The University campus can seem extremely daunting. I remember my first day at the University of Manchester and I recall thinking to myself, ‘how am I ever going to find my way around this place?’. I was worried that I would never find my classrooms and that I would be walking around aimlessly for hours, completely lost. But, to my surprise, I soon got used to the campus and it became easy to find my way around.
It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed at first by the sheer size of the campus, so I’ve put together eight simple steps that will help to conquer the feeling of, ‘this place is huge’.
#1 Study the campus map
The University of Manchester has provided an extensive number of maps on their website to help students and visitors find their way to and around the university. Use your time before starting university to take a look at them. It’s important to build up an understanding of locations in your head before trying to tackle them in reality.
#2 Go for a walk
Take the time before your first day to familiarise yourself with the campus. Simply, go for a stroll around the University and take note of the recognisable landmarks so that you can identify them in the future.
#3 Find out where your classes are beforehand
Your timetable will detail where your classes are located, the buildings will be abbreviated but these are listed on the campus maps. Make it a priority to visit your class locations before your start date to reduce any anxiety on day one.
#4 Visit the Students’ Union for help
The wonderful staff and students at the Students’ Union advice service, will be happy to point you in the right direction if you do end up getting a little lost. It is located on the ground floor of the Students’ Union building (68 on the campus map) and has full time advisors who can help you with any problems, including a lack of navigation skills.
#5 Ask someone
People around the university are very friendly, and most will be more than happy to point you in the right direction if you ask. During Welcome Week there are even appointed reps dotted around the campus to help any lost-looking freshers.
#6 Use your phone
Googles maps has all the University buildings on campus marked off, so it’s easy to find out where you need to be. I’ve even been known to use google navigation when all else has failed.
#7 Use the signposts
The University has tried to make finding your way around the campus as easy as possible by providing directions, maps, and signposts. These can be very useful tools to instil confidence in your map reading skills.
There will be new building signage around campus this year, so that we can all keep to a one-way system where possible. It’s important to read these signs carefully, as they might take some getting used to for returning students as well as new students!
#8 Understand what the room numbers mean
Normally rooms are well signposted within buildings, so finding them is pretty simple but having an understanding of the numbering system can be extremely helpful. Normally the room’s name indicates the floor and location of that classroom space. For example, G3 would depict a room on the ground floor in the 3rd room location along the corridor.
All the best in finding your way around campus this welcome week. It won’t be long until getting lost seems like a distance memory and a campus map will be completely unnecessary.