Heading to the University of Sheffield this year? This is everything you CANNOT miss out on!


As someone who’s just recently graduated from Sheffield Uni, I’d give anything to do it all again, and am very envious of this year’s freshers! Looking back on my Sheffield experience, here are 10 things you should definitely do, whether that be doing them all on Freshers' Week or spacing them out throughout the year. Sheffield is an awesome city and it really does have something for everyone - trust me, you’ve made an excellent choice and you’re going to love it!

1. Take a ride in the Paternoster

“The pater-what!?”, you ask. It’s a unique and rare type of lift that never stops moving, even as it reaches each floor - you have to hop in and out! Located in the famous Arts Tower, the tallest uni building in the UK, this also makes it the tallest paternoster lift in Europe, and one of just two in the UK. If this freaks you out a bit, don’t worry, two people fit into each carriage, so you can go with a friend, and there’s also a standard lift and stairs. If you have classes in the Arts Tower, you’ll be using it like it’s nothing in no time, and if not - it’s definitely worth a visit, even just to see it.

Source: YouTube

2. Visit the many funky buildings

Having already mentioned the Arts Tower, Sheffield Uni is home to many beautiful and interesting buildings, from the castle-like redbrick that is Firth Court, to the more recently-installed Diamond a couple of years back. The campus is a mix of old and new - one of the lecture halls is even a church! You might not have lectures in all of the buildings (it all depends on your course) so take the time to explore the campus - not only are the buildings cool but you could have exams in any of them so it’s probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with their locations.

Sheffield building

Source: ARUP

3. The Students' Union

Don’t take this for granted! Sheffield University’s Students' Union has been voted by its students as the best SU in the UK for ten years in a row, and it certainly lives up to that. Whether it’s places to eat, shops, events, or societies, there’s something there for everyone.

Sheffield Uni Students Union

Source: SheffieldUniversity

4. Pop Tarts/ SU Nights Out

Not only is Sheffield’s SU fab in the daytime, it also offers great nights out nearly every night of the week, a favourite being Pop Tarts, where you can dance to 90s and 00s music every Saturday night. The Tuesday Club and Roar are two other popular nights out hosted by the SU - if you’re a drinker, you definitely won’t want to miss out on these!

Girl pointing at camera in nightclub

Source: PopTarts

5. West Street

Famous for its many bars, two-for-one cocktail offers, and takeaways, you’ll never have a boring night down West Street. These kinds of nights usually end in West Street Live, a bar-come-club infamous amongst Sheffield Students that’s open until 4am throughout the week and serves up a whole host of unique and interesting drinks at low prices.

6. Societies and Sports

If drinking isn’t for you, Sheffield has many, many sober activities on offer. With over 300 societies and excellent sports facilities, there are absolutely no excuses not to get yourself out there, try something new, and meet new people. My societies really grounded my university experience, and it wouldn’t have been the same without them. You’ll make friends for life, and it’s a great way to wind down from studying. One thing you definitely won’t want to miss out on is the Varsity Ice Hockey match in the summer - Sheffield’s two rival unis take each other on, and whether you’re into sports or not, it’s an unmissable event - make sure you get a ticket before they sell out!

Sheffield Varsity

7.  Freshers' Fair/ Freebies

I’ll never forget how I missed out on the Fresher’s Fair in my first year because I forgot it was that day! Find out when it is and make a note in your diary - Sheffield’s fair is one of the biggest in the country and you’re guaranteed loads of free pens and other cool stuff, including special offers from a wide range of companies. Also, look out for people giving out freebies on campus in the first few weeks - you don’t want to miss out on free Domino’s Pizzas or Yorkshire Tea.

Freshers' fair

Source: SheffieldUniversity

8. The Meadowhall Student Lock-in

If you didn’t already know, Meadowhall is a shopping centre located just out of Sheffield, easily and cheaply accessible on the tram or train. It’s a great place to go shopping or for food with friends throughout the year, and at the start of each academic year they also put on a special night for students. Only open for students, you can pre-book a (free!) ticket online which allows you access to exclusive discounts in all of the shops, as well as many giveaways.

9. Independent Bars, Cafés and Shops

Sheffield is known for it’s endless amount of independent cafés and bars, and is the perfect city for a fancy hipster brunch. You can even get a special card from Independent Sheffield that gives you discounts at most of these places, as well as in certain shops. The Devonshire Street area is particularly good for vintage shops and independent bars, so don’t hold back, get yourself exploring the city!

10. The Botanical Gardens and Other Parks

As one of the UK’s greenest cities, Sheffield is home to a lot of green space. The Botanical Gardens are absolutely beautiful, and a particularly relaxing place to wind down from your studies. There are also parks around campus such as Weston Park, Crookes Valley Park, and Endcliffe Park, all worth a visit in September before the winter weather kicks in!

Sheffield park

Source: Wikimedia


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