Eleanor’s first blog – 14 September 2011

Hi! I’m Eleanor, I’m 18, and I’m going to be living at Dalton Ellis Hall for my first year as an undergraduate student at The University of Manchester. I’m doing a four-year course in Speech and Language Therapy. It’s not a very well known subject, and I’m yet to meet anyone who doesn’t ask me “like in the film The King’s Speech?” but I’m really looking forward to it, as I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to words and grammar, but it also means I’ll get to work with people, something else I love. I’m a big fan of going to live gigs and vintage and second-hand shopping (so if this turns into some sort of fashion or music blog, then I’m really sorry) and I spend a lot of time with my friends. Not far from being a typical university student I’d say, but probably with bigger hair.

I’m really looking forward to the year ahead at Manchester, and glad I’ve got a chance to share it in this blog! To help me get my university place and learn about uni life, I took part in the Manchester Access Programme. It’s a scheme I was able to participate in as I went to college in the Greater Manchester area, and neither of my parents went to university. It included workshops and activities that really helped me prepare for when I start in September, from learning things like referencing (if you haven’t got a clue what that is, it’s okay, neither did I), to things as simple as knowing my way around the campus. I completed the programme which gained me extra UCAS points and a considerable grant, so it was well worthwhile. I made a few friends as well who I’ll hopefully be seeing around next year!

Here’s a diary of results week – I’m sure some of the things I felt will be familiar to many of you! Next time I’ll be blogging about the days leading up to moving away from home to University…..

Tuesday 16th: With exam results looming (less than 1400 minutes away, not that I’m counting or anything) and the fact my mum was on holiday, I decided it was a perfect night for a party. My dear older brother hung around and invented names for each one of my guests- “Captain Skinny Arms’ and ‘Hairy Chest McGraw’ being my personal favourites. It succeeded in taking my mind off my A Level results though and everyone seemed to enjoyed themselves!

Wednesday: With after-party tidying finished just in time for my mum to come home to a clean(ish) house, it was back to worrying over results. Having spent all my money on provisions for the night before, I found that I could afford to do nothing but plan the next day in my head, and imaging the moment seeing the all important ‘U’ word- either ‘unsuccessful’ or ‘unconditional’. I took breaks from this self-torment only to drink too much tea. It wasn’t a completely wasted day, I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t get the results I needed, I could always become famous instead.

Thursday: RESULTS DAY. I woke up at a ridiculously early hour, and the whole of Facebook seemed to have done the same. Logged into UCAS (I’m one of the lucky few who could!) and saw that I’d got in to Manchester, before going to college and found out I’d got 3 As! Didn’t stop grinning all day. Due to my lack of funds, (how I’m going to cope when I move out, we shall have to see) I spent a quiet night at the pub with my friends. All of them have University places too! So happy for everyone. Nervous about making new friends in September, but thankfully, I’ll know a couple of people from Manchester Access!

Friday and the weekend was spent being generally ecstatic and unable to stop smiling. Got a letter in the post off UCAS on Saturday, with instructions on confirming my university place. The instructions were clear and the process was simple, I can now say I’m a Manchester student! On Sunday my mum presented me with university gifts- a chopping board and a casserole dish. Never mind those people who get laptops as gifts for good results – I can now chop vegetables or make shepherd’s pie like it’s nobody’s business.

Sunday was spent washing pots at the pub where I work- I had to tell them I’d be leaving in a few weeks, it’ll be hard to leave such a glamorous job (!) Monday night, I could really go out and celebrate my results, as well as a friend’s birthday. Living out int’ countryside, Manchester is the closest city so that’s where our night took place! Checking out the good places to go when I’m a proper Manchester resident!

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