While it may be tempting to consider solely the social aspects of moving to Manchester, one would be equally remiss not to consider what an average week would be like during the master's program.
The first term starts with five weeks of classes, followed by a one week reading week, five more weeks of classes, and then a week of deadlines, a four-week Christmas break, and then two weeks of exams. First, to note, there are ample weeks of breaks which can be used to travel or catch up on academic work. For me, it was surprising to have so many breaks and vacations. If you plan ahead and work diligently, it is possible to travel to different parts of the UK and Europe during these breaks, which really is a unique and affordable opportunity. But, in order to work ahead, it is necessary to manage time effectively. The following reflects my schedule during the first term:
Mondays - Wake up at early and read for class. Attend a lecture from 10 -12, eat lunch and work until class from 2- 4. Go home and do homework until 8.
Tuesdays - Wake up early and read for class again. Attend lecture from 10:30 - 12. Eat lunch and attend a seminar from 2 - 3. Go home and do homework until 8.
Wednesdays - Wake up early and read for class. Attend a seminar from 11 - 12. Have group meetings until 4, then go home and do homework until 8
Thursdays - Wake up early and read for class. Attend a seminar from 12 - 1. Eat lunch before a seminar from 2 - 4, then go home and do homework until 8.
Fridays - Wake up early and read for class. Attend a seminar from 11 - 12. Possible group meetings in the afternoon before going home and stopping homework at 5.
For me, with this kind of schedule, I was able to avoid schoolwork late at night and on weekends. This freed up my time to travel and go to social events in the evenings. I found that the key to time management was being diligent with my goals and keeping track of my time. While schoolwork is important, enjoying time outside of class with others is what enhances your masters experience. The program director even encouraged us on the first day not to work on weekends. While getting a master's degree is a challenge, the best way to reduce stress is to plan time to relax. For me, this started with time management.