An Ode to My Friends: University has been a fantastic place at which to discover a whole new group of people, those individuals who make my experience worthwhile. The beauty of friendship is that they are chosen from wherever you best see a fit – they are people who help enrich all the different sides of yourself. Creating a support network and community of good people I find essential for security, not just in respects to University but life in general. Connecting does not come easily to all, in that respects I would offer suggestions of different places to find a hub for making friends. There are plenty of places you can find in effort to make connections, things are certainly different with this year so it is understandable that it can be daunting.
An Ode to my Housemates: The first port of call is the people you are going to live with, for better or for worse these are the people you can get to know the most. I am extremely lucky to have the most insane horde of people to call my housemates, those who I met in my first year and continue to live with now. In these extraordinary times, it is always good to be respectful of space for yourself and others – so we will keep shouting at you to do the washing up or take the bins out! Here is an ode to each of my good friends:
To the one who I was friends with first, we connected through messages before we even met. From late nights cooking spicy food and baking banana bread, to trying to teach me how to do my eyeshadow, you have always been a fierce friend. We have tried everything together when we were afraid of going on our own, you have taught me the value of physical strength and perseverance. Thank you for making me get out of my comfort zone.
To the one who spends plenty of time looking at a screen, you make me laugh like no one else. I have seen you work extremely hard about the activities you are passionate about; I have enjoyed our late-night chats, video watching and all the stupid puns. You inspire me to take time to relax and to listen more to others. Thank you for being there to make me smile. Plus, I will win at Just Dance against you one day.
To the one who loves to learn, you have always inspired me to play into my curious side. I love the time that we share, with the music, the shows, the art – you have taught me how to be calmer and question everything within the serenity. You also make a mean lasagne. Thank you for letting us educate each other on the world, whilst being kind and graceful with it.
An Ode to my Course mates: These are the people you can rant about on an abstract segment of your module or course and they will completely relate to it. We first made contact through our lectures and seminars, when we were all confused and dashing around trying to find the right university rooms. I find myself inspired to work harder and smarter with the friends I have made through my course, talking about the niche interests of books and events.
To the one who keeps me sane in insane times, you have aided each other through all the difficult times and long days studying. You are always there as a place of comfort and can kick me into action, fierce and gentle in your juxtaposing way. Those chocolate croissant dates in the Information Commons is just the tip of the memories we share, tracing back to our first meeting over coffee and the impossible referencing system. Thank you for teaching me to be confident with my work and ideas.
To the one who has a home in two places, I am so happy you decide to stay when you do. You show me the importance of a working and personal life balance, it amazes me how you can be committed to so many people thoroughly. Your laugh and smile fill up the room, with your funny comments and slow walking pace. Thank you for bringing comfort and showing us the value of hard work.
To the one who has looks that could kill, your dry humour and wisdom continues to keep me grounded. You remind me the value of pointing out the obvious: in work, in my personal life and the world around it. I admire the qualities that are unfiltered and passionate, you are the wholly the person you want to be. Plus, you are secretly a cuddly person, I know. Thank you for showing me your vulnerable side.
These are the friends I hold most dear of my time at Sheffield, it is crucial to find a support network around you from societies, work to a random seminar. It can be hard to find to ‘your’ people, my best advice would be stay open to everything. There is a huge misconception you must surround yourself with a crowd of individuals, those who you will be ‘friends for life’. It does not happen for everyone, or even in a conventional way. If you are comfortable, take every opportunity that comes your way to interact and expect to find friends in the most unexpected places.
Contacting your Tutor/ Lecturers: With all the bombarding emails and new faces of students and staff, it can be confusing to know where and how to contact the people who will give you the best information. Due to the current Rona restrictions, the School of English has decided to take meeting and consultation meetings virtually. The best route of contact is through email if there is confusion. Please be respectful of contacting any staff and remember that they will not reply immediately, especially with increased online interaction. However, I have found the tutors and lecturers to be so insightful and accommodating. During the lockdown, I had several meetings with tutors to discuss my essay ideas, progress, and wellbeing. The staff are all incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their area, no wonder they got the job! Finally, if there is confusion who you must contact– your department email is a great place to start.
-Hannah (Third Year, English and History)