During my time as a taught postgrad, I’ve realised it’s important to make use of the extra things you can do as a student. Before I started, I thought I wouldn’t have much time to do other things that I liked, apart from studying, especially compared to undergrad. It’s true that you do focus a lot more on study, but it’s so much nicer having other things to do and to commit to.
Now I like to keep fit and that’s my release, but I’ve never really been much of a gym person! So I like to attend classes, and over the last 9 months I’ve been going to street jazz classes as part of the dance society, as well as pole fitness classes with the pole fitness society. They’ve both been really good, and even as postgrad, everyone was so welcoming (I’m not really sure why I thought they wouldn’t be…!) I always feel so much better after each session, especially during stressful assignment times. Going to these classes really helped me to stay positive, focused, and also allowed me to have something else to work on and put my mind to, which in a way made me feel refreshed.
Even though I knew I wouldn’t have been able to commit my time fully, I was able to be in two stage performances with the dance society and this was great. Having this other (nice and relaxed compared to the studying) type of commitment made me feel good and also quite rewarding, as I proved to myself that I could manage my time well and keep on top of all the studying that I needed to do.
Of course, everyone is interested in different things, and Sheffield University has a great range of things to do. I also volunteer with Science Brainwaves, a society that carries out and helps with science events for children, and there are so many other options available.
So why am I writing about this? Doing these extra things can really help keep you motivated and focused, and from my experience I feel that you can balance it all. Adding to this, it’s also great for your CV. In my opinion, doing the degree on its own is fantastic, but it looks so much better if you get involved with other things going on as it shows you are a well-rounded person and it generally enhances and maintains skills you may or may have not have already had!
Neelum Mistry, MSc Clinical Neurology