Freshers’ Stories

Here are a selection of stories from our 2016 BA Journalism freshers about their first week at Sheffield Hallam University.


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.


By Charlotte Callaway

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.


By Chloe Bowen

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.”


By Colin Baker

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.


By Daniel Dawson

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.


By Jess Terry

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.”


By Joel Holmes

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

Over the past seven days, Hollie Clark has come to blows with one of her flatmates, almost been in a fight, and had to deal with strangers staring through her kitchen window.
All scary things for an 18-year-old in a new city. But for a journalism student, at least it means plenty to write about.
The 18-year-old hasn’t had your usual experience of freshers week. Hollie shares her accommodation with three others who are sociable and do their fair share of keeping the flat presentable and clean, however the forth flatmate does not. He refuses to wash his dishes, is argumentative and is very antisocial.
By David Bissett
Intoxication, mild adultery and testosterone; it’s not an EastEnders omnibus, its Freshers’ Week. Amidst the “brandy downing”, “ironing board dancing” and “free Wagamamas” is journalism student, Aimee Riddell.
Flying the urban nest of Nottingham, 18-year-old Aimee wasted no time in assessing the talent of Sheffield. Talent does not however refer to men, as this Nottingham blonde is unfortunately taken; it of course refers to the copious stream of alcohol that Sheffield has to offer.
Even nights in doesn’t give chance for the liver to breathe; as last night’s karaoke flat party could not have functioned without females’ best friend – rosé. As the rosé flowed and the sounds of ‘Pitch Perfect’ pumped, Aimee and her three other girl friends were brought crashing from their euphoric state as the slow realization that the male flat mates had been slyly watching their ‘routine’ dance moves, “awkward” to say the least.
By Dylan Ralph

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.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s