FHe explained how it had definitely “lived up to expectations” and how the landscape and music scene were definitely big attractions for him.
Being a Psychedelic Rock enthusiast, Colin said the highlight of his week so far had been his night at Leadmill.
“It was crazy to be honest; it was like everyone was at the same level, just there to enjoy themselves.”
While Journalism is Colin’s chosen course, music remains his number one goal in life as he aims for his singing to be his main source of income in the future.
“In ten years’ time I would very much like music to be my main source of income; however music journalism is definitely a good backup choice for me.”
Eighteen-year-old Adam Hagan is looking forward to digging deep into investigative journalism as he starts his studies at Sheffield Hallam University.
Adam, from Manchester, said he had mixed emotions about the move but has found his feet after venturing through Sheffield’s most popular attractions such as Plug nightclub.
After a run of heavy, adventurous nights clubbing, tracking down an uber for his legless friend, Adam feels more settled and hopes to join the university football society.
By Rob Sumner
Hallam student Jamie Egan struck lucky when meeting the owner of Plug nightclub on his first night out in Sheffield.
Sorting him with free entry and drinks all night, he finally revealed he was the proprietor of the best club in the city.
Meeting him outside the club after refusing to pay the five pound entry fee, Jamie’s drunken charm worked wonders and secured himself a free night out for the next three years.
Egan who “lives for the sesh” couldn’t have found a better new mate and will no doubt spend his year almost living in Plug, only going home to change clothes and take a shower.
Living just round the corner from Plug means Jamie is in a prime location in order to get to his new favourite nightclub, spending every night in Plug will be not only Jamie’s dream but also convenient.
By Sam Pickering
Hallam fresher Louis Grogan has been painting the town red – literally – after cutting his hand open in a daring attempt to silence a noisy fire alarm.
Journalism student Louis found himself standing on a stool at 5am prodding a dodgy fire alarm with a knife.
“I sort of slipped and cut my hand open, when I woke up later that day there was still blood on the alarm.”
The 20-year-old from Brighton has also endured numerous exciting new challenges from washing his pots to driving eight hours from his home city to begin his new life in Sheffield.
By Damian Shepherd
Unlucky fresher Sam Greenway spent his first week at Sheffield Hallam University working or bed-bound rather than socialising with new friends.
The Sheffield lad had been looking forward to enjoying a few nights out but was on the late night rota at the Nisa store where he works part-time.
Further bad luck struck when Sam was geared up to meet his new course mates at a BA Journalism social event on Thursday. He reacted badly to his meningitis jab the day before and found himself with chills, fever and sickness which left him bed-bound.
Sam described his week as ”stressful”, but was happy to have recovered in time for his course induction day on Friday. Bring on the weekend!
By Louis Grogan
Hallam fresher Sam Pickering is feeling like “an old man”after being woken by screams in the night at his accommodation.
The 19-year-old Journalism student from Derby said he had enjoyed going out and meeting new people from different parts of the country. Exploring the city’s famous nightlife has been a particular highlight.
“I loved Plug, especially the banging tunes and cheap drinks, but the night was a bit of a blur.”
The chaotic nature of Freshers’ Week has however has taken a toll on Sam.
“Waking in the middle of the night with people screaming. I wake up tired and confused like an old man.”
Sam is also finding it difficult to adjust to life away from home.
“It’s a lot bigger and busier Derby; it takes ages to walk anywhere. It’s difficult keeping everything clean and looking after myself, it’s a new experience but I’m really enjoying the challenge.”
By Jamie Egan
Manchester lad Rob Sumner faces a heavy £250 bill following an eventful Freshers’ Week.
The money he put aside to spend on his twentieth birthday this week was blown on repair costs when he decided to put the strength of his flat lift to the test.
One drunken night Rob and his flatmates decided to jump up and down in the lift and before long it came to a halt and they quickly realised that they were stuck.
With the entire flat already being slightly intoxicated and one of them being very claustrophobic, tensions and stress levels hit the roof.
