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Staying in Manchester for the summer

Whether sticking around until autumn term, working a summer job, or continuing your postgrad degree, Manchester may be your home through September. While you may feel a bit lonely as other students head home, teaching hours cease, and dissertations hit full force, here are some tips for staying happy and healthy at UoM this summer.

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Keep busy

Summer is meant for relaxation – resting under the (occasional) sun, taking a break from books, and enjoying a change in pace. But if you’re anything like me, too much relaxation gets boring quickly.

If you find yourself in a rut this summer, find projects to keep yourself busy. Apply for summer jobs or volunteer positions, practice a new hobby, and try to maintain a healthy schedule. This will keep you on top of things come September and will make you feel much more accomplished and happy during the summer months.

As a postgrad student, I’m all too familiar with how daunting the contactless summer semester is. I’m someone who stresses when I have nothing to look forward to, so I created a summer plan to utilise every week here. Day trips, new books, and music festivals are in my calendar to keep my mind active and interests engaged. Summer should be fun, so try to take this time to stay busy doing what you love!

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Connect with your community

If you’re staying in Manchester this summer, chances are not all your friends will be here with you. I’m going through that situation right now, so I get it – abandonment is hard! But as an international student, I’ve mastered how to keep tight-knit connections with friends who are cities, countries, and oceans apart.

Whether your friends have moved back home or are busy with other summer gigs, do your best to stay in touch. Arrange hang outs whenever you’re in town together, consider taking a train or bus to visit them outside Manchester, and don’t forget the power of Skype. I can’t say enough about the voice recording feature on WhatsApp – I use this all the time to have “conversations” with my friends back home, and it honestly feels like I never left!

Don’t take this time to alienate yourself. Reach out if you feel lonely and don’t let distance get in the way of important relationships.

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Regain focus

Summer is all fun and games until you return to class in September, fresh as a daisy but blanking on the most basic course material. Of course, you want to spend this time playing in the sun, but don’t forget to exercise your brain in prep for next semester or (even scarier!) your first postgrad job.

Since postgrad summers are very independent, I no longer have class or regular assignments. I therefore took up a couple part-time jobs, asked my faculty for internships and shadowing opportunities, and am using my free time to read up and build my portfolio. I’m trying to use this time wisely for career and academic development so that my mind will be ready for what’s next.

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Have Fun

Most importantly, try to enjoy every moment you have in this incredible city! If you’re lost for ideas, here are some places to start:

No matter how you balance work and play, make this the summer in Manchester your most memorable yet!