Revision Music: Jeremy Chui (Dep. Treasurer)

Studying can be a bore at the best of times. In an effort to keep up your spirits and motivation, our Medsoc committee members have put together a few of our own favourite tunes to study to. Here’s Jeremy’s picks when it comes to studying.

Jeremy says he doesn’t really have a set study music playlist, as he tends to swap it around a lot depending on his mood. He has recommended the following mixtape put together by Kygo. It’s light, upbeat mood is perfect for keeping you motivated through those long hours in the library, but not too distracting either.

Other times, Jeremy doesn’t want music at all, and prefers A Soft Murmur’s interactive page of ambient sounds.

Happy Studying everyone!


Accessing Counselling at UoS

Sheffield’s University Counselling Service (UCS) is free, confidential and available to all students.

As well as offering one-to-one counselling, they also run workshops, mindfulness and stress reduction sessions. They can even offer practical advice regarding problems involving your friends or family.

Who can go to UCS?
Anyone. Any of us can go and you can go for any reason. The fully qualified staff have experience with a range of scenarios, from  recovering from sexual assault to depression to Asperger’s syndrome. You do not need a referral to go to UCS and UCS will help anyone, no matter how small you may think your problems are.

How do I go to UCS?
Register online from any UoS computer or wifi spot, or visit in person at 36 Wilkinson Street. Online registration releases regularly so do check back if it is closed when you first access it. It is staggered like this to enable to staff to manage demand. If in doubt, pop in!

What does the Registration Form entail?
The online registration form gives UCS a chance to understand why you are using them before they meet you. It is a simple questionnaire which asks about your thoughts and feelings from the last two weeks.

What happens next?
You will be contacted by UCS to arrange a triage appointment. This is a 30 minute one-to-one session with a counsellor to get to know you and your needs, and help decide on the right course of action. You may request to see a male or female counsellor as you prefer.

If I have one-to-one counselling, what can I expect?
The counselling experience is different for everyone. Your counsellor will get to know you quickly, and you should feel comfortable opening up to them about anything. You are free to direct the topics discussed in your session. If at any point you wish to change or halt your counselling, you are free to do so. These sessions belong to you, they are your time to reflect, ask for guidance, or reassure yourself however you like.

Is there anything else I should know?
UCS is a wonderful service and incredibly positive environment. It is open, friendly, relaxed and kind. The waiting room is full of interesting self-help books and colouring if you need to chill out. There is no judgement in that building and every client is respected and celebrated as they deserve to be. At UCS, you are free to laugh, scream or cry to your heart’s content. I leave my sessions feeling hugely uplifted.
Added bonus: You can be excused from lectures, teaching or placement to attend these sessions, so do not worry about unauthorised absences.

University Counselling Service Contact:
University Counselling Service
36 Wilkinson Street
S10 2GB
0114 222 4134

Opening times:
Monday: 9am-4pm
Tuesday: 11am-4pm
Wednesday: 9am-6:30pm
Thursday: 9am-6.30pm
Friday: 9am-4pm

Further information:

– Grace Elliott, 18/04/2016


Sex: Nothing to be ashamed of

One thing rarely ever spoken about is the stigma and judgement we put on ourselves. Especially as a woman, I never realised that my own insecurities would be the reason I felt so awful when getting the morning after pill.

A while ago, I’d casually been seeing a guy for about two months and on one occasion we ran out of condoms. Contrary to the many PHSE lessons and sex talks of my youth, we decided to risk it in the heat of the moment. We realised the implications the next day, but taking a chance just didn’t seem so important at the time.

However, the next day, the idea of confronting the situation and worst of all, getting the ‘morning after pill’ made me feel so anxious. I remembered the shame and judgement I’d seen first hand, when gossip spread about other girls needing to get one. Suddenly I’d been thrown into their position. The same recurrent thoughts tortured me the whole morning, making me feel so small: How could I be so stupid? I should’ve known better than this. Everyone will think I’m a slut. I knew I had no other option but to get the morning after pill, but I couldn’t face going into a pharmacist and uttering those words. I felt sick at the thought.

Another day passed and I managed to book an appointment at the university health centre pretty easily. At this point I was so nervous at the thought of becoming pregnant that I was able to force myself to ring the number. Actually saying the words and making it to the doctor’s was something I hadn’t considered. In the end, I went and found myself talking to a really lovely female doctor. Once I managed to squeeze the words out and explain what had happened, I looked over to her and saw she was completely unphased. She hadn’t flinched for a second. In fact, I felt so at ease that I walked out feeling lighter, completely different to the girl who had walked in. She had prescribed me the pill along with a free chlamydia test, and that was that.

Ordinarily, the story would end here, but a few days after taking it I started feeling very low and and tearful. I have no idea whether it was related to the pill or a reaction to the whole ordeal, but I suddenly returned to that vulnerable girl I didn’t recognise. I started flitting between anxiety and feelings of such anger that I had no idea who to turn to.

Normally, I wouldn’t have confided in a friend about this as it seemed so personal and embarrassing, however it was the best thing I could have done. As anyone would expect, she reassured and confirmed to me that these were temporary feelings and everything would be OK. She was completely right as those feelings soon passed, and I’ve always wondered why I had allowed my own fears and insecurities overwhelm me so much. Ultimately, no one made me feel embarrassed or ashamed other than myself. It’s something teachers or parents never tell you about sex and relationships, yet I think it’s something that needs to be shared and discussed.

