Category Archives: Manchester

The Student Channel, Manchester

Manchester’s infamous Warehouse Project

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Warehouse Project (or WHP as it is affectionately known), is an renowned Manchester hotspot, hosting gigs from some of the biggest dubstep, grime and electro artists, like Skrillex, Jamie XX and Aphex twin. Ever since my first year of uni, it was the place to go. So by the time it got to my third (and final) year, I had to give it a go.

The first (and very important) rule of WHP is to get your tickets early. Most of the big nights will sell out fast, so you need to get on it. After this point, there’s always going to be tickets floating about – as long as you’re willing to pay extortionate prices buying from cash-strapped students. Most WHP tickets are around twenty quid, and let me tell you, it is more than worth it.

At the time of my arrival, WHP was located, quite literally, in a Warehouse on Store Street. Who’d have thought? Raving below the streets of Manchester is rather different to any other clubbing experience. The venue is pretty massive, and very raw. If you’re all about the leather upholstery and swanky VIP booths, this is definitely not the place for you.

The same goes for the people inside. This is no 5-inch heel wearing, booty-shaking crowd. It’s more along the lines of sweaty, shirtless guys and girls, quite literally letting their hair down.  Unlike many of Manchester’s clubs, WHP has no time for pouting and posing. It is, quite simply, a place to let go. An atmosphere of euphoria buzzes through the air, with a bassline that is deafening in the best possible way.

This is a BIG night, and as awesome as it is, chances are it’s going to knock you out for a couple of days. Not a good choice for the night before a lecture/any event requiring any level of brain function.

After my first visit to WHP, I was hooked, and have now raved to the like the likes of Knife Party, Subfocus, True Tiger and Benga. However, last year, organizers announced that WHP would be changing locations, causing a flurry of panic that our beloved Warehouse would shuffle of to London. But despite our fears, WHP is staying in Manchester, in a currently undisclosed location. It is set to return in September of this year, although a special one-off Easter night will unveil the new location.

If you’re prepared to let down those civilized, sane-person barriers, get a bit sweaty, dance like a crazy and maybe snog a randomer, then Warehouse Project is the definitely the one for you.

Easter Sunday tickets here – http://www.thewarehouseproject.com/

Written by Sarah Davis, Manchester Uni

Meeting people and making friends at university


The pressure during the first couple of weeks of uni to instantly make loads of friends can be intense. Freshers’ may be over, but that doesn’t mean your window for meeting people is closed. Think about it – how many people can make friends for life in a week? But if you’re struggling and not sure how to go about connecting with people, here are a few pointers from somebody who’s been there.

1)    Join a society

Even if you don’t have a hobby and even if you can’t see a society that you particularly want to be a part of! It’s free (usually) and a really easy way to meet new people. If you’re having trouble getting on with your flatmates or meeting people on your course, why not join several? You can always leave later, and still hang on to your new-found friends.

2)    Talk to people

Wherever and whenever possible, find a reason to strike up a conversation. A simple “hello” when passing someone you recognise in halls, “have you done the reading?” to the person next to you in a seminar, “what are you making?” to someone in your flat or shared kitchen… the possibilities are endless. Don’t wait for other people to come to you – if you seek out opportunities yourself you’ll make friends so much more easily. Or why not take advantage of Dutch courage and introduce yourself to the person next to you at the bar? In the first couple of weeks everyone is very open and friendly – the chances of embarrassment really are minimal.

3)    Keep your bedroom door open

It may seem obvious but wedging your door open during the first few days is the perfect zero-effort way to meet people. The super-confident types who are wandering around meeting people are bound to put their head round an open door – you’re essentially inviting people to come in and talk to you.

4)    Fake it ‘til you make it

It’s a well-known theory, and completely applicable here. If you’re naturally quite shy and reserved meeting people can seem like an uphill struggle. But university is a fresh start – no-one here knows that you’re not chatty, outgoing and oozing with confidence! So why not pretend? It might seem scary at first, but your fake confidence will help you make connections with people, which will boost your confidence, which will help you make even more connections, and hey presto! you’ve got yourself a nice group of mates.