Arguments about who was at fault for pushing the lift over the limit erupted and Rob decided to take a sober approach and contact security.
After being stuck in the lift for 30 minutes the accommodation security finally arrived to prise the doors open and free the trapped souls. Their services came at the price of £250 for replacement parts.
One of the many struggles of being a university student is living away from your family. But one Sheffield Hallam fresher found her own way to deal with homesickness.
After a pre-drinking session at her student flat, Jess Terry, 19, told her new flatmates she was just going outside to have a cigarette. Then instead of joining them in the nightclub Plug she mistakenly took the train to her father’s house. In Doncaster.
“I don’t know what happened, I just forgot that I wasn’t living at home. It was half past 12, I thought I needed to get some sleep because I had uni the next day. But instead of going to bed where I now live, I went to Doncaster.”
Once there she was baffled to be greeted by her dad’s housemate who gave her the news that her father wasn’t at the house. Despite all this Jess was adamant about staying at the house for the night, so she slept there and managed to catch a 7:30am bus back to Sheffield in time for her uni day.
Still, at least she didn’t make the 120-mile voyage to her hometown of Worcester, where her mother lives.
Sheffield Hallam fresher Daniel Dawson has had a “heavy” start to student life after waking up after the first night with the “worst hangover ever”.
Daniel, originally from Northamptonshire, can’t remember much from his night out, but can recall “ending up in a random German club”.
When asked how he is finding his new life at university, Daniel said: “It’s alright”; later adding that “it’s nerve-wracking but enjoyable” and he’s pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to find his way around.
The 18-year-old has said that his start to university life has been “eventful.”
Fresher Matt Watchorn forked out £70 for replacement keys after, ironically, losing them at nightclub Replica.
The new Sheffield Hallam University student was gutted to take a chunk out of his stretched student budget and said: “It’s a disaster to be here for two days and for something like this to happen”.
The 18-year-old begrudgingly looked back on his first week in South Yorkshire as he claimed: “It’s been an exciting week but misplacing the keys has put me on the back foot for a long time, it’s put a bit of a downer on the experience to be honest.”
The new journalism student was enjoying a night out in popular nightclub Replica with newly-made friends before realising his keys had found their way out of his pocket.
Moving to a new city albeit a close city from his hometown in Southwell, Nottingham has proved tough for Matt – consistently finding himself lost even when looking for some of Sheffield’s most iconic buildings. “I’m finding it tough to find my way around, it’s a huge city, I struggled finding Cutler’s Hall”.
Matt went on to add that his struggle to adapt has made him reluctant to try new things in Sheffield revealing that he’s not joined any of the famous societies that universities promote. “I’ve not really had the time for any activities like that, this week has just made me want to get my head down and work rather than going out and looking for fun.”
By Matt Watchorn
As 18-year-old Joel Holmes is already learning, moving away from home means washing your own underwear – or else you won’t have a stitch to wear.
Joe is counting his underwear – and the days – before he can pop back home to Nottingham so his mum can show him, and his clothes, some T.L.C.
“I should probably learn to use a washing machine,” he admitted.
But that doesn’t mean he will.
Having visited Sheffield lots of time, Joel was spared the usual experience of getting completely and totally lost on his first day. In fact, it was his love of all things Sheffield which attracted him to Hallam. “I’m a Wednesday fan and the music scene is unreal,” he said.
By Niamh Duckers
After landing a job at Plug, one of Sheffield’s most popular nightclubs, Theo Cummins has spent Freshers’ Week pouring more drinks than he’s drunk.
The 18-year-old from Mansfield slightly regrets getting a job during Freshers’ Week, claiming that having to work whilst his flatmates enjoy what Sheffield nightlife has to offer them, has been the week’s biggest disappointment.
However, Theo used the fact that he moved to Sheffield the week before Freshers’ Week to his advantage, whereas he enjoyed a ‘Pre-Freshers’ Week’ with his flatmates at Central Quay. “It felt like a holiday. There was nothing to do in the day, and then we went out at night,” he laughs, and recalls that his favourite night was ‘Pandamonium’ at The Viper Rooms.
