This is the first thing I want to say about being on campus, the vibe is different, it's vibrant, it's colourful, and it feels good.
I have done online classes myself and sometimes when I am unable to attend a class due to some uncertainty I use the online mode to avoid absenteeism. There are about 28,000 students as per my understanding at the University of Manchester. There are two other universities other than ours in Manchester and it brings lots of joy walking or cycling to class every day and to see the whole of Oxford Road filled with students. It brings a whole lot of positivity into you. If you are having a bad day, someone is going to be there to cheer you up, on someone else’s bad day you can cheer them up.
Exposure - this is the second key factor. Only 5% of my class comprises students native to the UK, the rest are from different countries all around the world. We have friends from Taiwan, China, India, US, Mexico, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, the list does not end. This gives us a wider perspective of learning about others' cultures and working styles. This would in no way be possible online. We have projects with new people, work intimately for a common goal and have lots of meetings and fun along with work. It enables you to learn soft skills which are very important in the professional and personal life of an individual at all levels. This is something that cannot be learnt over video conferencing. There needs to be a level of sensory feeling with learning.
University life is the best time of your life. This is a common thing any grown-up would say. Well, we should believe them. They are the best days of ours as we come across challenges but to build the innate capacity for us to handle them. We fall, we get up and fall again, but we learn to get up each time, which is very essential. We make friends for life, go socialising with people, and take time off from studies. Experiencing group studies are another thing to cherish in on-campus life.
The last yet main factor is the personal connection with the professors. The professors are highly qualified and being physically present in class gives them a chance to impart their knowledge to us and ease of understanding improves. We can have in-class discussions and debates. This would lead us to become vocal and the presence of mind would increase. We would be able to get feedback and discuss academic and non-academic matters without arranging formal meetings all the time.
Manchester is beautiful, economical and lively for newcomers. It is very easy to settle down and look for part-time jobs as there are a lot of them available. I have taken hardly any time to settle down. My heart lives in this city and it was only the first time I am out of my city for education.