Cliché of the Steel City – ‘When you know, you know’.
Before my open day, I had scarcely acknowledged that Sheffield had existed outside of ‘The Full Monty’. The smiles on the faces of the friendly residents were enough to confuse and delight me being from stony faced Birmingham. The ‘Steel City’ was merely just a phrase that went over my head before – what got into my heart was all the lofty green hills and vibrant atmosphere. Enough cliches for you yet?
If you could not already tell from my romanticised and sweeping statements- I adore Sheffield. I immensely enjoyed my open days; it offered a friendly and diverse showcase of what the University had to offer. Though it was not love at first sight – merely the day prior I had my eye on Cardiff University as the perfect contender. In the day, I took attended department and university talks, student Q and As, mock seminars and accommodation tours. I fought it desperately, Cardiff was still my love! But slowly and surely, I came to become more intrigued. I got this ‘feeling’ that this was the place I was meant to be.
I hate to immediate it but that feeling was authentic, not even for narrative comical effect. The Sheffield open day was similar to many others I had attended: welcoming, engaging and informative. However, it was the atmosphere of Sheffield, the city, the residents, staff, and students that made the open day so worthwhile. It allowed me to feel invested and encouraged to thrive in this new place I could call home, to imagine all the opportunities I could get from it.
When we are not currently in a time of massive crisis and pandemic, I would recommend taking as many open days as you can – it can help you gain the feel of a university incredibly well. My experience was certainly a cliché, what I would suggest to people searching for university would be to find the place you would feel most happy. This could be a culmination of the course credentials, the attractions and nightlife of the city, the university status. Whatever is on your check list, ensure you can be who yourself in that University space and city.
-Hannah (Third Year, English and History)