Posted by sthomas on November 26, 2016 2:00 pm

In today’s blog post I am flipping the coin and instead of sharing my university experiences I am finding out what my mum thought about me heading off to University. To find this out I gave her a call and asked her 8 questions regarding everything from what she wanted to know about the universities, open days and accommodation.

Sophie: “Hi Mum. Thank you for taking the time to do this short interview. Firstly, how did you feel about me going to University?”

Mum: “I was very excited and happy for you to be experiencing independence and new social opportunities.”

Sophie: “What information did you want to know about the Universities I was applying to?”

Mum: “I wanted to know if the course provided you with the skills and knowledge you needed to gain the right qualification that would allow you to get a well-paid job in the sector you want to go into.”

Sophie: “How did you support me in choosing my course and University?”

Mum: “I supported you by helping you make pros and cons lists of all the universities you had applied for. This allowed you to see which university was right for you in terms of the course, accommodation and what’s in the surrounding areas.”

Sophie: “What information did you most want to know when attending an open day with me?”

Mum: “When attending an open day I wanted to know how well the university organised the course and what facilities they provided for you to use when studying there. I also wanted to get a general feel of the university and see how clean the university was as I am very OCD. Finally, I wanted to see the location of the university in comparison to the student accommodation you might have stayed at.”

Sophie: “What were your thoughts on how the University of Huddersfield Open Day we attended was run?

Mum: “I felt that both the staff and students there was extremely friendly. They were all helpful and were able to answer all of our questions which helped in informing you of what course would be best for the career you want to go into. I also found the tours were very well run and the level of information was beneficial in making an informed decision on which university you should go to.”

Sophie: “What information did you most what to know about the student accommodation?”

Mum: “I wanted to make sure the accommodation provided a home from home environment with 24-hour security on site in case anything went wrong. Another big thing I wanted to find out was what facilities were on site and whether they were all in working order as well as it all being kept clean and tidy. In addition to this I wanted to make sure the flat came with a self-contained bathroom.”

Sophie: “Now that I have been away at university for over a year, do you feel that it has been beneficial for me?

Mum: “I definitely think going to university has been beneficial for you as you’ve become more confident in all aspect of your life including money management, being able to live with different kinds of people, making friends and joining clubs. You also seem a more self-aware and happy.”

Sophie: “Before I end, is there anything you’d like to add?”

Mum: “I think the process of choosing a University for you was very stress-free due to the mass of information online and the use of open days. Having these open days allowed us both to see the University campus, student accommodation and the surrounding area which was useful when making the final decision of what University you wanted to go to.”

Before I end this post I want to say a final thank you to my Mum for taking the time out to answer these questions. I hope this helps a few of you who are looking into university.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below or tweet me @sthomasuk. Remember to use the hashtag #HudLife!

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on November 25, 2016 12:58 pm

What is the SU?

The students union is run by students for students, all in aid to help make student life better. Although the SU is partly funded by the University it is its own organisation which means that all the profits made by the students union goes back into the students union.

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The students union is led by 5 students who are elected each year. These five students are known as the Executive Committee and they use their time talking with the University to fight issue on your behalf.

This year our student officers are:

President = Sabrina

Education = Charlotte

Communication = Emma

Wellbeing = Lianne

Activities = Dilara

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How does it help students?

Due to the nature of the way in which the students union is run, they are always on hand to help students. They do this in many ways. A few are:

The Advice Centre is there to assist you on any academic, accommodation, finance and student life issues you may be having.

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Big ideas is a section on the SU website which allows you as a student to post your ideas that you think will improve the University. These ideas are then up and down voted by other students. Once the voting period has ended the SU team will review the idea and decided whether it can happen or not.

HudLets is the Students’ Union affiliated, independent estate agents. They are there to help you find somewhere to live.

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What services does it offer to students?

The Students’ Union offers many services to students to help them get stuck into University life.

The SU offer many events throughout the year for students to get involved in. At the very start of the year they organise and run Fresher’s week. This is a full week filled with activities; a few Fresher’s events are Fresher’s Fair, HudCrawl, HudComedy and HudLive.

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They also organise night outs. A few that have happened this year already are the Warehouse Superhero Party, Sports Mashup and Bonfire Night.

The students union also provides students with plenty of volunteering opportunities. Doing these can help you learn new skills, meet new people and it looks great on your CV!

SU elections happen throughout the year where students vote in other students to help run different parts of the SU. The main election, where five students are voted in to run the students union, happens in March. This is a huge opportunity for students to be fully immersed into the University and helping to make the University better.

The SU also offers other services and events such as a Puppy Room, Societies, Cinema Night and Varsity.

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How can students get involved with the SU?

There are many ways in which you can get involved in the SU when you come to study here. You can run for our Union Council, become a Course Rep, join a society, participate in a volunteering project or stand for SU President.


