Today’s Q and A is with Shreshta – our RA from All Saints.
1. Were you nervous coming to university? How did you overcome this?
After my place at MMU was confirmed, I was so excited about settling in a big city in another country that I did not have time to be nervous before coming to university. Every time I had a doubt, I reminded myself that I am going on adventure. But the week before my flight, it was a completely different story. I was so nervous that I had packed and unpacked and repacked my luggage half a dozen of times. I was scared of leaving something important behind and not being able to do without it in Manchester. Well, I did realise how silly I was. I took a few things of extreme emotional value with me, so that even if I left something behind, the important things would be with me.
2. What was your experience on moving into Halls?
As an international student, I arrived a week earlier than local students. When I first stepped into the halls, I actually burst into tears. My flight was delayed; I arrived in Manchester hours after the planned time and I could not find any way to contact my family.
But of course, my bad hours, if not minutes, did not last long. On the very day I moved in, a flatmate helped me to install my laptop and connect to the hall’s Wi-Fi to contact my family. My room was plain originally, but it allowed me to decorate it to my taste. After a few posters, fairy lights and some hand-made deco, my room was my new home. The best part was someone new would arrive and we would look forward making new friends. It took me a few hours from being homesick to being trilled about university.
3. If you were creating a university survival pack, what would your most important item be and why?
A duvet. Well, it gets really cold at night in Manchester. There is nothing cosier than a warm duvet during cold winter nights. And if there is ever a fire drill you can still take your duvet with you while evacuating.
4. How have you found the past year living in Manchester and studying at MMU?
The past year has been particular exhausting because everything was so new to me and I had to learn so much from scratch. But this year has been particularly amazing. My current flat is one of the best things that happened to me. Both years have been full of excitement, wonderful friendships, and unforgettable moments. There were also the nights out, but I am not talking about them. My course has been fantastic until now, I has been a real pleasure studying at MMU and my coursemates are lovely.
5. If you could give one piece of advice to someone wanting to make friends at university, what would it be?
Always be your true self while talking to others, your best friends are eventually those who know you well and are still fine with it. Do not worry about not being able make friends like this, there are 30k+ students enrolled at MMU, there is no way you don’t find a dozen of people that like you the way you are.
6. Where is your favourite place in Manchester?
Definitely the Northern Quarter. It breathes originality. This is a place you can visit alone or with your friends. I can spend hours in Affleck’s and not buy anything, or just come home with another AC/DC poster. I even got a piercing and a tattoo over there once. And my favourite part is seeing the vintage and charity shops, I think they are just lovely.
7. If you could relive the last year, would you change anything?
Definitely, I should have been less nervous while talking to people. I have missed on a lot by hesitating to talk. And I would have talked and skyped with a family a bit more. It was not until I got home for summer that I realised how much they missed me.
8. What are you looking forward to in the next academic year?
As a fashion design student, I am in love with what I do and no matter how cliché it may sound, I am genuinely looking forward creating new sketchbooks and making new clothes. Besides my course, I am hoping to make new friends since most of my friends have already left university. As an R.A, I hope to make little changes in others’ lives, to get rid of their burdens, to help find their way through university, to bring a few smiles on their faces through my actions.