Cambridge Chaos!

Cambridge: a well respected, pretentious location. The same is generally applicable to the university.

Or is it?

Judging by this picture, probably not.

chaos at Cambridge.

The trouble of striving to attend such an academically positive university is that the reputation must, or should, be upheld by the students. Unfortunately for Cambridge, pre-exam stress may have got to its’ students a little more than first perceived.

Known as ‘caesarian Sunday’, rival drinking societies of Cambridge joined together in a mass brawl at a pre-agreed destination. The drinking societies, known respectively as the Caesarians and The Green Giants, met at a central park and engaged in a variety of antics, from fighting, drinking from condoms, nudity and brawling, to brandishing a pigs head on a stick. Several of the brawling participants were left bloody and bruised from the event, whilst being cheered on by supportive bystanders of the university. There has been a general uproar regarding the university’s reputation and misbehaviour, with many locals complaining.

Many families, some with small children, left the park ‘terrified’ after witnessing the activities of the stressed students out of fear of violence and victimisation. Onlooker Janet Banner, 34, said ““There was lots of rubbish flying across Jesus Green, guys urinating in front of us, bad language, and people carrying a pig’s head on a stick. The police were called at one point but didn’t do anything. I am sure if they weren’t students they wouldn’t get away with it.”  Although police were called, no arrests were made as they didn’t feel any offences were committed. It is, allegedly, the decision of each individual officer and their matter of opinion to conduct penalties.

This is met, however, with student’s verifications of their antics. Andrew, a Cambridge University student, said: “I can fully understand why a small minority of students may seek to enjoy their day off in an organised and contained event, which occurs annually with prior police knowledge, before they begin the intensive run-up to exams.” One therefore has to wonder, if the less ‘traditional’ universities carried out the same activities, would there be the same uproar as a consequence? Would it be plastered all over the media? Or is this just a penalty of a supposedly well conducted, postured university having fun?

Some would have to say that the students are definitely being victimised as a result of negative stereotypes of young people, especially students. This was increased even more when the violent protests concerning university fees broke out. Since then, the media’s motive of the negative portrayal of students could be questioned. Any opportunity to plaster their ‘bad behaviour’ to the nation is not missed, but very much grabbed with both hands and pushed straight onto a front page newspaper.

Students are, essentially, young adolescents seeking further education. However, universites are also renowned for their ‘good times and memories’, and should without a doubt be enjoyed. Perhaps this is just a way of Cambridge enjoying itself but being penalised by the media? Although some of their antics were rather shocking, for example the pigs head, it is not like any murders were committed. Fights and nudity and drinking occur all over the world daily, and yet not all of this is reported on. If a journalist experienced a week in a student’s life, it is garenteed they would emerge with several stories, and more than likely the negative outweighing.

So, why? Well, more than likely because it is easier to report on the negatives. And this is not just generalised to students, either. Newspapers are full to the brim of negative occurrences in the world and nation, and exceedingly rarely are positive stories broadcast. Minority media outlets, such as Russell Howard\’s good news, are simply not broadcast the way that some negative stories are.

Returning to the student debate, their is no outright, clear righteous side. The students were letting their hair down before an excessively stressful examination period. Locals were offended and scared in their own surroundings. Who’s to say who’s wrong?


The final stretch…

So, returning to Sheffield for the last week of freshers is a not altogether good experience. It’s sad to think you will never be a ‘fresher’ again, and reflecting on the (granted, hazy) memories, you realise how much you’ll miss it. Because from this moment on, everything is actually serious. ‘Just passes’ aren’t acceptable anymore, you have to actually surpass it (if you’re aiming for a good degree, anyway). The lectures and seminars become more important. You’ll be living in an actual, fully-fledged, grown up, house! Long gone will be being awoken at three in the morning from blazing music and drunk students marching through the courtyards.

You start to think of all the new students that will enjoy the perks of being a fresher, and already feel envy, even though you still are technically a fresher.

