November 2016: A new chapter

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They say that life is like a series of book chapters. If it is so, the chapter just beginning would be titled “The Studies Reloaded” and would be about my MSc at Alliance MBS. The string of events that led to my decision to continue my studies on data analysis abroad in England, and more specifically at The University of Manchester, is long and not of much interest. But the period spanning from the moment that the decision was made to the moment the acceptance email appeared in my inbox is very intense and will forever be engraved in my memory, if not for any other reason, for the sense of relief and utter joy I experienced upon reading that email after a battle between my trembling hand and what seemed at the time like an awfully inaccurate mouse.

After the first emotions subsided and the time had come to bid adieu to my friends, family and hometown and set upon this new adventure, mixed feelings of happiness, excitement, anxiety and sadness flooded me. But by the time the plane was touching down I was ready. And before I knew it my first week in Manchester had gone by. The first days were full, as I was settling in and attending the University workshops, not allowing for any time to reminisce about friends and family. Contributing to that was the great city of Manchester and the variety of things it has to offer, from museums and concerts to football matches, pubs and restaurants. This vibrant city soon felt like home thanks to its friendly people and the available guidance from the university.

As I was beginning to feel a bit lonely, the semester officially began with the induction week. The connection? Induction week is a great opportunity to make new friends. Not the only opportunity though, as there are so many societies to become a member of and meet like-minded people. For example, I joined the Aquatics Centre’s fitness classes, allowing me to keep fit and keep my mind off the University assignments for a while. And after exploring Manchester, having a few drinks and visiting a couple of museums and galleries with my new friends, loneliness belonged to the past and most importantly, I was part of a wonderful group of people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

My time so far has been great. Above my expectations. Even though the course is really intensive and the group coursework quite challenging, thus requiring effective time management, I have enjoyed every moment of my time here. But if I had to choose one experience as my favourite, and that is quite a tall order, it would be the trip to Brathay (by Lake Windermere in The Lake District). We all had so much fun, even though the weather wasn’t the best it could be. The activities there helped us build on our relationships and even come to know ourselves better.

All in all, I believe the decision to come to Manchester was one of the best I have ever made and so far, I have never looked back. So, this chapter has started on a happy note and I wish it won’t be changing anytime soon.

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Jola Nika

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