Things I wish I’d known in my first year of uni in Manchester

The Unirider is everything

You’ll be best friends with everyone in freshers’ week

You’ll love everyone you meet in fresher’s week, no matter who they are. You’ll do the whole drunken ‘OMGGG I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE MY FAVE’ spiel. You’ll look through your Facebook/Snapchat friends in a month’s time and have no idea who half of them are.

Equally, you won’t like everyone by the end of the year

The reality is, you don’t get along with everyone in normal life, so you won’t in university either. For sure, be approachable and don’t write anyone off too quickly, but don’t force yourself to get on with people you can’t get on with.

Glitter will be your new best friend

Going to a fancy dress event? Glitter. Going to a house party? Glitter. Going to the pub? Glitter.

Friendship will be your go-to pub

Everyone you know will be there. You’ll complain every time you go how busy it is and how you can never get served. But no one can imagine life without it.

A night at the pub will nearly always end in Koh Tao/The Ram

Koh Tao is not quite like it is in Thailand, but it’s cheap and cheerful. Bandoeke on a Tuesday at The Ram is the best spontaneous night out you’ll have.

You can’t have OCD in halls

Clean up your mess

Moving in with new people is daunting, especially if you are a clean freak. You will soon learn to let it go, you won’t be bothered to spend all your free time washing up and mopping up the spilt alcohol off the floor. Pick your battles.

Anyone without a Unirider is doomed

Magic bus forever

Especially now the Magic Bus is no longer £1. Unlucky.

Learn to cook a few meals before you leave home

No, it is not acceptable to eat Tesco’s two for £4 ready meals every day. No, Domino’s is not cheap despite all the deals they send you. Before you move out, learn to cook some easy staple meals. Stir fry should be your best friend by the time you graduate.

You will LOVE supermarket reduced sections 

Before you move out and can spend your wages on clothes and nights out alone, you won’t even look at the reduced section. But suddenly, you have pay for your washing and own food, and your pre-uni lifestyle will fade away. In comes the reduced section. You will learn what time of day each supermarket reduces their food and scavenge for the cheapest deals. Bread for 20p? Ace.

Yes, Sainsbury’s is extortionate 

But you won’t catch anyone going anywhere else, it’s just so convenient. Oh, and the rumour that it’s the most expensive Sainsbury’s in the country is bullshit.

Learn to budget

Being deep in an overdraft when you leave will not be fun, and it’s just a good life skill to have.

Don’t stress about missing lectures

They’re recorded for a reason. Stay on top of things, but missing lectures once in a while won’t affect you. Anyway, are you really fully functioning at a 9am when you were out the night before?

Don’t leave all your work until the last minute

May might seem like years away when you start in September, but if you don’t keep on top of your work from the start, you will regret it.

Ask for help when you need it

Don’t sit there struggling when you don’t understand something. Yes, it’s not like school where you had a teacher watching over you making sure you understood it all. But if you start falling behind, you’ll find it really hard to get on track later on in the year.

Uni goes way too quickly

The times when you’re skint, hungover and have a pile of work to do are probably he times you can’t wait to start ‘adult’ life. But do not wish it away. University life seems to go quicker than any other part of your life, and is definitely the most fun you’ll have, so enjoy every minute!

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