By John Kehoe
Hallam student Grace Varney fell for Sheffield from the very start – quite literally – during Freshers’ Week.
She fell down a flight of stairs in Replica, but didn’t realise until the next morning how badly she had hurt herself.
“My ankle had ballooned out and the whole foot was swollen.”
Injuries aside, Grace, 18, from Leicester has enjoyed freshers’ week.
“The bar crawl on Thursday night was my favourite event of the week so far. When I bumped into people from my own city, Leicester, we had a connection. The best club we went to was Corp, and although it was fairly grotty inside, there was a good vibe”
Although freshers’ is renowned for being a fun week, there are downsides, as Grace experienced on the opening night.
“We arrived at Plug at around 9pm, thinking we were early, but we queued for 2 hours before eventually getting in”.
Unlike the majority of first year students, Grace is not in halls of residence.
“I actually live in a house on Bramall Lane. It is just next to the Sheffield United ground.”
Grace has also fallen victim to a regional language barrier when ordering food.
“Back in Leicester, we call a ‘bacon roll’ a ‘bacon cob’. When I ordered one a few days ago, they didn’t know what I was asking for!”
Money hasn’t been a problem for Grace, and she has spent less than she expected.
“£10 spent on 3 bars represents a good night for me!”
By Zoe Knight
A valuable lesson has already been learnt by freshers’ student Ben Greenwood as he expresses his food related regrets.
The 19-year-old from Halifax is in despair as his kitchen cupboards are already frighteningly sparse. “Now I’m going to have to spend my own money instead of my mum’s”, Ben jokes as he awaits the arrival of his student loan.
In spite of his empty stomach Ben has still enjoyed himself during this daunting first week. This is particularly apparent as he expresses his excitement after discovering Sheffield’s vast music scene.
“The Leadmill and The Plug have been my favourite venues so far” Ben said eagerly.
When asked why he explained that they cater to his eclectic taste.
By Ben Greenwood
There is always a flood of incidents in Freshers’ Week. However for Lucy Bedford it was one drop too far. Her flat in Pinnacles was flooded after the kitchen tap was left running overnight.
On the morning of Thursday, Sptember 25 Lucy was woken by her flatmate who explained to her the depth of the situation. The water had not only flooded the kitchen but it had seeped under some of her flatmate’s doors. As well as the obvious water damage, Lucy, 19, explained that “we were worried about getting fined”. However the water was removed from the flat by maintenance and no charges were given.
Although Lucy lives in Sheffield she moved in to student accommodation for the independence and as an opportunity to meet others. She is pleased that all of her flatmates are friendly and sociable and she gets on with them well as it made the moving in process more enjoyable.
Her advice for future freshers’ is to buy a variety of food when you still have your parents to get it (pasta does eventually get boring) and to make sure you turn off any taps before calling it a night.
By Theo Cummins
Sheffield returned to being a busy student city recently with the start of the new university year and 18-year-old, Niamh Duckers is one of the thousands of freshers who have descended on the steel city.
Moving from Middlesbrough, Niamh was more nervous about the academic challenges she would face at university rather than living away from home. Although her first week in student ‘halls’ was spent in an empty flat waiting for flatmates to arrive she did manage to complete the Skins box set on Netflix.
Their arrival coincided with the beginning of Freshers’ Week and looking back now, Niamh claimed to ‘not have a bad night out’ during the week. She did admit, however, that they had a slow start compared to the rest of the week. The first night was spent in a local pub rather than one of the publicised freshers’ events, renowned for their themed nights and very late finishes. Her favourite event was the Zoo Party on Wednesday night at Replica, due to the cool venue and great atmosphere.
Despite the brilliant week she spent with her flatmates and friends, it didn’t quite live up to her expectations, largely to do with the reviews she had heard from previous freshers. Niamh is now raring to go with the beginning of the ‘proper’ university timetable from this Monday.