If you are joining us here at Huddersfield University the SU will play a big part in your University life. Whether you use it for finding your accommodation, seeking advice or just chilling with your new found friends.

For more information about Huddersfield’s Student’s Union check out their website.

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on November 18, 2016 5:00 pm

On Saturday 5th November I went to The York Dungeon with the History Society as part of the give it a go week at Huddersfield University. I’d never been before but from what people had told me I expected it to be scary but funny at the same time.

The trip only cost £10 in total and included both the transport to and from York as well as entry into The Dungeons.

The bus left the University at around 9.00am and got us into York at 10.30am which gave us some time to check out the local sights before our tour of The Dungeons which was at 1.30pm. Whilst wandering around York and browsing around the shops I took the opportunity to take some photos which you can check out below.

 

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Fast forward a few hours and I was queuing outside The Dungeons waiting to go in. The tour itself lasted 75 minutes and went told the story of many different historical events which had happened in York from the Viking Conquest to Guy Fawkes and was shown to us through actors, props and special effects.

 

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I really enjoyed the tour and I found it to be very factual and informative but at the same time it was fun. It was scary at times but had some very humorous moment which made it a unique experience.

Without giving too much away for those that haven’t been before my favourite part was the leeches moving around the benches which felt super weird. The performances were fantastic which helped in bringing the experience to life. The final bit of the tour (which just happened to be the best in my opinion) was the gift shop and of course I was sure to grab myself a few souvenirs to take away.

After the tour we had some time to spare before heading home so I thought it was only right to check out York’s social side by visiting Bora Bora Café and Cocktail Bar and All Bar One where I sampled a few cocktails.

 

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After a quick stop at McDonald’s for some food we were all on the bus heading back to the University. We got back in decent time as well.


Why not take a look at the History Society and The York Dungeons’ websites for more information?

You can find information for all upcoming Give It A Go sessions on the Students’ Union website.

For information about the History society and The York Dungeons check out the links below.

 

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on 11:41 am

There is a wide variety of places to eat in Huddersfield to suit everyone’s taste and style. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around Huddersfield to suit a student budget. There are plenty of student discount offers to be found and there are often off-peak offers throughout the week such as 50% off and happy hours which can make eating out a little less pricey.

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Fast food

Just like most town centres, in Huddersfield, you can find all the standard fast food restaurants. A few cheap and cheerful student favourites are:

  • McDonald’s

Want’s not to love about McDonald’s? There is plenty of choice from chicken, burgers and wraps and all of which are very cheap. At the moment I am loving the BBQ Chicken BLT and the Chicken and Bacon wrap.

  • KFC

KFC is one of my favourite places to eat, you just can beat deep fat fried chicken! My go to food at KFC is the Boneless Banquet as its good value for your money.

  • Subway

Subway is a more ‘healthier’ fast food chain but is just as good. It’s also very good value for money which makes having your lunch here very cheap. My favourite meal is the Meatball Marinara.

  • Wimpy Burger

Remember Wimpy Burger? Yep, they are still around! This is a great alternative to McDonald’s as it provides you with a more restaurant feel without losing the great tasting burgers.

Restaurants

There are plenty of restaurants to suit every taste whether you want chicken, pizza or a steak.

  • Warehouse

Warehouse is the University of Huddersfield’s partnered bar and has plenty of facilities such as a beer garden, pool tables and plenty of TV screens to catch the latest sport. The food is very cheap which can make this the perfect place to grab something to eat even if you’re on a tight budget. I would recommend giving the Chicken Wings a try!

  • Nandos

If you love chicken, Nando’s is the place to be! What’s great about Nando’s is you can be daring as you want with the spiciness of your chicken. My favourite meal is Butterfly Chicken (plain) with a side of chips and coleslaw.

  • Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut has a great menu and deals so you can enjoy the all the pizza goodness for less. They also have a lunch buffet which means you can help yourself to as much pizza as you like for a great price.

  • Slug and Lettuce

50% off on Mondays, what more do I need to say! Slug and Lettuce is a lovely restaurant and it is currently holding the title of the best steak I’ve had so far.

  • The Aspley

The Aspley is a fantastic restaurant that is located next to the canal. The food is good value for money and if you’re able to get a seat by the windows the view onto the canal is stunning.

  • Ox and Bone

A fantastically decorated restaurant with a good menu to go with it. They also have an early menu which can save you a few pounds if you don’t mind eating a little earlier.

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Buffets

Fancy and bit of everything? Why not head to a buffet and eat as much as your heart or stomach desires?

Here’s a few of my personal favourites:

  • Chinese Buffet

Chinese is my absolute favourite type of food so being about to eat as much of it as I like is just perfect. If you want to make it a little cheaper, going a lunch time can save you some money.

