Eleanor’s blog – First week at University – 23 September 2011

Thursday 15th : the big day! Unlucky for me, my moving day happened to coincide with me having an awful cold, so it was a challenge getting everything done whilst feeling so ill, meaning I didn’t arrive in Manchester ’til around 6pm. On the way, I realised I’d forgotten to bring was a rather important form for checking in (which I left on the kitchen table, I blame being ill rather than me being so forgetful) so I was worried about arriving and having to turn back around and come straight home. Thankfully, I was able to check in without the form with the promise to receptionist that I’d give it her in the morning, and as I only live about an hour away, my step dad was able to just drive up and bring it. Let that be a lesson to be more prepared than I was!

Due to arriving late in the day, but early in the checking in period (I suspected most people wouldn’t arrive until Saturday) and the fact I was so ill, Thursday was a quiet night unpacking, quite an unusual occurrence for a first night, I’ve heard. Anyone planning on starting their time in Manchester with a crazy night out, I’d recommend arriving earlier in the day, to meet people as they’re checking in too. Saying bye to my parents was when it finally sank in that I’ve moved out! I’m so lucky that I don’t live far away and could go home any time, but there’s also loads of international students who flew in especially to be here, so I was reassured in knowing I wouldn’t be the only one feeling a bit nervous! MAP (Manchester Access Programme) definitely helped a lot with my confidence though, as I had practice of meeting new people as well as of university-style assignments and knowing the campus area. I applaud you, international students for being so brave!

I've brought my mess along with me!!!

Friday 16th was spent unpacking further, and of course doing something which I love, shopping, as my new home is just about a half an hour walk from the centre of Manchester. I was pretty apprehensive about coming to Dalton Ellis (my halls) as it’s not my choice from the accommodation application process, and unlike any of my choices, is catered, with breakfast in the morning and dinner in the evening provided. Unfortunately, I didn’t apply early enough to get a place in any of the buildings I applied for, but everyone (and the food!) here seems really nice. With some halls being more popular than others, there’s bound to be some people placed somewhere they didn’t ask for, but it’s really the people and the experience that make the best time at university, rather than the room you’re in itself. There’d also an opportunity to transfer rooms from October if students are still, or become unhappy with their room.  Although my building doesn’t have any communal areas for a group to be able to sit together, there are social blocks and opportunities in the dining hall to be able to meet my new neighbours.

Some of my flatmates

Now, as you may be able to tell, I wasn’t my usual amazing, witty and hilarious self writing about thepast couple of days. Adding together all the factors of my move made for a less than conventional and less than entertaining, giving me a bit of a lack of confidence in meeting new people and making new friends. Although I had been meeting people and chatting to them during meals, I didn’t yet feel like I’d made any friends, or even spoken to the same person more than twice. It wasn’t until Sunday that I properly met people from my building (a meeting involving lots of pasta in the communal kitchen) and found them to be really nice and interesting! Sunday night was spent with them in the building and later at my halls of residence welcome party (where I met even more people) and by Monday I was feeling a lot better about staying here.

Due to the clinical nature of my course, 9:30 am on Monday the 19th was when I had a welcome lecture (the first of a rather busy week, don’t worry, it’s not common with most subjects to be in lectures in welcome week!) where I met everyone on my course. I was less nervous about this than I was about meeting people in my halls, and I think that helped as I spoke to people a lot more easily than I did my new neighbours.

After a shaky few days, everything is definitely looking up! Even though it didn’t go completely to plan, I think I’m going to enjoy it here at Dalton Ellis. I hope that me going on about how it was different to expected time doesn’t scare anyone, more reassures them that in a rare instance when they might, it won’t last long! Although I was scared to begin with, there really was nothing to worry about on the getting to know people front, as everyone is in the same boat!

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3 comments

  1. hi. from what i’ve read in your blog, you seen to be be very excited to be a student at manchester university. and i was just wondering.. how about the financial part. i mean can you handle yourself or your parents are helping? because i have this big problem here. after i declined an offer for an architecture place last year, i’m staying today in the same position, wheather to accept or to decline the place mostly because i’m really worried about the finances.

    1. Hi, I understand your worries about finance, as it’s something everyone has to think about before coming to university. I manage through a loan from Student Finance England. I also receive a scholarship from the University which means I get extra money each year I study here. There are lots of different scholarships and bursaries available which you may be eligible for that you don’t have to pay back when you finish, unlike the loan. When I finish University and start a job, I will have to pay back my loan in small amounts each month, but only when I’m earning over £21000 a year, so it really is affordable. Having a part time job also helps, as it means I have a bit of spare money to go out and buy clothes and stuff 🙂 personally, my parents don’t give or lend me any money as I find I can manage without it. Hopefully that’s answered your questions- support is always available should you need it!
      Eleanor

  2. Dear Eleanor, thank you for your quick reply. As far as i know there are no extra money for me , for maintenance or something like a bursary.(i’m from romania) I was wondering have you received the confirmation for the scholarship before the course started or you found out more when you arrived at the uni? And also.. i’m worried that i won’t be able to find a part-time job.. if you have a piece of advice for me i’ll be very greateful.
    Many thanks,
    Diana

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