So – you’re an incoming fresher and you have no idea how to look cool in front of the veteran second and third years in the Friendship Inn. Thank god for our handy tips!
- Raid your mum’s closet from when she was young and hip in the early 2000s. Failing that, stock up on overpriced Avril Levine outfit dupes from Depop. The baggier the jeans, the better!
- Form an opinion on a favourite post-night-out takeaway. You need to pick a side in the Kej’s vs. Turkiss feud and be ready to defend your choice to debate-trained private school kids at flat parties.
- Get a Nectar card. You will start out with the best of intentions trying to shop cheaply at Lidl, but as the uni work starts and you get lazier, you will inevitably resort to buying your freezer pizzas and ingredients for pesto pasta at big Sainos.
- Join all the student Facebook groups. Manchester Student Group (MSG) is essential for keeping up with uni events, finding housemates and buying/selling festival tickets. And UoMLove and Mancfessions are perfect for ranting, sharing gossip, or confessing your secret love for your new flatmate. If you can get a post on UoMLove, you’ve made it.
- Take up chain smoking. You will need an excuse to procrastinate at the Main Library or Ali G (Alan Gilbert Learning Commons), and what’s a better (or cooler) excuse than a quick fag? It also means you can fit in with the posh girls from Surrey by asking, “Rah, where’s my baccy?”
- Go to clubs other than Factory. Listen, we get it. Factory plays music everyone knows, it’s easy to pick up a fitty, and it means you don’t have to trek into the city centre. But there are so many other clubs with different types of music and clientele! Try any club on Canal Street for LGBTQ+ venues, or if you don’t want to venture far from Oxford Road, the Deaf Institute puts on lots of themed nights. Find a big list of student friendly bars and clubs here.
- Wave at Boombox Barry. Barry will perplex you the first time you see him cycling up Oxford Road blaring music from his speaker. But from then on it will fill your heart with joy when you get a wave back from the real BNOC (big name on campus).
- Test your drugs. The Students’ Union is now offering free drug testing kits so find out what you’re taking and stay cool by, like, not dying!
- Take up DJing. If you want to be a highly desired party guest at Oak House, you’ll need to splash your student loan on some decks and get them out at literally any occasion – including in the middle of the day when your flatmates are trying to study.
Most importantly – stay safe, don’t take all our tips seriously, and enjoy settling into Manchester.