With exams looming, the panic sets in and the number of students enjoying the night life decreases. But, there is always next year, and the year after, and the year after to party. For now, exams come top of the importance rank. Talking to friends at Sheffield Hallam, some are clearly burdened with more exams than some. For example, I only have one exam. Others have seven, one every other day. But this is just one of the more negative consequences of being a student, stressful examination periods. This, along with tuition fees, money worries, deadlines, etc. But as previously acknowledged, in my eyes this is vastly outweighed by the definite pro’s of being a university students. The amazing friends you will make, the fun times you will enjoy, the money you will waste but grow to appreciate, the independence you will achieve and so much more. If you are sitting on the fence about whether or not, my vote is a 100% yes, as you will not regret nor look back on the choice. Granted, the fees are going up to a ridiculous new level, but at the end of the day, it is only money. In return you will get a great life time experience and lasting memories for years to come.

Silver lining? Maybe.

Even though I have only just almost finished my first year of Sheffield Hallam university, the worry of what next? always looms. The conventional conversation always follows the same pattern. “Ooh, what university are you at?”, “What course are you doing, enjoying it?”, and then the biggy – “What do you want to do after?”.

The truth is, I don’t know. Nor do most people my age. Nor do most people older than me! Some take twenty years to figure their vocation. Unfortunately, by this time, their vocational job may not be an option. It is widely known and recognised that the job market is not exactly ideal. With university places and jobs being cut, people being made redundant, there is a limited crevice for career opportunities.

Despite this, recent reports convey that the government are trying to encourage graduates to apply for jobs concerning the European Union. Judging by the illustration of the incentive, the perks of the job are definitely there: a starting salary of possibly £50,000; accommodation in an overseas location; a say in decisions that could affect the world, and more.

Although diminishing a few post-graduate’s concerns for their future with the offer and encouragement of a satisfying job, this also raises a few enigmas about today’s society. Why are so many people claiming benefits when there is encouragement and support emitting from the government with such enthusiasm?

Furthermore, Emmetts law firm have just announced a 500% increase in their employment. Yes, this is a specific niche of vocation and skill, but surely if places like these are offering more opportunities then 1), the job market must be improving and 2), there is a decreasing reason for not getting, or at least applying for jobs of recent times.

So although I stress and worry about the big ‘what next‘ question, with these opportunities around now, I assure myself with the idea that in two or three years time, not only will these possibilities still be around, but so will better ones. Fingers crossed.

If there’s anyone reading this worrying about the same big Q as me, click the hyperlink here or on the ‘what next’ or ‘what do you want to do after’ for help. Although after you read this/I wrote this, there’s a feel of reassurance! Phew!

A ridiculous concept!!

Ed Miliband has recently said that ‘reckless’ tuition fee increases could result in 36,000 less university places for future students.

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party.

Ironically, Miliband – the leader of the labour party – heads the party that actually initially introduced the tuition fees years ago. With the proposed cuts with the expected average fees of £8,500 per year is likely to create funding shortfall of up to £450million in 2014/15 meaning university places will be cut.

Although accused by a rival party member of making up numbers, it is unclear of what Miliband is speaking the truth of. With 2/3’s of universities set to charge the full amount of the raised university fees as of next year, where is the logic? What is the government going to gain by cutting places and rising fees?… More people on benefits? More young people struggling for a rewarding career, whilst missing out on amazing opportunities?

It is hard to see the benefits of this change. As yet, all the government have told us is their propositions of charging higher prices and cutting places, which adds up as a not altogether positive onlook. Where are promises of a better, more rewarding, glittering future as a result of these in- and de-creases? Maybe the concept would be more justified, if along with “tuition fees to be raised by three times”, there was also a positive statement in the equation. “It will be worth while”. “You will reap the benefits”. “This will definitely work out in your favour, students”.

Forgive me if i’ve missed something, but so far i’ve not heard anything like this proposed to us in the mix of mayhem?

It’s Easter!

So as year one, freshers, an era ends, it’s strange to reflect on how much life has changed since September. From not knowing how long to boil an egg for, some could say I have come on a long way. Living on your own is tough at times but overall seriously rewarding, you get to learn more about yourself plus become substantially more independent.

I resided at Exchange Works in Sheffield. When being taking around early last year (’10), they were described as the renowned ‘party flats’, which they definitely lived up to. Being woke up at 3am by blaring music echoing around the court yards was not one of my favourite reasons to live at Exchange, unless of course it was us conducting the blaring of music. Nevertheless, living there was definitely worth a few interrupted sleeping patterns. Although I’ll be returning for an undecided time, it’s sad to think i’ll never be properly living there again, unless of course I return in future years! It’s a perfect location and the main reason i’m so glad I chose there was the people I met.

