Manchester has ruined my life

From making me fat to ruining my dress sense, Manchester is destroying my soul


The people

More specifically, the hipsters – and Manchester is full of them. If you go to any Manchester uni you’d have a hard time trying to avoid these bunch, and an even harder one not succumbing to their urban bohemian style of dress and culturally liberal attitudes. Whether it’s drinking Tizer out of teapots, perching on pavements around the Norther Quarter or spending excessive amounts of money to look like you don’t actually have any, this trend is just one that many can’t escape. And I’m one of them.

Since arriving fresh-faced in September, the transformation has been astounding. I have absolutely no legitimate need for massive glasses. In fact, they’re lenseless. But I think they make me look more edgy, don’t you agree? Adds a bit of je ne sais quoi, no? Sunglasses in a club are an absolute must though.

However, what’s considered ‘effortlessly cool’ in Manchester in just bordering on downright trampish where I’m from in Yorkshire. “Brush your hair you scruffy bugger.” Yes Mum.

The ironic thing is, it isn't

The ironic thing is, it isn’t

The realisation that I’m going to die alone

And with a population of 2.55 million, it’s a pretty big blow. After dating what seems like at least half of that population, Manchester has made me realise that I’m living in what seems to be a never ending episode of Sex and the City, but with less sex and even less money to spend on shoes. Move over, Carrie Bradshaw.

The older guy, the younger guy, the pervert, the user, the beautiful one with the ugly personality, the ugly one with the ugly personality, and the one that got away. I’ve encountered them all, albeit somewhat briefly. It just seems that boys in Manchester all have one thing in common – they just ain’t boyfriend material.

Where in the Arndale is this?

Where in the Arndale is this? Anyone?

When I think about what’s really important in my life, the answer is food and friends, closely followed by vodka. At twenty tears old I’ve decided that it’s okay to find yourself alone on a Friday night eating take-away for one while watching re-runs of Bridget Jones. If you have a crush on a boy my advice is stop right now because he will ruin your life and make you cry forever.

The culinary excellence

Two words: Curry Mile.

Specialising in all sorts of delicious cuisine from South Asia to the Middle East, this stretch of Wilmslow road is renowned for being one of Manchester’s best pig-out spots, and being right on the doorstep to Fallowfield, it’s no wonder students, including me, have succumb to it’s fresh, tantalising aromas of kebab meat and chip grease. From Spicy Hut to Shere Khan, Sangaam’s to the good ol’ Rusholm Chippy, there’s choice for every taste, whether for a meal with your significant other or just a whistle-stop binge after a night on the town. Basically, the reason for my 14 lbs weight gain.

So much choice

So much choice

Saying the Curry Mile has contributed to the ruining of my life actually may be a bit unfair. I’m pretty sure Kebab King has something to do with it as well.

But with no boyfriend to worry about, who the hell cares anyway? I’ll have two portions of cheesy chips please, Paz, with extra mayo.

The fact that sleep is a thing of the past

Back in the good old days of having to be home by 7 o’clock and in bed by 9 (ah, to be seventeen again), there was never the pang of dread at 3am knowing that you’re going to have to be (or at least impersonate) a fully functioning student in less than five hours time. Welcome to Manchester, the land where the Mecca of student night life and 9am lectures coexist, just to thrust your transition into real adulthood that bit less bearable than it was ever going to be.

There’s a night for every day of the week, be it Remake Remodel Mondays, Propaganda Wednesdays, or Full Moon Thursdays, it would be plain rude to turn down an invite, 9am or not.

However it’s not just the night life that is slowly and  inevitably hacking at my quality of sleep. The whole student lifestyle has a part to play in this one, because apparently it means that starting a new DVD box set of Breaking Bad or House of Cards at 1am after staying up playing pointless card games with your flatmates is not only a good idea, but encouraged.

“What did you do last night?” “Oh, you know, just went to bed.” “You went to bed? I haven’t slept in 156 hours. Pussy.”

The fact that nothing can compare to it

Even though it’s turned me into a badly dressed, sleep deprived, loveless lard arse, it’s undeniable to me, and probably most other students here, that Manchester is like the most addictive drug on the market. The thought of going home for summer, or even a weekend to visit the family, is accompanied by feelings of dread, resentment and sadness, not to mention the gloomy realisation that you aren’t actually a Manc local after all and are only here for three or four years at most (which is pretty down right depressing, actually).

If someone asks me where I’m from, my automatic response is “Manchester of course.” “But you have a Yorkshire accent?” “Funny that, isn’t it?”

From Aberdeen to Aberystwyth, London to Loughborough, you’ll be hard pressed to find a city with as much charm, vibrance or character as Manchester. Well, that may not actually be true, but it’s seems too much like  hard work trying to find out. With everything and everyone you need right on your doorstep, who would want to travel any further afield from a place that has it all?

I'll drink to that

I’ll drink to that