With the semester drawing to a close and lectures having mostly finished, I am starting to think back to this time last year, when I had already made a decision on moving to Manchester and was constantly imagining what my time here would be like.
So for those of you who are about to start their journey in a couple of months and are curious about some more of the things that I wish I would have known before coming here, I made a short list with some of the things that were on the top of my mind at that time and how I think about them now.
1 Pack light.
While this – at least to me – sounds very counterintuitive when you’re moving abroad, it was advice I was given from my mum, who had lived in a variety of different countries, and I certainly appreciated it after I got here. Of course, there are the essentials you need to bring, and it is also always nice to have a couple of sentimental items. But apart from that, I found a lot of enjoyment in downsizing and buying new items with fresh memories attached to them along the way.
2 At first, everything feels out of your comfort zone.
This, however, is not bad news at all. Doing those things that made me feel slightly uncomfortable or anxious anyway helped me grow a lot in the last couple of months. Once I realised that almost everyone is feeling the same way, things got a lot easier for me.
3 Embrace the joy of being in a new city!
The sparkle you feel the first couple of weeks in a new place is unique and I love looking back at that time. Going out more also really helped me to just say “yes” to as many things as possible, especially in the beginning. This was how I made the best experiences and some amazing new friends. It is certainly freeing to be in a city where nobody knows who you are yet!
4 And finally, there was never a need to feel anxious about leaving home.
I have written an entirely separate blog on the topic of staying in touch with friends after a big change, so I am not going to go into detail here again, but it was so surprisingly easy to keep my loved ones around in my everyday life even though we are all in different countries at the moment.