By Grace Varney
Journalism student, John Kehoe has had an expensive freshers’ week forking out £120 on just one night.
John, 21, from Nottingham, said he was horrified when he counted his money the next morning.
“I think I spent over £120 just on alcohol and some of it wasn’t even for me!”
John who’s now living at Liberty Hall is determined to keep a tight rein on his wallet after last night’s fiasco on Carver Street. But there’s one purchase John’s glad he made.
“I’d brought a wristband for £6 from Club Paris, which meant I could jump the queues at most of the clubs”.
John expressed the highlight of the week, the silent disco at Club Leadmill, after his horrific experience at Walkabout.
“It was so dead and the drink prices where ridiculous!”
Originally doubtful of the disco John was surprised to find how talkative everyone was.
“I thought nobody would talk to me with their headphones on! It was the best night of freshers”.
By Lucy Bedford
Dance teacher-come-journalism student Zoe Knight has been watching her step since she arrived at Sheffield Hallam last week.
Zoe, is commuting from her home in Chesterfield, so she can carry on teaching dance classes to tiny tots.
“I love teaching them,” she said. “It’s fun.”
Zoe Knight is a first year student who has just spent her Freshers’ Week staying with friends at Forge student accommodation before heading home on Saturday to start commuting to Sheffield Hallam from now on.
Her last minute choice to take the plunge and come to freshers’ was spurred on by her friends after she initially did not want to come due to ‘being so nervous’.
Though her advice was to “just go for it, or you’ll regret it”.
Her highlights of Freshers’ Week included an opening night of dressing up with friends for the O2 Academy ‘Where’s Wally Vs Smurfs’ party.
Tuesday night soon followed where she took her best friend out to SOYO for a birthday night, as it is one of her favourite places in Sheffield to go.
Zoe chose to go to these clubs because of the ‘variety of music’, as her music taste varies from “N Sync to Metallica”.
The wide variety compared to her home town she feels makes Sheffield a better night out than her home town of Chesterfield.
“Do freshers’ your way.” said Zoe, who did not give in to the freshers’ pressures of going out every night and decided to stay in one night ‘sharing Dominos pizza, and having a girly night in’.
Her only regret was the ‘lack of sleep’ she had, later adding “Don’t worry- you only regret it in the morning, it’s worth it!”
By Kyle Butterworth
Freshers’ Week, a huge milestone for any young adult setting out on their university adventure. This is most definitely the case for 18-year-old West Yorkshire girl Laura Cartwright. Trading the quiet ex-mining town of South Elmsall for the buzzing city life of Sheffield was an easy choice for Laura.
While the vast majority of freshers may be experts in scraping the pennies together and hunting down the best two for one shot offers, Laura had a taste of the high roller lifestyle in Sheffield.
A visit to the casino with her flatmates helped Laura add to her student funds. After lending a helping hand on the roulette table and beating the house, Laura was treated to her first ever shot of tequila, which according to her was ‘absolutely vile’.
By Laura Cartwright
Thousands of fresh faced students have swarmed the streets this Freshers’ Week in hopes of cheap drinks and free pens. For many students it is a chance to experience city life for the first time with a large chunk of students coming from smaller, quieter towns.
Kyle Butterworth is a prime example of a small town boy in the big city. Used to the industrial streets of Runcorn, this week Kyle found himself amongst unfamiliar territory. The thriving club scene held out open arms for the moderate drinker as he was thrown in at the deep end, ‘sweaty clubs’ becoming more frequent as the week went on.
Independent for the first time, Butterworth has found the good and the bad to student living. The shared flat experience is never fully complete until the kitchen smell evokes tears and someone is dubbed ‘the moody one’.
But of course nothing beats the familiar comforts of home and five days in, the homesickness is beginning to kick in.
“It’s weird knowing you can’t just go home”, said the 19-year-old, a feeling shared by all those suffering from the fresher’s flu as the week comes to a close. And while nothing can beat your own bed, Freshers’ Week has offered a welcome taster to what will surely be one of the best years of our lives.
