Starting at university can often be daunting, especially when it comes to meeting new people. Just remember, everyone is in the same position! To help you settle in well at Manchester, here are some tips and things to remember as you embark on your new journey:
Some tips for settling in
Say hello and be open, but don’t force it
University is full of interaction with so many different people. As Manchester is such a diverse city, your path will cross with so many people of different interests and backgrounds. Be open to getting to know people and be friendly and approachable. Try saying hello – even when you sit down next to somebody in a lecture. At the same time, don’t put pressure on them or yourself. There will be plenty of opportunities to make friends as you move through the term, and lots of people take their time.
Venture off campus sooner rather than later – you’ll feel more comfortable once you’ve got your bearings
Now that Freshers Week is over, perhaps it’s time to venture further into the city and off campus. You’ll be living here for at least the next three years, so it’s important that you get to know the city you’re living in. Once you’ve taken a few trips around, you’ll start to get your bearings with where things are which will make you feel a lot more comfortable as the city becomes familiar.
Make your room a home away from home
Consider your student room a blank canvas. Don’t be afraid to add your own personality to it to make it your own– it’ll make you feel a lot more comfortable in your living space. Add pictures and belongings from home, your favourite colours, and any other additions that are going to help you feel at home. Check out Nana’s tips on making a house a home to help.
Don’t panic if Freshers Week didn’t work out the way you wanted it to
Freshers Week can be extremely exciting, but also overwhelming. Not only are most of you getting used to living in a different city and with new people, but you’ve probably had to take in a lot of information. So, if Freshers Week wasn’t as cheerful as you expected then don’t worry. There will be plenty of opportunities all year round to get settled in and feel connected, in numerous ways that aren’t restricted by a wristband!
Some things to remember when settling in
Try to keep busy
You might be feeling a little anxious or homesick. Make sure you’re going to all your lectures, because this will help you to build your networks and feel connected. And try to do something social every day, whether that’s eating lunch with other students from your course, or going to a society event, where there will be people with similar interests. Get involved as much as you can – it can really help.
Finding a comfortable balance will come in time and after some trial and error.
University is a bit of a juggling act, but don’t worry too much about mastering it right away. There’s a lot to balance, from studying, socialising, working, staying in touch with family, and looking after yourself. Eventually, you’ll find the best way to manage it all, but it might take a bit of trial and error. Don’t get too stressed out with figuring it all out as soon as you arrive.
Remember – everyone is in the same position!
It’s guaranteed that if you feel overwhelmed or homesick at some point, you definitely aren’t the only one. If you open up and talk to someone about it, whether a friend, a flatmate, or your Peer Mentor, that can really help. For most students, these feelings will fade, but if they don’t, there’s lots of support available from the university.
There are more great resources to help you settle in in our Starting University resource.