Hello everyone! I’m Mitali, the new UG blogger for the year. Since this is my first post, I’ll introduce myself a bit.
I’m originally from India but luckily I’ve lived and travelled to loads of other places which made moving halfway across the world for uni slightly easier. I’m a first year studying Computer Science and so far, I’ve been enjoying it. The workload is intense (they really mean it when they say forty hours of study per week) but after almost two months of uni, I think I’ve managed to settle down into a routine which allows me to keep up with my work and go out on weekends and such.
I’m so glad I chose Manchester as my university, because it is such a lovely city! It’s big enough to be well-connected and has lots of interesting things to do and see but it’s still small enough to not be overly crowded and dirty. So far, I have only been around Oxford Road, the Arndale and the Trafford Centre but I do plan on checking out the Northern Quarter (which looks really quirky and interesting) and Salford Quays.
By now, I think I’ve settled here fairly well. I found lovely people in both my halls as well as my course. Sadly I ended up dropping almost half the societies I initially signed up for due to sheer lack of time, except for MPS (Motion Pictures Society), the Manchester Debating Union and of course the Computer Science society. The debating union holds a debate every Thursday on a different topic and the few that I did attend were really informative with some great speakers.
I haven’t gone out as much as I planned on mostly because of work, but I did visit the Christmas Markets yesterday. The markets are spread out around the Arndale Centre and Albert Square with stalls selling food, more food, leather goods, winter accessories, gift items and even more food.
My friend and I had some mini Nutella pancakes and they were heavenly. And because it was Black Friday, I also ended up spending way too much shopping because I am weak and have zero impulse control.
I also went to the Old Trafford to see my very first live football match. The match was an international friendly between Portugal and Argentina, and although I’m not a hard-core fan, it was pretty cool to see players like Messi and Ronaldo playing just a few feet away.
In spite of the chilly weather, the experience was a lot of fun with everyone cheering and shouting and even doing the ‘Mexican Wave’ a few times! The match itself was a bust with a Portugal scoring a last-minute goal, but that was the only downside of an otherwise great night.
Other than that, I went to Platt Fields for Bonfire Night even though it was absolutely freezing (seriously, I am never going to get over the cold weather), Halloween Night (in case you were wondering, I went as Velma from Scooby-Doo) and of course I’ve been out clubbing a couple of times as well. The places near the University like Factory or Sound Control are fairly reasonable for a student budget, and although they’re not as good as the slightly pricier clubs in the city centre and Deansgate Locks area, they’re worth it because of the proximity and cheap entry.
I’m sure reading all of this makes it sound like I hardly do any work, but that’s not true! In fact, after Reading Week, I’ve started spending most of my weekends at Kilburn (which is the Computer Science building) trying to finish the labs for the following week.
Some of the course units I have, like Computer Architecture which is about microprocessors and systems, are really interesting and I don’t actually mind working on them but there are others like Computer Engineering, that I find slightly more difficult and thus have to put in more than the usual amount of time to catch up.
Luckily, the teachers and demonstrators are supremely helpful and they have a very sensible system of extensions and deadlines for all the labs, which makes it easier to manage.
We have presentations coming up this week, where we have to present the idea for our first year group project so I’m quite nervous for that. Public speaking is really not my thing, so I’m praying I don’t mess it up.
But on the bright side, the week after that is the last week of term and then I will be going home for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here in Manchester but I’m now at that point where I’ve been quite literally dreaming about home-cooked food and free laundry and not waking up at 7am every day, so I’m definitely looking forward to enjoying those four weeks of holiday.
My next post will probably be up the week before end of term so until then, bye-bye!