I always talk to my friends about how much I love University

Photo of undergraduate student Joy Whyte
Joy Whyte
Second year undergraduate student
BA History and Sociology
Joy reflects on how being an academic rep gave her valuable insight and a chance to feed into how the Department is run.
Photo of undergraduate student Joy Whyte

I really love having the mix of the two subjects and how they compliment each other and feel linked, whilst still being separate. It gives me a unique perspective on my modules as I can use both sociological and historical thinking to get the best out of them.

Joy Whyte

BA History and Sociology

Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?

I had looked online and really liked the course at Sheffield, but it was the open day that made me determined to come to Sheffield. I loved the city so much, with all its green spaces and interesting buildings, and it also felt very safe. Everyone was so welcoming, kind, and passionate about studying at Sheffield. There seemed to be so much going on, with the active students union, residence life and so many societies. I just had a strong gut feeling that this was where I wanted to be after attending the open day.

Has your experience so far been what you expected?

Obviously my first year was very different to what I imagined, due to coronavirus! However, I still thoroughly enjoyed the year. The course was really interesting and the department made online teaching work really well and smoothly. So far, my second year has been more like my expectations, I've joined several societies, met so many people and have more in person teaching. I also enjoy living in Sheffield and being independent much more than I thought I would!

What do you particularly enjoy about your degree programme?

I really enjoy having the mix of sociology and history. I was worried that they would feel to separate and I would struggle doing both. However, this hasn't been the case at all. They feel very interconnected and I think they compliment each other really well. Also, the seminars are one of my favourite things at University. It is great to be able to discuss the content, think for yourselves, and come up with your own ideas and opinions, in contrast to just leaning material and facts to pass an exam, as was the case previously at school.

What modules are you studying this year? Are there any modules that you have particularly enjoyed during your degree so far and why?

My history modules relate to the Uses of History, The Easter Rising and Warriors, Saints and Heroes in Early medieval Europe. For sociology I am studying Social Theory and Analysis, Sociology of the Family and Crime, Justice and Social Policy. I really enjoy studying the Easter Rising as it is a document option, so I have the change to study primary sources closely, which I find fascinating.

If you’ve undertaken any extra-curricular activities, what do you feel these have added to your time here?

I was a History Academic Rep last year which was really valuable and it gave me a chance to see how the History department worked. It was also great being able to have a say in current issues and ideas within the department, and feeling like the University really valued all the feedback it could get.

If you're a dual student, what do you enjoy about doing a dual degree?

I really love having the mix of the two subjects and how they compliment each other and feel linked, whilst still being separate. It gives me a unique perspective on my modules as I can use both sociological and historical thinking to get the best out of them. It is impossible to look at society without looking at its history and it is impossible to look back in time without looking at pervious societies! Therefore, my understanding in certain areas has really helped me when looking at certain topics.

What do you like about the University/living in Sheffield?

I love living in Sheffield as it has a mix of green spaces and more industrial areas. You can be in the heart of the city and really quickly get to the peak distract or a park. I also love how much there is going on through the university and in Sheffield. There are always so many fantastic extra curricular activities and societies to get involved with, making it really easy to try new things and meet new people.

Would you recommend studying at Sheffield to a friend?

One hundred percent - I always talk to my friends about how much I love University anyway!

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