  • Botafogo Brazilian Grill

This is another favourite of mine as you can eat as much meat as you like without moving from your chair! You have a light on the table which you switch colours when you want more food. For the amount of meat, you could eat this is very reasonable priced. To avoid not getting a table remember to book before arriving.

Café’s and light bites

If you’re just wanting to grab a quick bite to eat here are a few student favourites’ coffee shops and cafes.

  • Queenies Coffee Shop

Queenies is a cute little coffee shop that has a small but good food menu. The food is very reasonable priced and with your student card you can get 10% off.

  • Epicure Bar and Kitchen

Epicure is very close to the University and has a very relax atmosphere. The food is reasonable priced and they have niche products as they specialise in a variety of different tea’s and coffees. A great place for a bite to eat with your friends in between lectures or with your family when they come to visit.

  • Greggs

Greggs is great if you love pastry treats. Very fast service and the food always tastes very nice. My go to treats are the Bacon Wrap and Yum Yums.

  • Panini Shack

I just can’t beat a good panini and I’ve found Panini Shack is the place to go. They have plenty of combinations for an affordable price.

 

Hopefully, this post gives you a good idea of where you can find the best food in Huddersfield either for a nice evening meal or a quick bite to eat on the go. If you have any questions about food places feel free to leave me a comment below.

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on November 16, 2016 11:03 am

For the first episode of this series we headed down to HD1 Studios to take join the Dance Society. Before going I was a little nervous and slightly fearful as I’ve never danced before and my flatmates have also very kindly pointed out I am very heavy footed.

I have to say though after taking part it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought. Although I’m defiantly not cut out for dancing I did have a good laugh while doing it.

Take a look for yourselves and find out more about the Dance Society in our video!


For more information about the Dance Society visit their page.

Be sure to tune in regularly to our Society Spotlight blog and visit our YouTube channel for more videos.

If you have any questions about the Dance Society or have a society you want us to cover then leave them in the comments below.

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on November 13, 2016 1:50 pm

Over the course of this academic year Molly and I will be creating a series of videos that promote the societies we have here at Huddersfield University. The idea behind this series is to give you an insight into what the societies at Huddersfield are really like.

See our video below for an overview of the series.

Remember to check back soon for the first episode of the series (and get the chance to see me dance).

Society Spotlight playlist on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKK47f1wKO9LfJ3GQRfjy85x0_92hu3oP

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on November 11, 2016 11:40 am

Choosing a course can be daunting. It’s something that you’ll be doing for at least the next three years of your life and therefore is a very important decision which requires a lot of time researching into what you actually want to do and looking at the variety of courses available.

So where do I start?

The first place to start is to decide what you want to do. I was very much interested in Web Design and wanted to become a Web Designer. Knowing this helps in searching for courses as you can use this as a keyword.

Once you’ve thought about what you want to do you can start looking at what courses are out there. A fantastic website that I used in my course search was Which University. I would recommend using this website as it allows you to search using keywords. When I was looking I typed in ‘web design’. This brought up many different universities that offered a course in Web Design. From there I looked at the ones that interested me in more detail and kept a note of them.

What do I do next?

After researching the courses online and reading the course content on the specific University website, a good idea is to visit the University in person and find out more about the course from the tutors which will be teaching the course and to talk to the students that already study there. You can visit Universities either on an Open Day or if you’ve already submitted your UCAS application and have been given a conditional place you can visit on an Applicant Visit Day.

The final step

The last part of the application process is choosing a course and submitting your UCAS application. This part is all in your hands and that is the final and one of the biggest decisions is choosing your first choice of University and course. I personally, found this decision very difficult but after weighing up the pro and cons of each I made the decision to come here to the University of Huddersfield. I decided on Huddersfield because the modules sounded interesting and they sounded like something I’d want to learn. The facilities they provided were good and I really liked the idea of having a placement year.

Whether you decide on coming to the University of Huddersfield or not I hope you all find the right course for you and enjoy your time at university!

If you have any questions about choosing a course or the University of Huddersfield feel free to leave them in the comment below.

Posted by sthomas on October 24, 2016 9:00 am

As it’s the start of a new academic year I have thought about and set myself some goals I would like to achieve this year.

Last year I did the same thing and after looking back at those goals I can confidently say that I achieved all of them. You can read them here: My Yearly Goals

 

Video: Goals for 2nd Year of Uni

 

Setting these goals help me see what I actually what to achieve throughout this year. Have you set any goals for this academic year? If you have be sure to share them in the comments below.

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on October 16, 2016 4:00 pm

I spent most of my summer doing what most students do, sleeping and binge watching shows on Netflix. However, I did manage to squeeze in a few other more productive things in between.

Designed and Coded my Portfolio Website
The first thing, that also took up the most time over the summer, was re-designing and coding my new portfolio website ready for applying to placement companies. This involved me adding all my projects, blog posts and videos onto the website manually. This meant that that all my work is now in one place under one domain.