By Ashleigh Cartwright
From Kendal, Cumbria, Dan Taylor is used to the lifestyle of a small town meaning he has spent much of Freshers’ Week wondering around the city aimlessly.
So far he has spotted the many Greggs’ Sheffield has to offer, spending most dinner times there as leaving behind mum’s home cooking is proving difficult.
“Sometimes I go for the sausage rolls, and other times I go for the pizza,” he said.
Evidently not a talented chef, Dan has found his home for the next few years. Although other students may consider Plug or Corp their highlight of Freshers’ Week, Dan’s is Greggs the bakers.
Although Dan has come across a great find, he describes the week as “confusing, frightening and weird”.
By David Styles
Meet Matt Hutchinson, 19. This Nottinghamshire fresher takes every day as it comes and has embraced Sheffield as his new hometown within a week.
Certainly not a victim of the typical pre-university anxieties, Matt has retained his relaxed approach to life throughout his move to Yorkshire. Being in a flat of just four residents has done nothing to limit the social opportunities of this particular fresher who has wasted no time in hosting a party, resulting in an incredibly crowded kitchen and the best game of ‘ring of fire’ Liberty Court has ever seen.
His hometown, Retford is less than an hour away by car giving him the flexibility to visit family and friends as regularly as he chooses but also giving him the freedom to live independently and make the most of the night life Sheffield offers. A big improvement on the mediocre nights out he has become accustomed to in Lincoln.
By Ryan Watterson
There are many different paths to becoming a university fresher and for Dave Styles it has been a particularly long and winding journey. Hailing from Birmingham, the 21 year old first year student admits that after completing his A levels in 2012, he felt he “didn’t need university”. The realisation that he “hated work” quickly changed his mind and he became a fresher at the University of Winchester. However, it didn’t take long for Dave to know that this was not the correct decision – describing the city’s nightlife in particular as “embarrassing”.
One year on and finally he feels he has made the right choice by becoming a fresher at Sheffield Hallam. Dave fell in love with the steel city after a recent visit, but had this trip never taken place then it is unlikely that he would have come to the university as “up until then it was the last of (his) choices”.
The mixture of a lively nightlife, the prettiness of the city and the friendly people instantly attracted him to the city. That and a love of the “funny accents”.
Sheffield is a city famous for its nightlife. The two universities in the city mean it is buzzing nearly all year round while the rivalry between the two adds an extra dimension. Like most freshers, Dave has dived in at the deep end on the first week by hitting the town almost every night; highlighting his first night at the Leadmill as a favourite. However, he does admit that so far it hasn’t been quite as “wild” as he expected and jokingly claims that fellow freshers “need to go harder!”
It is the academic side of University life that Dave has been pleasantly surprised by so far. Having previously taken on a film and media course at Winchester, Dave decided to go for Journalism at Sheffield after enjoying the documentary making part of his previous venture while also admitting a “love of writing.” The first week has given him a chance to try new things, such as getting involved in the ’10 minute takeover’ on SHUradio, and Dave says that it is those sort of challenges that he has enjoys the most. And with induction week almost over, he is now highly anticipating the challenge ahead and “can’t wait to get started.”
By Isla Smitherman
Katie Venables had a rude awakening on her third night as a fresher as her room was at the centre of an attempted burglary.
Deciding to have a night off from all of the mayhem, the 19-year-old was in shock when the intruder was tampering with her window whilst she was asleep.
Dashing to her light in a state of shock, she quickly flicked the switch and the suspect scarpered.
Thinking she had a right gem in having a ground floor flat, Katie is now contemplating whether to move up a floor.
Even though she is still going out and enjoying Freshers’ Week, it is always in the back of her mind that this terrible event has happened.
By Katie Venables
Dylan Ralph spent two hours queuing to get into a club only to be turned away.
Everyone knows that freshers can get a little intense at times with the hordes of intoxicated students descending on the clubs and pubs of Sheffield like a pack of hungry wolves. It can obviously lead to some lengthy queues. Whereas most people would give up after around half an hour Dylan Ralph being the devoted partier he is waited for almost two hours to get in to his beloved Leadmill.
