Get prepped for uni: A day in the life of a new Manchester student

Live, Love, Laugh Fallowfield


Now the hard part’s over, it’s not long until the big move to Manchester for the best years of your adult life. With A-level Results Day out of the way and the car packed for the journey to your new “digs” as my mum would call them, it’s time for the peak of a young persons life: university.

As you wave your parents off, it’s time to separate uni from university, so here is a guide to navigate the days as a silly fresher.


You quickly become accustomed to how the sound of the radar alarm echoes through your tiny bedroom, and how it also seems to echo into the bedrooms of those around you (this is an apology to my housemate who has been in the room next door to me for the last two years).

Possibly the only time you will ever wake up at 9am for anything to do with uni is in Freshers’ Week. Filled with the fear that you will miss three years worth of information in these welcome days (you won’t; you have been warned), you roll out of bed with one sock on, potentially covered in UV paint and filled with fear about the night prior.

You check instagram and you followed 14 people last night, none of whom you will ever see or speak to again, but who you will follow until long after you graduate.


Freshers flu is in full swing, and you open your next bottle of cough syrup, swig it straight from the bottle and then pass it to your flatmate. This is exactly the same action as a few hours prior, except that was Glen’s Vodka. It’s strange how you’re both ill with exactly the same thing.

You take a look at your bedroom and wonder how its so messy when you have lived here for two days. There are bigger fish to fry though, so you pick up some clothes off the floor and chuck them on. A makeup wipe will get the stain off



Bus time. Your headphones are dead. The walk to Owens Park bus stop commences.

The rumours are true. You’re stood here for three days. Better luck next time.


I told you it was pointless. Straight to Pret to get a coffee which you pray will rid the rest of your hangover. For nearly £5 I want to leave Pret feeling like I’ve been on a spa retreat.

As you wait for your coffee, head banging and mouth still tasting of vodka and Amber Leaf, you wonder if all people do here is queue…


Must let parents know you are alive.


Off at the Owens Park bus and straight to New Zealand wines. Only the essentials though because remember the student loan doesn’t last forever.

Fallowfield strip in all its glory- this is biblical

Items purchased include one pot noodle, a bottle of vodka accompanied by some squash and two Lost Mary’s.


Handed a lighter and a business card. You’ve been here three days and you have enough to put Clipper out of business.

One for all you Knucks fans


And here it begins – the ultimate joy of being a student: You can sleep in the day!

Once an Uber driver told me that it’s only a nap if it’s 30 minutes or less, and for the last two years I have proved him wrong at least four days of the week, every week.


Someone’s started playing a bootleg The Beatles remix downstairs, someone else is really loudly exclaiming why their gap yah was so eye opening outside your window and you are no longer asleep.

Time to move to the kitchen and reseize the day – by playing snog marry avoid.


The best part of my first year was sitting on the hideous chairs in my Oak House kitchen playing card games, arguing over who had control over the speaker and many other memorable moments, which I refuse to write on the basis that my parents read these articles and I would really like to have a job in the future.

An afternoon in the kitchen of your halls could include sitting on the floor and watching all of Top Boy Summerhouse, or perhaps naming a toy dinosaur, or dressing up in the uniform of the career path you eventually want to take. But ultimately the decision is down to you.


Have existential crisis. Realise you have limited culinary skills, you don’t know what to wear tonight and that it’s raining.


Pre-drinks. The students’ answer to inflation. Someone’s had to be put to bed already.

Must now discuss how that will never be you as you’ve been drinking cheap lager in the park since you were eight and three quarters.


Squirrels. The answer to everyone’s prayers. Immediately text all friends at other uni’s and your nan to reveal how cheap the drinks are.


Wait for bus. Again.


Get back on the bus. Bet you wish you’d brought a bus pass now.


Stand in a queue for shit club which isn’t included on the freshers wristband you panic brought after you firmed your choice.

Spend £10 on entry.


The rumours are true. Manchester is bloody freezing and a mini skirt and airforces aren’t really fighting the bitter cold of the Factory queue. You now have somewhat of an understanding of why 89 per cent of people wear parachute pants.


Club. Dance.

Buy watered down drinks and overpriced shots for your friends because you had a bit too much to drink on the 142. Still waiting for them to return the favour.

Spend most of the night in the smoking area because you hate Tom Zanetti and that’s all they’re playing.


Do what students do best and be really silly. Take a trolly or a road sign or something. Give it large.

Go to the best chip shop in Fallowfield (Krunchy Fried Chicken) and buy food that rather than eating you will wake up next to.



Popular opinion would have it (popular opinion being my own) that often the debrief is better than the night itself. Waking up still giddy from the night before, crammed into an Oak House bedroom discussing the guy who’s number you got or how you drunk texted your ex will always be better than listening to Freshers’ Week club music.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

From Blue 2 to Jet 2: What your summer plans as a Manchester student say about you

12 pints, 12 pubs: This is officially the best Guinness in Manchester

How we can all be a little more sustainable in Manchester this summer