5)    Use props

Taking along fun, interesting items is a great idea. Think shot glasses, shisha pipes, games, packs of cards, or even just a Frisbee. If you can propose activities that people want to be a part of, you’re already getting a headstart.

6)    Facebook

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that you add people you don’t know (although that would work too!). You can, however, use Facebook to your advantage. Met someone new and caught their name? Add them on Facebook. Noticed your flatmate is now friends with that girl you met in your first lecture? Add her as a friend too. It’s called social networking for a reason – it’s a great way of expanding your network of acquaintances and cultivating new relationships. If you’re really struggling to pluck up the courage to talk to people, why not reach out from behind the safety of your computer screen? Add a coursemate and message them about this week’s assignment. Comment on group photos with you in. Find out which events the people you know are going to, and go along with them. And all without leaving your bedroom.

7)    Eat with people

This is a really easy way to get talking to your flatmates or the other people on your corridor. Try to time your meals so that there are other people around cooking too, and eat at the table rather than taking your food back to your room. The same thing goes for catered halls – try to arrange to go down to dinner together instead of alone.

But most importantly of all, relax! Seriously. It might seem like you’re the last person on campus not to have made friends yet, or you might feel you’re stuck with a group of people you don’t feel very strongly about, but you’d be surprised how much things continue to change over the first couple of months or even the whole year. It’s not too late to reach out to people – remember that everybody is in the same boat, and other people are just as keen to meet you as you are them. How many times in your life will you be in a situation where thousands of people are actively trying to be your friend? Make the most of it.

Written by Lucy, Bristol.

A day in the life of a Manchester fresher

Ask any student what their opinion of Freshers’ week is and you’ll get a whole range of adjectives. Crazy. Hectic. Surreal. Amazing. I can vouch for Manchester, and after recently bracing the madness of Freshers’ for the third time in a row, I can wholeheartedly tell you that it’s incredible. But as great as it is, it’s often overwhelming. So I thought I’d break it down a bit, and give you a taste of a day in the life of a fresher. And not just any fresher – A Manchester fresher (the best kind, if you ask me!).

9am – Okay, you might naturally be an ‘early riser’ (chances are, you aren’t), but you’re not going to be up at this time. Stay in bed and sleep off the hangover.

11.30am – The less hungover/zombiefied of us may roll out of bed and commit to a hearty breakfast of last night’s pizza.

12pm – Where did the morning go? Spend a while marveling at the mess of your flat’s communal areas. Kick out last night’s remaining hangers-on that are passed out on the sofa. Attempt to pick up the dozens of bottles decorating the kitchen floor. Admit defeat.

1pm – Round together flatmates and vow to do something productive. Attempt to cook an actual meal, resulting in a screeching fire alarm and your entire block being evacuated (yes, this was me.)

2pm – Look at tonight’s activities and realize there are numerous fancy dress items required. Trundle into town and fight off other fellow freshers in Primark to ensure your quality items are secured.

3pm – Come home with bags of garlands, geek glasses and a Spice Girls outfit that you’ll later come to regret.

4pm – Head to Sainsbury’s for an alcohol run. Remember, in freshers’ week (and probably for the duration of your university career), going to supermarkets in slippers and/or pyjamas is entirely acceptable. Grab what’s left of the Sainsbury’s basics and head home, clinking.

The dreaded dirty pint

5pm – Time to freshen up! Quick shower before generally monging around for a bit.

6pm – It’s not too early to start drinking is it?

7pm – put on hilarious fancy dress outfit. Laugh at fellow freshers with even more hilarious outfits.

9pm – The serious drinking begins. If you didn’t know the rules to Ring of Fire, then now is the time to learn. Start to feel a bit on the tipsy side, but told you’ll be fine. Next drink is poured.

