Last September I arrived to Sheffield with a large suitcase. I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, and I remember being surprised about how cold it was. The weather was just the first of many surprises I would find in Sheffield.
Last year it snowed quite a lot, which I was not prepared for.
Immediately after arriving I met many people. Throughout Orientation Week and Freshers’ Week, as more people moved into the student accommodation, I made even more friends. While I was always confident in my ability to make friends, I did not expect to meet so many unique people from all over the globe.
Social Life is a large part of university culture, especially for freshers. Naturally, it became a huge part of my university life as well. There are hundreds of student societies and clubs you can join and the City is great for a night out with friends. However, the highlight of my social life was the journalism ball! We all dressed up and went to the Hilton hotel for a nice meal - it was great to do something different.
Before I came to Sheffield I did the International Baccalaureate in high school, so I thought I was prepared for my course. However, from newswriting to learning about British politics, everything was new to me. There were some moments when the workload felt overwhelming and I doubted if journalism was really what I wanted to pursue. But I came through and was so pleased when all my hard work paid off and I passed my first year.
The most memorable moment happened out in the field when I was looking for stories. A classmate and I went to a pub called Crosspool Tavern that was honouring a local hero at their reopening ceremony. The local hero was Ian Hague, the chairman of the Crosspool Form committee. We had attended one of the committee meetings before and Mr Hague recognised us; he invited us to have dinner with him and his friends. He told us many stories about how Sheffield used to be when he was younger. This evening reminded me of why I chose to study journalism - because I love discovering stories. I must admit, the free dinner also helped motivate me.
Mr Ian Hague at Crosspool Tavern
On our last day as a fresher, my friends and I all got together for one last party. Next semester, some of us will be going abroad for a semester. I am looking forward for more adventures in this amazing city that is Sheffield.
By Reina Fujimoto
Japanese student at the University of Sheffield