This post idea came to me me while I was doing my food shopping at Sainsburys Fallowfield last night. For those of you not familiar with Manchester, Fallowfield is in South Manchester and is where the majority of students are based. You’ll find a Sainsburys superstore, Revolution bar, Nandos and lots of takeaways.
Back in 2006 I moved to Manchester to study Clothing Design at Manchester Metropolitan University. I rented a room in Didsbury in a house with 3 other peope who were all professionals. Student housing just didn’t appeal for me. It’s quite easy to find accommodation in Manchester as it is such a large city and very cheap! Didsbury is on the Oxford Road bus route, which means it’s only £1 to Manchester city centre on the Megabus and First Bus. However most students choose to buy an annual bus pass. When I was at uni a weekly bus pass on the Megabus was only £3! It is now £7.50 which is still a bargain.
Now apart from my housemates, Nick, Jess and Gift I didn’t know anyone else in Manchester. And initially found the move from Aberdeen very hard. So I found the following to be a great help.
- Part-time work. I had previously worked for Monsoon in Aberdeen, so I managed to get a part-time job at my local Monsoon working evenings and weekends. This meant I was bringing in extra money for myself but also meant I made lots of new friends.
- University Societies. There are literally loads to choose from depending on your interests. I am a big big fan of the tv show, Neighbours, so yes I was THAT girl who just had to join that society. But in my defence, when I first moved to the UK from South Africa, Neighbours was the very first show that I watched so it’s always been something I have to watch. I also joined a politics society which was great for debating.
- Group work. You’ll often be put in groups for assignments, so instead of spending evenings at the library we would take turns to go to someone’s house or halls of residence to work. It makes for a more relaxing atmosphere and it means you get to know your group outside of uni.
Things have evolved lots in the last 10 years and it is much easier now to connect and meet new people. There are apps such as Huggle where you can discoverer people who frequent the same places as you, so this is handy for example if you go to fitness classes a lot and you want to meet someone who also has an interest in the classes you attend. Also as a blogger, I meet lots of new people at events, so if you also blog make sure you take time to attend events or if you have any blogger friends, ask if you can be their plus-one (most events allow this).
Remember lots of fellow students will be just as homesick and anxious as you are, so hopefully these tips will help you in your first few months as a Fresher.