Our Author wishes to remain anonymous

If you would like help or advice regarding sexual health, you can contact:
University Health Service, 53 Gell Street, 0114 222 2100
Sexual Health Sheffield, GU-Medicine, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, 0114 276 6928
Central Health Clinic, 1 Mulberry Street, 0114 226 8888

It’s really important to never let fear or insecurities get in the way of the healthcare you are entitled to. It is especially important with emergency contraception as it is most effective straight away.
For long term use we do not recommend emergency contraception, consider alternatives such as the contraceptive pill, condoms or IUDs. Remember, only condoms and female condoms protect against STIs.

Just keep breathing

When things are stressful and you feel yourself getting overwhelmed it can be hard to take a step back and regain control. This helpful GIF has been created to help you bring your mind back under control. Sync your breathing with this GIF and start to feel in charge again.


5..4..3..2..1… Relax

Do you ever wish your mind would just be quiet?meditation-cartoon-2

Sometimes my brain is rushing so feverishly from one thought to another I wish I could just press the ‘off’ button and shut it down. The “5,4,3,2,1” meditation has been recommended to me by doctors/counsellors/online forums a few
times and it turns out it can be quite soothing. It took me time to take to it – “zen”, “mindfulness” and “meditation” just seemed like a bunch of meaningless buzzwords – but I’m finding it to be an actually effective way of shutting my mind up sometimes.

Take a few slow, deep breaths and think…

5… What five things can you see around you?
“I can see the shadows move as a car passes my window”
“I can see the loose threads on my old blanket”
Look for five details in your surrounding, try to follow their shapes and lines.

4… What four things can you feel?
Close your eyes for this one if it helps
“I can feel the cool air on my toes sticking out the duvet”
“I can feel my clothes rub over me as I walk”
Try to slow the world around you down, and think about the different textures you can feel against your skin, the shapes of the objects you are touching, temperature differences around you.

3… What three things can you hear?
“The people upstairs are having sex again.. great.” Oh wait.
Focus on sounds that are steady and comforting.
“My own breathing slowly in and out. The sound the duvet makes as I pull it up close to me”

2… What two odours can I smell?
This one can take a little more focus
“I can just make out the scent of my washing powder”
“I can still smell the perfume I used earlier”

1… What can I taste?
For me, right now, I can still taste the apple juice I’ve been drinking

I often do this before bed, as I’ve been finding it more difficult to drop off, but you can do it anywhere. Walking to somewhere that makes you nervous, when things get hectic at placement. Nobody will know you are doing it and you are free to do it wherever you like.

Remember, meditation is just “me time”

Studying with Dyslexia

Neha Jolapara is on placement year, and will return to UoS to finish her physics and philosophy degree in September. The services she describes are available to all students at UoS, simply pop in to the Dyslexia and Disabled Student Services (located in the Alfred Denny building, entrance down the steps on the concourse). The friendly staff will be happy to arrange an appointment for you to discuss any potential or current learning needs and help implement a programme of support. They operate independently from academic departments. 

My initial attempt to confront dyslexia was in high school, where I asked the school’s medical centre manager if there was a test I could take to confirm my suspicions. This lead to my first experience of being ‘scoffed at’. She said “You’re an A grade student, go back to class”.

In stark contrast, the University of Sheffield’s response to the same pursuit gave me what can be described as a warm fuzzy feeling. They provided a safe, non-judgemental environment where you can have good grades, be ambitious and be dyslexic. The test was set up promptly and a detailed report was sent to both the department and myself. I found this to be useful; I learnt why my short-term memory is poor compared to my long term. Reading the report, hence understanding my own weaknesses, has made me a better learner overall.

I have always struggled with reading and found that text fluctuates in density whilst I read it. The University made me understand this was a ‘real thing’ and not just a concoction of my own mind. Whilst this was comforting to confirm, I wish there was more information available to understand why this happens. I was told that it is uncommon, hence by assumption has little information available in regards to it.

Out of my own choice I was given a free Dictaphone as well as one location for all of my exams. I have always felt overwhelmed when going to new places on my own even in stress free (non exam) circumstances, so this was a massive relief. Furthermore a Dictaphone compensated for any recollection my own memory failed to revive; this definitely made me feel more on par with my peers.

The University can always do more in terms of providing materials required to help dyslexic students learn and its swiftness in doing so. Nevertheless, UoS triumphs in both identifying dyslexia and making such students feel both safe and equal.

– Neha Jolapara

Happy International Happy Day!

be happy

Happy International day of Happiness everyone! The UN set the pursuit of happiness as a human right and fundamental human goal back in 2012, and I think I quite agree with them. We can’t all be happy 100% of the time, particularly around our exam times or during difficult placements. Even so, it’s really important that we squeeze a little bit of joy into every day and we treasure it. So consider this your doctor’s order – put that laptop/pile of notes/buzzfeed article/packet of hobnobs down and take five minutes to do something that fills you with joy!

Here’s me lost to an evening of pretending to be Beyonce