10pm – Get landed with the dirty pint. Enjoy a delicate mix of wine, lager and assorted spirits. Make a run for the bathroom.

11.30pm – Prepare to make a move. This is around the time when singing, chanting and general banter commences. Crack out your best anthems.

11.45pm – Get on a notorious Magic bus. Be sure to go to the top deck. Shouting, laughter and general bus rowdiness prevails. Manage to fit twenty people onto the back seat of the bus to the delight of fellow students.

12am – Arrive at club. Get a warning from the bouncer who eventually lets you in. What a babe.

1am – Head to the bar for your third (?) vodka coke. The dancefloor looks more appealing than ever!

2am – Throw some shapes and kiss someone. Almost immediately forget their name and pray you’ll never see them again.

3am – Stumble onto a bus with your new best friend/soulmate/confidante. Meet Crazy Bus Lady for the first time.

3.30am– Takeaway time! Back to the flat, stuff down chicken wings and a few chips, and drop the rest in your bed.

4am – The only thing left to do is pass out, surrounded by bottles, chips and other freshers. Good food, good wine (well, perhaps not the best…) and great friends. What more could you want?

And repeat…

Written by Sarah, Manchester Uni

Manchester on a budget

Keeping it cheap!

For most students, money is tight. I, for one often find myself more than a bit short on numerous occasions. Student debt and that daily (completely necessary) Starbucks seem to pick at your funds little by little. Then there’s that agonizing decision between paying the water bill and that big night out that’s on the cards… So a little help never goes amiss.

Manchester in general isn’t that cheap. Skipping into one of the city centre’s many bars and ordering your usual probably isn’t going to be cheap unless you’re really lucky. But that doesn’t mean that Manchester can’t be cheap. As long as you know how, you can get along fairly reasonably, minus a few splurges here and there.

Perhaps first on the agenda is where to drink. A double vodka red bull can cost you anything between £2 and £12 (for those of you hitting the Grey Goose), so it’s best to know where’s going to be kinder to your bank account.

Wetherspoons

Any ‘Spoons’ is always going to be a good bet. Cocktail pitchers are dirt-cheap and you’ll get a bottle of wine for around £6 (not the finest wine you’ll ever have but hey, we’re students), so it’s a good post pre-drinks/pre-night out venue. Ladies, be warned, some of the older Manchester gentleman may try to catch your attention or (let’s be honest), be downright pervy, but it’s generally nothing more than a few catcalls. A small price to pay for cheap drinks, some might say?

http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/

Baa Bar

If you fancy your drinks a bit shorter and a lot stronger, Baa Bar is definitely the one for you. It has a huge menu of crazy shots and shooters, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Plus, at a pound per

shot, you can’t go wrong. I’d recommend a ‘Brain Damage’, if only for the sheer creepiness of downing a drink containing a gloopy ‘brain’. You can find Baa Bar in Fallowfield, Deansgate Locks

and Canal Street, Manchester’s gay village. The Fallowfield venue tends to be more of a get in, buy some shots, get out type of place but both Canal Street and Deansgate seem to hold more of a party crowd.

http://www.baabar.co.uk/

Font

If cocktails are more your style, then Font is the perfect place. You’ll find one in Fallowfield, and a bigger, busier one on Oxford Road. Catch them on a Friday or Saturday night and they’ll be packed. There is a reason for that though, and the reason is cheap drinks, or more specifically, cheap cocktails. It has a surprisingly good list of drinks, from Cheeky Vimto’s to Mai Tai’s, to Long Island Ice Tea’s. They start at £2 and go up to around £4. Sticking with the cheap two pounders will definitely keep your night cheap and cheerful (and probably rather merry).

