Hi again, readers of the University of Manchester’s undergraduate blog! Firstly, I feel I must apologise for the lack of content that I’ve uploaded thus far; this week has been UoM’s Welcome Week, so there have been all sorts of activities and socials going on.
So far, I am really enjoying both studying at the university, and staying in halls – there is definitely a lot more happening each day than at college, and I prefer the added sense of independence that living away from home and working at my own pace entitles.
I moved into my accommodation (Whitworth Park) on the Thursday before Welcome Week, and since then, I have had the privilege of becoming acquainted with an array of different students from all over the world. I moved into my flat early in the morning, and for the majority of the day, the halls were pretty quiet. Since there wasn’t anyone around to talk to, I used this time to unpack my suitcases and personalise my room. Although the room could be seen as basic at first, by the time I’d unloaded my books, clothes, posters, and other home comforts it felt homely.
It wasn’t long until other students started turning up in neighbouring flats, and it quickly became second nature to knock on the newcomers’ doors after they’d had time to find their bearings. Before long, a small group had formed!
Everyone else who I’ve met on my university journey so far seems to be able to cook; a trait that I have yet to acquire. At night, once the excitement of the first day had eased off slightly, one of the international students that we had met in the morning (Chris) invited us round for Chinese food and authentic tea, which was delicious! On the nights that followed, our group regularly met up for drinks, food and social gatherings. Each evening, different people have been cooking dishes that are eaten regularly as part of their own home cultures and cuisines. (Think Come Dine With Me For Students.) One of my flat mates (Viktor) made a potato and chicken dish that originated from his home country of Bulgaria. As with Chris’s food the previous night, it was fantastic.
Not to be outdone by some of the more experienced cooks that Whitworth Park has to offer, I invited my friends over to my flat for British food in a few week’s time, giving myself just enough time to brush up on my culinary skills. As mentioned in my previous blog, cooking isn’t a forté of mine – I have a habit of frazzling everything I try to cook into an inedible form that’s only worthy of the bin. Since being at university, my skills have yet to improve! On Saturday morning, I attempted to my first meal – a simple egg on toast. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out as expected. Although things started off well, (ish) my egg inevitably became a rubbery mess that I was forced to dispatch. (I can only presume that I’d started cooking the egg at a temperature that was much too high…)
The administration side of Welcome Week was incredibly simple, and wasn’t worth worrying about. My student ID card (used to access The University of Manchester Library, as well as many of the buildings and lecture theatres that talks are held in) only took a few minutes to print. On my first week of university, I was invited to a number of events hosted by both the Linguistics and English Language (LEL) and English Literature sections of my degree. This included two BBQs, a number of informal chatting sections with the lecturers, and a pub-crawl around the many pubs that Manchester has to offer.
Each student from the languages department has been assigned a peer mentor to help ease us into our new surroundings by providing advice and information about anything and everything, no matter how big or small the problem may be. It’s evident that at UoM, the students definitely come first – all of the tutors have designated office hours for undergraduates to visit them if extra advice or further reading is needed, and there seems to be a number of teaching assistants around to answer any quick course questions that pupils may have.
I’m glad I made the choice to study my course at the University of Manchester. It’s a superb place that offers vibrant city life, state-of-the-art resources and fantastic instructors. I couldn’t see myself anywhere else.
If anyone has any questions or queries about either the University, Humanities courses or just Manchester in general, please feel free to post them in the comments box below – I’d be more than happy to help! I’ll be posting later on this week about the lectures I’ve been to, and my initial week of University work. (!)