What to expect when you start at Salford University
Your offers are in, you’ve weighed things up, and now you’re on your way to Manchester!
No, not Uni of… or MMU. You’re coming to Salford!
It’s often overlooked compared to its neighbours in town, but the University of Salford is a genuinely great university with a lot to offer each and every one of its students.
In fact, there’s so much going on that it can be difficult to know where to start! Here are a few thoughts on the freshers experience at Salford, to give you an idea of what to expect when you get here.
People complain about everything before you even get there
So you’ve joined the Salford Uni freshers groups on Facebook and Campus Society, maybe even had a look at the channels and groups for different accommodations. You read the posts for a while and come to a conclusion that everything about Salford accommodation is terrible.
Well, not quite.
The important thing to remember is that these are still uni halls – no matter how much you’re paying for them. Yes, things go wrong sometimes, but that’s life; it’s good to have standards but don’t be surprised if a lift breaks down, there’s too much noise, or you don’t like that one guy in your flat (there’s always one). Don’t expect perfection and don’t listen to all the complaining!
Finding your perfect night out takes time
All the student halls in Salford say the same thing – “ten minutes from Manchester city centre” …and we all know what that means.
The thing is when it comes to clubs in ‘town’, it’s like the princess and the frog. You’ll try out some duds before you find your fave haunt.
It can be based on music taste – from the indie/pop/dance of Fifth and Factory to the heavy rock at Satan's Hollow, Manchester has something for everyone. It can simply be based on vibes, or where your friends choose to go. In any case, you’ll find your place and have fun finding it!
That said, there are a lot of great places to go for a night out in the bigger city, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good time in Salford itself. The Atmosphere Students' Union bar holds themed nights of all varieties these days, from club nights and seasonal events (Oktoberfest, anyone?) to the very popular weekly Bandaoke Thursday nights. Situated right on campus, it’s conveniently located for meeting classmates and friends from uni.
Further down Chapel Street (that’s the main road), slightly-hipster pub the Old Pint Pot has added club nights to its regular schedule, alongside gigs and some pretty good food offers. Check out their Facebook page for everything from hip-hop to comedy and one of the best open mics in the 0161.
Speaking of live music, the Crescent, Islington Mill, Eagle Inn and The Kings Arms put on regular gigs of all genres – many are rated among the best in Greater Manchester, and they’re all situated along Chapel Street too. Easy.
You don’t have to go ‘out-out’ to have fun! Student life is a varied one.
This is one that takes a while to learn; all-nighters are all well and good, but there are only so many times you can smash 90p jägerbombs and dance to ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ before you feel like you’re in a remake of Groundhog Day. The best way to sidestep boredom is to make sure you mix things up a bit.
I’d definitely advise joining societies. It’s something that the Students' Union will tell you to do a lot, and you probably won’t listen, but there are countless activity groups here, for all kinds of interests. Often, groups will hold movie screenings, quiz nights and all kinds of other events; plus, it’s the easiest way to make friends outside of your flat or course. So take a look at the Societies Fair during fresher’s, or browse the list of groups on the Students' Union website. I didn’t do this straight away, and I regretted it later on.
We are here for a reason… make the most of that £9,000 a year.
Finally, the bit you were waiting for – ‘the boring part’. Sadly, it isn’t all about making friends and doing shots… but you already knew that. It sounds blindingly obvious, but most students don’t realise the wealth of resources we have access to at university. Of course, some lecturers will just read straight off the Powerpoint, and you’ll wish you’d stayed in bed until lunchtime, but the work’s always going to be there at the end of a module, so it is genuinely more fun if you make the most of what you’re given.
Across its numerous campus buildings, Salford has a wide range of top-class facilities from the recently-built New Adelphi building to the industry-standard studios at MediaCityUK. Everything they promised you during that first open day is there if you choose to take advantage of it.
And you’re here, so you may as well.
Some of these tips might seem like stating the obvious, but in the whirlwind of moving to a new city, studying and finding out that some clubs do drinks for under a quid, you can lose sight of it all. But once you find the balance between studying and all the other stuff, you can make the most of being between two great cities at a university that offers a lot to every student.
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