However once reaching his goal of the front of the queue and obviously much less drunk, Dylan was turned away after being told the club was full. Devastated by this news he sought refuge in the nearby Rocking Chair bar and drowned his sorrows in a can of red stripe or five.
By Patricija Rasciukeviciute
Sarah Doran is 19 and from Preston, and usually very bubbly and talkative but she could have cried on her first night in Sheffield when her new flatmates were just a little unwelcoming.
“I suppose they were shy but they just hid away in their rooms on our first evening together.”
They’re good friends now they have begun to get to know each other.
“And I’ve made lots of other new friends too.”
By Sarah Doran
Eighteen year old Londoner, Patricija Rasciukeviciute, has made two big moves in her life. The first was aged two when her family left their home in Lithuania to start a new life in the UK and the second was at the beginning of this week when she moved north to Sheffield.
“And I’m loving it,” she said.
And that’s despite the fact that she managed to lock herself out of her room on only her third day of being here.
Patricija gets on really well with all her flat mates and has enjoyed getting to know them through some amazing nights out during Freshers’ Week.
One of her flatmates is definitely what you would call quirky, and on the fifth night went out dressed as a banana.
“When he came out of his room dressed as a banana, we just couldn’t believe our eyes and all burst out laughing.” she said.
By Aimee Riddell
After a week in Sheffield, Dave Bissett has learned two important journalistic skills. How to blag your way into things for free. And how to cope with a flatmate who pours Malibu on his cornflakes.
On his first night in the city, Dave, a 19-year-old journalism student from Worcester, blagged his way into a city centre club after learning that the entry fee was £10.
Not only that, but he’s now working as a DJ at that same club.
By Hollie Clark
Freshers’ flu, drunken nights, take aways, blurry mornings. Like thousands of students around the country journalism student Isla Smitherman has experienced them all.
The 19-year-old originally from Newark, had her hopes up to go to Nottingham Trent but following in her brother’s footsteps ended her up in Sheffield Hallam.
Living in the heart of the city she’s experienced all of the Sheffield night life, from sticky floors and spending an hour and a half in a queue being slated by second years, nothing has stopped this fresher.
The festival lover isn’t one to take prisoners and has made her voice heard when having to deal with her stingy flat mates, and their endless mess which they make. To top off the beginning of her student life she’s had to have the picture that’s going to stick with her for the rest of her SHU life, which she could only describe it to be as, hideous.
By Laura Jeffery
Moving to student accommodation can be a big challenge in a freshman’s life, what with a new house and new people. It can be even more of a challenge if you find yourself not getting along with your roommates. Whether they are too noisy, too quiet, messy, or just plain annoying, nobody wants to live with somebody they don’t get along with for a whole year.
Jo Buck found this out when she first got settled into her new home on Bramall Lane.
During Freshers’ Week, Jo ends up with a chest infection, effectively limiting what she is able to do and where she is able to go. This means she is typically unable to go anywhere at night, unlike her roommates who enjoy a night out as often as they can.
Jo remains very close to her Mum, and she’s thinking seriously about moving back to live with her again.
“As soon as I can, I’m moving back in,” she said.
She said that her room mates are actually nice people, but they don’t really have a lot in common.
Jo is happy to go out to pubs, or even to town, for a drink and a chat with her friends. Her room mates, meanwhile, prefer the many nightclubs of Sheffield, with loud music and raves being the popular choice for them.
“I prefer a pint to a cocktail,” she said.
By Mark Subryan
Journalism has been a part of one Manchester resident’s life since his high school days.
Alex Morton, 20, will start on the BA Journalism program next week after spending the past year with brewery J. W. Lees on a social media project.
“I wanted to work after high school,” Morton said. “After a year, I was offered full-time work, but didn’t want to do that, so I applied and came to Sheffield Hallam.”