http://thefontbar.wordpress.com/

Jabez Clegg

Jabez Clegg is a pub/club just off Oxford Road, the main student campus. It’s fairly cheap in the day, and every Friday night it transforms into the legendary club night BOP, a firm Manchester student favourite. Every week is a different fancy dress theme, and everyone goes all out. The atmosphere is great, and (more importantly), the tickets are only £3.50. The standard drink is the Green Monster. You’ll find everyone wandering round with these murky green pints. Probably best not to know what’s in them.

http://www.jabezclegg.co.uk/the-bop-8/

5th Avenue

5th Avenue, or ‘5th Ave’ as it is often known, is the marmite of the Manchester clubbing scene. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying the fact that it is cheap. You’re going to get some underagers, and probably a few beer showers, so it’s not the place to crack out the gladrags. But if you want a cheap and cheerful night out, it’s going to be top of your list. At the most, double vodkas are £2.50, and bottles are around £1.50. Always a good option for a cheap night, though perhaps not for those with 9am starts!

http://www.5thavenuemanchester.com/

As they say, look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves. Or at least buy you a few jagerbombs…

Written by Sarah, Manchester Uni

What (and what not) to take to uni

Moving to university is a scary time and a brief Google search will throw up a huge amount of conflicting advice on what you ought to take with you. With this in mind, rather than an exhaustive list of absolutely everything you will need (and definitely won’t), this article aims to point out a few things that you might not have thought of when packing your bag.

The top 5 things I wish I had brought to uni:

1. Posters, photos and knick-knacks.

Anything that will personalise your room and make it feel more homely is a must! The more settled you feel in your own space, the more quickly you’ll settle into your new life. There’s no need to panic if your room is looking a little bare, though: most universities run a poster sale in freshers’ week.

2. Fancy dress.

Like it or not, you can bet that within your first ten days at uni you’ll need at least two different costumes! There’s no need to go overboard, but anything you have lying around which could make a good army, school disco, or cowboys and Indians costume is definitely worth throwing in your bag.

3. One of: a bottle opener, a tin opener, and a cheese grater.

These three are often overlooked in the pre-uni Ikea frenzy, and it’s not uncommon to arrive in halls and find that your kitchen has 25 plates, 10 saucepans, 2 toastie makers and no corkscrew.

4. Playing cards.

Essential for drinking games. If you can get waterproof ones, even better!

5. Tea towels.

With a good 6-10 people sharing a kitchen, you can never have too many tea towels – especially since no-one will ever volunteer to wash them.

And now, the things you really don’t need:

1. Everything you own.

Rooms in halls are generally very small, and there won’t be space for you to store all your childhood teddies/40 pairs of shoes/GCSE coursework. Remember that a term is only 10-12 weeks long – how much stuff do you really need?

2. Extra furniture.

Your room will have furniture in that is designed to make the best possible use of the limited space. Anything extra will only get in the way!

3. Your own kettle/toaster/fridge.

All of these are provided as standard by the university if you’re in self-catered halls (and sometimes even if you aren’t) – not only will they take up precious space in your room but they’ll waste energy too. Also, do you really want to be the flatmate who hides all their food in their room?

4. In the same vein, you really don’t need an egg poacher/deep fat fryer/blender/apple corer.

Chances are you only occasionally use these things at home, and they’ll just sit in a drawer gathering dust.

5. Your hamster/rabbit/fish.

Not only because pets are against the rules, but also because halls just aren’t a good place for animals to live – they’re cramped, noisy and dirty.

Whilst it’s important to be prepared in order to get the best out of your first weeks at uni, there’s no need to get overly stressed about it. Forgetting to bring a frying pan or your favourite poster is not going to have much of an effect on how well you settle in. So think carefully about what you want to pack, but most importantly relax and enjoy yourself – you’re about to embark on the best years of your life!

