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Making the Most out of First Year

Moving away from home can be a daunting experience, but an exciting one nonetheless! As I approach the end of my studies at AMBS and leave Manchester, I reminisce on my experience as a first year and offer advice on how to best explore the city and meet lots of new people.

Be open minded

One of the coolest things about university is exploring different interests or talents. Being open minded and keen to explore varied interests can lead to countless opportunities to have fun and ultimately meeting some of the best people. A good way to do this is to sign up to a society in Fresher’s week of something you may not have considered before, such as Surfing or Filmmaking. Often societies hold a number of events in the first few weeks as ‘socials’ and you can end up going on some great trips out of town too as the year progresses. Joining a society allows you to meet lots of new people and it’s important to put yourself out there in the first few weeks. They are a great way to discover a new hobby or learn a new skill too.

Make plans with your flatmates

Bonding with your new flatmates is best achieved by going out together as well as enjoying time spent in your flat. These are some of the people you’ll spend a lot of time with in your first year – and possibly beyond! I was lucky enough to make some great friends with my first-year flat who I have since lived with again. Organising drinks at the pub or having a games night in the flat is a great way to get to know each other and set up a social and supportive atmosphere. Even small things can make a difference – we made an effort to cook or eat together when we could, as we were self-catered, and this meant dinners were sociable and no one ate alone.

Balance your studies

First-year is all about getting to grips with moving away from home and meeting new friends – but of course you are also at university to study! Having a visual timetable/schedule in your room with all your lectures, seminars, and deadlines at the beginning of the semester is the best way to ensure you attend everything but also achieve a good balance of having fun with new friends. Attending all your lectures and seminars is essential to meet course-mates who you will ultimately spend the next 3-4 years with, and they are often like-minded since they picked the same degree. Some of these people may end up being you