Surviving Week One of Final Year

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I can’t believe we are already in October, the last month has completely whizzed by. It’s crazy to think that three weeks ago I was still in Iceland, when so much has happened since then!

I moved back to Sheffield two and a half weeks ago, it’s my second home so it’s great to be back. Moving back to a city I already knew was reassuring – I know all the bus routes, the good restaurants and how to get to class without looking at a map. That’s the easy part.

I came back the week before Freshers Week, as I had secured a job at the University as an Information Assistant. I had a key role in being a point of call on campus to help new students settle in and make the week go smoothly at the Student’s Union, and answer questions regarding anything and everything! I did get some odd questions. It was full on at times and quite tiring, but extremely rewarding. My uniform involved a bright orange t-shirt, which meant that I was very noticeable on campus and you could spot me from miles away. The leaflet distributors avoided me, but anyone who had an issue came straight to me. The Intro Week Team did embrace the orange, with the mentality that ‘Orange is the New Black.’ Some people did laugh at me when I walked to university one day though because of my uniform, that was a bit harsh. After having been away from Sheffield because of my Year Abroad, it was great to get stuck in with events on campus and feel like I belonged again.

Although I have now finished as an Intro Week Assistant, I have been welcomed back to continue with my job as a Student Mentor at a local school one morning a week. I really loved being a part of this Outreach Scheme two years ago, so I am pleased to be doing it again.

Moving into my new accommodation was rather tricky… I stored all my belongings at James’ house over the summer, before I moved back into Student Accommodation two weeks ago, while I had my car over the summer. I guess we could have got a taxi, but we managed to schlep all my belongings in various boxes and bags down from Crookes on the bus (yes, the bus!), to my new flat near the campus. We did manage it in two runs, so we were quite pleased with that but I wouldn’t recommend doing it.

There have been quite a few things wrong with my room: broken window, broken shower curtain, bathroom floor needs ripping up and tiling again as it isn’t stuck down properly, a sick patch (ew!) hadn’t been cleaned on the floor next to my bed… I could go on. After a lot of nagging though, I am settling into my new abode quite nicely and it’s great living a two minute walk from my Department, having my own en-suite again and bills all-inclusive!

The first week back to lectures has been overwhelming, as we have been bombarded with information and the teachers have given us no reason to ease us in; already I’ve had to prepare presentations, start my reading, get to grips with tricky translations and more. We were even given tips on how to do well on our final examinations in June 2016 on Monday. Not like it is nine months away or anything…

Despite studying during my Year Abroad, I was not expected to study near as much I have to in Sheffield, so it has been a shock to the system somewhat with all these responsibilities and most days I have had to have a siesta for 2 hours in the afternoon and go to bed at 10pm to fight away the exhaustion! You can differentiate the final years from the Freshers easily; the Freshers are all bright-eyed and eager to start their studies, while the final years are already stressed, exhausted and have probably moved into the library.

Many Freshers have come up to me to chat as I look young and they presume I am in my first year too and they are looking to make friends. When I give them the bad news that I am in fact in my 4th year, they either look horrified and walk away from me, or say ‘oh, you’re so old!’ I have never been called ‘old’ by an 18 year old before, but it has happened many times this week and I am so confused. I am still mistaken at times for 12 or 13, so I am in this very strange space right now. I still try to chat with them but there just seems to be this barrier which separates us, as they are nervous to be chatting to someone ‘so old.’ I went away for a year and now I am in this whole new category of person that I need to come to terms with.

With all this stress and pressure, I have started going to an Ashtanga Yoga class with the Yoga Society on Tuesday evenings. I love yoga as it is so relaxing and this is something I am trying to stick to weekly from now on as I know it is good for me! Plus, I have never gone to a yoga class for £2.50 (so cheap!). After five years of yoga practice, I was amazed when I managed to do Crow Pose for the first time this week! I thought I would never manage it. I’m going to try and practice it every so often so I don’t lose it.

In order to go through with my ‘Post-Year Abroad Resolution,’ to explore more of the UK and do things of interest at home and not just places abroad, I have signed up to some events organised by the university. Next Sunday, I am going to the Harry Potter Studios! I am so excited to go, however it is a 4-hour drive each way in one day, and I am going to be exhausted. I also have a full day of work training the day before, so I need to prioritise my workload that I need to prepare for the following week. Stress. But it is so worth it.

Throughout the semester, I have also booked to visit Alnwick Castle one day, do a day course Certificate in Emergency First Aid in the Workplace for my CV, and a short 4-week course in British Sign Language with my housemates, to break up from all the studying. It’s a good idea in some respects, but I worry of all that extra study time I am going to miss. Then again, I forget sometimes that I also have to live.

I still have posts I am uploading weekly of my incredible trip to Iceland to share with you. I hope you enjoy them. I will also be updating regarding my final year at university and the occasional fun activity I partake in (*cries*).

Anyway, I have to go, as I’m off to the Jewish Society Friday Night Dinner now (which I have sorely missed for the year that I have been away!).

So, I’ll say Shabbat Shalom, and will post very soon.

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