Granted, university is mainly designed for a further education achievement. But following closely behind it is the long life friends you will get in return and amazing, funny and admirable stories to share with your home friends and (perhaps) family. Living on your own, never mind other people, is daunting and at first seriously scary. But once you’ve got your foot in the door and acquired some (amazing) friends, you’ll never look back, apart from the occasional bout of homesickness from time to time.

Overall, student life in Sheffield is one to be envied by others and seriously considered, if not chosen, by people on the fence of where to go. Although it is not for everyone, a big big majority would definitely agree with me in saying student life in Sheffield is amazing!

Friends from Sheff Hallam!

‘So Raise Your Glass’.

Sheffield Night life.

Night life.

By definition:student.: 1. Student: ‘Usually a young person between 18 and 21 who is supposed to attend university at some point or another. Student life for many might entail being bone idle, eating kebabs, stealing traffic cones and getting “totally wreaked!”. Mostly middle class in origin, a great number of them seem fascinated with alcohol and consuming large amounts of cheap larger at arguably cheesy student nights.’

Okay, so perhaps we students enjoy the occasional drinking binge, or ten. The odd drinking game to save our already insufficient finances. But these are the days. Granted, health warnings to us aren’t ignored, simply forgotten over a glass of ‘basics’ vodka. But what is to be expected from young people offered the best night life in the country?

University is not just about the education and graduation, it is also the experience. Finding a home away from home, and enjoying it there. It is unanimously agreed that night life is a significant factor of this, as socialisation and friendship will inevitably blossom.

Attending Sheffield Hallam University as previously mentioned, I severely lack knowledge of the places to be in any other cities other than possibly my home town, Leicester.

Sheffield offers an amazingly diverse and adaptive range of urban night life, that is built for anyone.

Embrace nightclub is one of the more popular venues in Sheffield city. Attracting students from both Hallam and Uni alike, as well as outside Sheffield residents, the destination is found populated every night (excluding Sunday), especially on Wednesday nights (student night) and Saturday nights. Music ranges from mainstream to drum and bass, to indie and hip hop, determined by the numerous rooms inside.

Plug is another one of the more densely populated attractions in Sheffield city. Like Embrace, it offers a range of separate rooms, each providing a different stream of music. Despite this, each room will be ‘packed’ on a Thursday (student) night, and Saturday. Additionally, the location of this club is ideal, situated in the heart of the most populated student area, and as a result attracts a buzzing party atmosphere.

Besides the two most popular night clubs in Sheffield, there are also numerous bars as desirable destinations for great nights out. Including Paris, Crystal, Babylon, Leadmill and Beg Borrow or Steal, all the previous gaurentee night life to top all else.

Sheffield is renowned for a buzzing and electric atmosphere that is not specific to age or background, with a diverse range of the night life consumers. A ten out of ten in my eyes!

Our very own Hallam’s varsity victory.

Prevailing a demanding and close competitive array of sporting fixtures, Sheffield Hallam University were crowned the winners for the tenth time, defeating Sheffield University.

Credit where it is due, however, the score peaked at 30-31, a nail-bitingly close finish. varsity is an annual sporting contest between Sheffield’s two universities. It was the closest-run competition in the tournament’s history, with only one point separating the two rival teams.

The result came about over a period of eight days, ending in the men and women’s football finals, officiated by Howard Webb, a world cup referee.

Hallam Union sports officer Colan Leung said: “This event brings both universities’ sports teams together in a unique way and it gets bigger and better every year. The students have worked hard all year round, and they deserve to end the year on a high by winning the Varsity trophy for the tenth time on the 15th Anniversary.

“Varsity is about providing an opportunity for all students to get involved, and I praise everyone that took part, either by competing, spectating or organising the competition. We couldn’t have done this without the Sports Committee, Varsity volunteers, Hallam Union, Sport Hallam and most importantly the students.”

Sheffield Hallam and Sheffield students celebrated the achievements well into the night, the final venue ending at established nightclub, Embrace.

University of Sheffield captain Grant Ashby, assistant referee David Hayes, referee Howard Webb, assistant referee Gabriel Siles-Bruge, Sheffield Hallam Captain Darren Norman at Hillsborough Stadium.