Morton dabbled in radio while in high school and aspires to be a high level football radio personality, but is keeping his options open.
Arriving September 19 in Sheffield, Morton moved into his accommodations at Forge Halls and found independent living had its challenges.
“I realised that my mother isn’t here to make my tea or do my laundry,” he said. “Moving to university means I have to be responsible for everything.”
With a host of activities offered during Freshers’ Week, the Silent Disco at the Leadmill was his highlight, he added.
While he cannot pinpoint anything negative, he has heard stories of nasty pranks being played at various residence halls across the campus.
The Manchester United fan hopes to return home to see family in October.
“I think I want to wait until I’ve been in Sheffield for four weeks before I go home,” he said.
But for Morton, there is a piece of home here because his twin brother, James, studies law at Hallam.
By Darren Campbell
Lauren Keene, 19, from Gorleston a small town not too distant from Norwich is eager to begin the next chapter in her life. Upon meeting Lauren she seemed quietly confident in the vast student pool that Sheffield has exposed this young woman.
Her flatmates dub her “Keeno” and she insists she’s “enjoying the party atmosphere” that the student friendly city of Sheffield has to offer although her flatmates don’t live up to the high expectations of her association of the stereotypical student lifestyle.
“One of my flatmates has anxiety and doesn’t want to do as many activities outside of our accommodation” as well as the rest of them being less social than her friendly self.
After spending a gap year at home “preparing” for freshers she’s now living in the city where she felt “much more at home” than a much closer university. Which makes her think that her transition to university life will be easier because she feels Sheffield is the place for her.
Lauren begins her degree in journalism next week which she chose due to her love of literature, teamed up with her curious nature, she believes the course will fulfil her potential. Hopefully this is the first step for a bright career and future for Lauren Keene.
By Emma Griffiths
Fresher Darren Campbell feels like the infamous Fresher’s Week has been “more of the same”.
Freshers’ Week is the stereotypical ‘best time of a student’s life’, the parties, the cheap vodka and the new found independence, however Darren, 18, a student staying at home feels as though it hasn’t been a huge change.
Darren states he “kind of” regrets not moving into halls but has “everything at home” like close friends, family and all the home comforts most students miss.
The stereotypical Freshers’ Week raises many students’ expectations, Darren himself expected it to be amazing but admits it’s not lived up to these standards: “I’ve been out more than usual, but it hasn’t been ‘wild'”.
Despite this Darren is making the most of student life, and with experience of the city he states that “Corporation is definitely the best night out”.
By Chris Colledge
Her starting blocks… the city of culture 2014, Hull. Finish line… The momentous day that is graduation day.
However, the one stumbling block that has to be manoeuvred around is in her way – Freshers’ Week. Paige Rodmell however, is taking everything in her stride, or should I say stroke, despite being against the tide.
Paige and her friends were navigating their way through the maze of party goers when out of nowhere came an explosion of cider, drenching Paige from head to toe. Unfortunately, this signalled the end of the night as she took the decision that she simply couldn’t carry on whilst in this sticky situation, of which she described as “not pleasant”.
During her time in Hull she proved herself to be a very accomplished swimmer, competing on a regular basis and winning countless club championships. The aim for Paige is to transfer her success in the water into success on the page.
Her surroundings are not new to her like so many other Freshers in their first few weeks as Paige’s accommodation is situated near Ponds Forge, a place she has visited numerous times due to her swimming exploits.
By James Proctor
Jake Bonnett may not have moved into a new city to start university but he’s still moved into a different life.
The 18-year-old has moved out of his parent’s home in Aston and into a city centre flat with his girlfriend. While Jodie, also 18, starts a PE and School Sports degree, Jake is going to train to be a journalist at SHU.
The young couple are on a steep learning curve – a fault with the plumbing meant they ended up without any water in the kitchen and their lack of cooking skills meant a trip to a book store to buy a copy of Jamie Oliver’s cookbook.
Jake has a wide understanding of Sheffield and enjoys the nightlife greatly. Corporation’s slippy floors have affected his week whilst Carver Street has been hectic at times.
