Most of us work best when we are thinking positively and when we feel confident.
Look at new experiences as opportunities to explore what you don’t know – and what you didn’t realise you did know! The atmosphere at SSoA is very supportive and we don’t expect you to know everything. For most courses, there is usually an interesting mix of skills, experience and points of view in every group.
1. Take advantage of available opportunities
Library resources; guest tutorials; SuAS lectures; socials events; be willing to get involved and be prepared to ask when there are things you don’t know about or understand.
“The guest lectures have been great. It’s interesting listening to architects and designers talking about their work, rather than just reading about it in a book. It has helped me to understand their ideas.” – International Undergraduate student
“Enjoy the opportunity of having so much creative freedom to explore your own interests.” – Alumni
2. Be open to new ideas
Some you may embrace, some you may not; however, being open and able to discuss other perspectives will help you to develop your own intellectual agenda about the subject and about what is important to you.
“The staff body is very varied – some of them are operating on the peripheries of the subject. It’s been very interesting learning from them, and has made me consider my own position.” – MArch student
“I think there’s so much emphasis at SSoA about encouraging diversity and challenging yourself through your work.” – MArch student
3. Make your work personal
Have the confidence to follow personal lines of enquiry that support your interests and working practices; students tell us that this is vital in generating successful, rich and enjoyable projects.
“The people who are passionate about what they do generally produce better work. Likewise, when you go into the workplace, employers do respect that you’ve pursued something that you’re interested in, so have the confidence to follow your own lines of inquiry.” – ‘Year in Practice’ student
“We’re encouraged build upon our own strengths and approaches.” – MArch student
4. Keep things in perspective
See the course as one aspect of your personal development; it does not have to be the thing that defines who you are; but it can help you decide what you are really interested in and what your priorities might be.
“At school you chase a grade to get into university. I got to uni and that mentality carried on. I realise now that I still have to work hard, but I just do as much as I can, as well as I can – and that’s fine. I’m working for myself. … This realisation makes things easier, plus I’m enjoying the course more now that I’m not putting extra pressure on myself.” – 2nd Year student
5. Take time out
Try not to fall into a trap of working all of the time – think quality, not quantity. Plan your time efficiently to include breaks and the chance to reflect upon your progress. Plan for the times of year when you will be most busy.
“Sheffield is a great place to be a student… the University is really close to the city centre, and if you need a change of scenery, the Peak District is nearby and easily accessible. I think I’ll miss that!” – MArch student
“Develop your own interests outside the course – they’ll feed into your studio work, so it’s really good to step away and take a break!” – 3rd Year student