"Why moving back to Sheffield after university was the best decision I've ever made"
Five years ago I arrived in Sheffield as a starry-eyed student, ready to take on the best journalism course in the country and take the first steps towards my lifelong goal of being a writer.
I was 19 years old and Yorkshire born and bred, but I’d barely set foot in Sheffield other than for trips to Meadowhall or the arena.
I instantly fell in love.
I was obsessed with the amazing live music scene, the culture, the quirky areas full of independents like Ecclesall Road and Sharrow Vale.
Here, I felt like I could be anyone I wanted to be. I could shop in the cool vintage stores and charity shops and put together outfits I loved without breaking the bank. I could go out for breakfast and then eat cheesy chips after a big night out on West Street and I never had to feel guilty about it because walking up Conduit Road was the hardest workout I have ever done.
I felt more at home in Sheffield than I have anywhere else in my life.
This is the city I met my boyfriend in, the city where I have made friends for life and the city where I have made the most incredible memories, even if some of them are a little hazy - that’s what student life is for, right?
When I landed my first reporter position after I finished university I was willing to go anywhere, simply to get my foot on the ladder. A job came up in Harrogate and I took it without blinking. It was a no-brainer really - a beautiful spa town, in my home county, where I had spent countless days with my family while I was growing up.
It was a wonderful experience and I am so grateful for everything I learnt and experienced there, both personally and professionally, but in my heart I always knew something was missing. I was visiting Sheffield practically every weekend, driving for nearly two hours in rush-hour if I ever came after work, and every spare moment I had was spent planning my next trip. What bars in Kelham would we visit, what new restaurant did we want to try next, what days would be hot enough to sunbathe in Crookes Valley Park or go for a walk in the Peaks?
I always knew one day I would come back to the city of steel and after a two-year hiatus here I am, working at one of the most well-respected newspapers in the country and loving every minute of it. It has been a long road but I’m finally at the end of it - or just the beginning, depending on how you look at it - and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s to many more adventures in the greatest city in the world!