My new website: http://sophiethomas.co.uk/

Visited my family
I spent time with my family over the summer. A few activities I did with them were seeing the poppies at Lincoln Castle, spending the day in Brighton where I met YouTuber Joe Weller, having meals out, spending the afternoon at the Dog Races in Brighton/Hove and spent the day at Portsmouth Harbour. It was nice spending time with them while not having to worry about doing work.

Me with Joe Weller

Volunteered at Reasonsto: Design, Code & Create
Over 4 days in September I volunteered at the Reasonsto Conference. As a volunteer, I was mainly there to register the attendees on Monday, which was the longest day with the earliest start. I think my heart stopped a little when my alarm went off at 5:30am! My specific role was finding their badge and giving it to them along with a schedule and gifts from the sponsors. On the other days, I was there on hand if they needed anything doing. Due to the train strike I actually missed out on helping pack everything away and a group photo. If it ever appears online I’ll have to just Photoshop myself in!

Me with designer Femke

Full post about the event here: http://sophiethomas.co.uk/articles/2016-09-10-reasonsto.html

Moved into my new flat

I moved out and into my new flat over the summer. My Mum kindly helped me move most of my stuff across. It was made a little harder due to one of the lifts being broken.

So overall my summer mainly consisted of relaxing with a few interesting activities in between. What did you do over the summer?

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on October 9, 2016 1:00 pm

Fresher’s Week kicks off on the first week of University and offers plenty of activities for all students to get involved in and this year was no different.

I didn’t really do Fresher’s last year so I decided this year to give it a go to see what it’s like. I went all in and bought the Full Pass (priced at £52). The full passes allowed access to HudCrawl, HudComedy, and HudLive.

Fresher's Band

This image above was taken by the Huddersfield SU.

Huddersfield Fresher’s Events this year included:

– Freshers’ Fair

 – HudCrawl

– HudMovies

– Campus Tea Party

– Vintage Clothing Fair

– Coffee House Sessions

– Basketball Exhibition Game

– The Warehouse Party

– Food & Craft Fair

– HudComedy

– HudLive

– Holmfirth Food & Drink Festival

– HudQuiz

Day 1 (Monday 19th September):
I started Fresher’s by heading down to the Freshers’ fair. This is where there are stalls for all the societies at the University as well as companies in the area such as Nandos, Dominos and Greggs. All of these companies were giving out free vouchers and food, which is something I cannot complain about.

A few hours after the Fresher’s fair it was time to head back to University and collect my HudCrawl t-shirt. Upon arrival, my friends and I were greeted with a rather long queue. Finally, after a long wait, we had our t-shirts in hand. We choose blue!

HudCrawl Top

Day 2 (Tuesday 20th September):
Today only consisted of one thing, which was returning to the Fresher’s fair for the free food. Free Dominio’s pizza and Greggs which is a great hangover cure!

Day 3 (Thursday 22nd September):
After a few days of the next Fresher’s event was HudComedy which was headlined by the fantastic Russel Kane. My favourite acts were Katie Mulgrew, Russell Kane and Elliot Steel. The fantastic Adam Row was back for a third year warming up the crowd, and when I say warming up the crowd I really mean embarrassing as many people in the audience as possible. I really enjoyed the evening and laughed so much!

HudComedy Stage

Day 4 (Friday 23rd September):
Today’s Fresher’s event and the final one for me was HudLive. While at HudLive I went on the free rides and even got glitter on my face – my Mum was very shocked. For me Becky Hill stole the show, she was so amazing!

HudLive Badge

I am really glad that I did Fresher’s this year and it is a definitely a week I’ll remember. I would really recommend that if you are coming to Univeristy you get involved in most if not all the Fresher’s activities on offer!


Huddersfield Fresher’s website: http://freshers.huddersfield.su/ 

 

Fresher’s Highlight Video

Below is this year’s highlight video to give you a glimpse of what Fresher’s at Huddersfield is like. Also, see if you can spot me in it!

https://www.facebook.com/huddersfieldSU/videos/vb.230984410255889/1240236902663963/ 

 

Images taken by Huddersfield SU:
Freshers’ Fair Day 1 & Day 2: https://www.facebook.com/pg/huddersfieldSU/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1228429937177993 & https://www.facebook.com/pg/huddersfieldSU/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1229203093767344
HudCrawl: https://www.facebook.com/pg/huddersfieldSU/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1229111787109808
The Warehouse Party: https://www.facebook.com/pg/huddersfieldSU/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1230674970286823
HudComedy: https://www.facebook.com/pg/huddersfieldSU/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1231633526857634
HudLive: https://www.facebook.com/pg/huddersfieldSU/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1234893899864930

 

– Sophie :)