In the daytime Jake has eaten at The Hubs, welcoming to Hallam students which contains both a bar and café.
A Sheffield United fan, Jake attends most games and believes 17-year-old defender Keith Megahey contains the most potential. Jake enjoys reading sport articles and is inspired to study Journalism by preferred presenter Adrian Durham. In the future Jake wants to become a Sports Correspondent with The Daily Mail.
By Jake Bonnett
Beginning university is a nerve racking experience for anyone, but student James Proctor from Manchester, who has moved to Sheffield with nine acquaintances, said he ‘loves’ the city because of the how friendly people are and the obvious nightlife within Sheffield.
Ironically, James’ first experience of the Freshers’ Week night life proved to be a disappointment. He visited the popular music venue, Plug, which proved to be a stressful night as he spent most of the night concerned as to why the venue was so quiet. Little did James know that he had actually gone on the wrong night and upon a second visit he enjoyed the night a whole lot more.
And as wide as the different personalities within his flat are, they all seem to share one major thing in common. A messy fridge.
By Alex Morton
Meet Mark Subryan, 43 from Toronto, Canada. He’s been there done that and he’s certainly got the t-shirt.Mark recently sold his car, his house and resigned his job as a Newspaper Editor to come over to the beautiful city of Sheffield.
However, it’s all for a good cause as Mark is here to study his Master’s degree in International Journalism. Mark was enticed to Sheffield by the prospects of the vast opportunity for journalists in Britain and the supportive educational network…and his sister!As you would expect, his experience has been very different to your average fresher, the main difference being the fact that he had his fresher’s experience in the 1990s and in Canada.
Freshers’ Week in Canada is actually called Frosh Week and it’s a daytime thing, not a night time thing and one outstanding memory Mark has of his ‘Frosh’ experience was going to a gig to see a band called ‘Tragically Hip’. Apparently they’re big in Canada.Mark’s fresher’s experience may differ from others but he’s had his fair share of experiences in his 16 year long career. He has now given up everything to move halfway across the world to do the university experience all over again.
By Paige Rodmell
Freshers is the time for new experiences, new cities, new friends. But not everyone moves away to university, which can make all these things a bit trickier.
Chris Colledge, 18, decided to stay in Sheffield after looking round at other universities. “My mum and mad wanted me to stay here, and I like the city. There’s a lot to do all the time – parks, shops, clubs.”
On the downside: “It’s harder to meet people. I feel more excluded.”
Chris lives in Dore, 25 minutes bus journey from Sheffield Hallam University, which he says is becoming “irritating” after just a week.
“I’ll be on the bus and I’ll be thinking of what everyone else is up to in their halls whilst I’m at home.”
It isn’t all bad, as he doesn’t have to buy his own food or do his own washing as he lives with his mum, mad and his 25 year old sister Christina.
“They’ve been very supportive of me, giving me the freedom to do what I want to do.”
>Living at home means that the 18 year old journalism student already knew a lot about his surrounding area, including clubs such as Corp and Tank. As well as clubs, Chris has also ended up at the casino with some friends, where he found himself placing a bet of 50p next to someone with a £100 bet.
“I felt a bit awkward because he was obviously there to win bucks whilst I was spending pennies.”
But, by staying at home, he could soon find those pennies turning into pounds._______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
By Lauren Keene
For many students, going to university is about leaving home, discovering a new city, a whole new lifestyle. For Darren Campbell, though, there was nowhere to beat Sheffield. “I’ve got everything here – I’ve got my family and friends around me, good night life – it’s a great city to live in.”
The 18 year old, from Wincobank, has just started his first year as a journalism student at SHU. “I wanted to move into halls,” he said. “(I don’t know) my sister didn’t enjoy it as much so I thought it was the best thing to do financially and not believe the ‘freshers hype’.’
week is on its last legs, as are most students by now, David reflected on the decision he had made about commuting “I don’t know any more, I have mixed feelings, although long term I’ll be glad.”