Written by Lucy, Bristol

The Problem with Summer

I think we can all agree that uni’s pretty hectic. It’s a crazy blur of essays, parties and cheap drinks. So when summer hits, and we’re presented with three stretching months of freedom, what do we do? Whilst the thought of so much time off is enough to strike fear into the hearts of students across the country, others seize the opportunity and make as many crazy plans as humanly possible. I, unfortunately, fall into the former category. Three months back in my ridiculously rural hometown is enough to turn anyone into a serial killer. That’s why this time last year I blew my the rest of my loan (and more) on two months in Australia.

It was actually surprising how effortlessly I blew £950 on flights alone, and hardly batted an eyelid when I forked out £120 for my visa (although I’m sure my overdraft did!). Looking back, it was a bit of a harebrained scheme…but oh-so worth it!

The plan was to fly over there, get a job on a vineyard, travel a bit and make every penny back. It was definitely easier said than done!

After a deliriously tiring twenty-three hours, I landed in Perth airport and checked into a hostel. The next day I got on a coach and within five hours I was in the wine region of Margaret River. It was here that the vineyard work began. What can I say about pruning? Perhaps it wasn’t the ideal choice of jobs for a chronic mirror-checking girly girl. It definitely took a while to adjust to the achey hands, makeup-less face and rude awakenings at 6am!

The good thing about seasonal work in Australia is that minimum wage is high. I was getting $18 an hour for essentially chopping at trees. You’re never going to make a killing pruning vines, but it’ll keep you going for a while at least (2 months in my case!).

After abandoning my short-lived pruning career, I travelled back to Perth with some friends that I’d met on my travels. A year later, I can still honestly say it was the best time of my life. The friends I made and the laughs I had there just can’t be matched.

Of course, coming back to England brought me back to earth with a bump. I realised it was time to come back to real life, and jump back into the (amazing but emotional) world of university again. So back to uni it was, and here I am again, faced with another endless summer.

Whether you’re content with getting your chill on (and making the most of the free meals) at home, or flying halfway across the world to make the most of a few months, just remember that these could be the longest holidays you’ll have – make the most of them!

So where will I be going this summer? China, New Zealand, Nepal? Not quite. I’ll be staying put, saving for next summer…

Written by Sarah, Manchester Uni

An Inbetweener!- Alex from Huddersfield

When I first heard the word ‘Huddersfield’ I didn’t know what to expect. I was just finishing college and I had been advised to go to an open day there by my personal tutor; Jim- ‘its one of the best around, you wont regret it I promise.)

When I arrived on the University campus I thought Jim must have had shares in the place, as it was nowhere near as glamorous as neighbouring Universities such as Leeds or Manchester (my first two choices.) Begrudgingly I put down Huddersfield as my third choice, even if it just meant humouring Jim.

To everyone’s surprise; least of all my own, I didn’t make it into my first two choices on the course I had applied for (English Language.) Alas, to Jim’s delight, I had been accepted into Huddersfield (the dividend cheque is in the post Jim.) So I put my name down on the accommodation at Storthes Hall and trudged off to welcome weekend, deciding to put my scepticism on hold, and boy am I glad that I did!

Prior to University I had found myself, like all other collegians, attending the odd obligatory house party and wondering what the big fuss surrounding further education was all about. Then it hit me, as soon as my parents car disappeared around the corner, as I looked around at the other eager faces of my peers, we were all in this together. There was only one thing left to do, get pissed!

I made more friends that weekend then I had in my entire life before then. Huddersfield is situated inbetween Manchester and Leeds, therefore the North is our oyster! If we’re not downing the cocktails in the many swanky bars of Deansgate Locks in Manchester, we are traipsing down Call Lane in Leeds. The fact that the nightlife in Huddersfield is not as lively as Leeds or Manchester just makes it a safe haven to return to after a hefty weekend. A place where you can find peace and tranquility in which to spend some hard earned studious time!

I think many people might be put off from going to a place like Huddersfield, as I was when the idea was first proposed, yet you must understand that there are many places you can go for a night out on a budget, and they are all just a short train ride away.

I will go into more depth in my future blogs about the nightlife in Huddersfield (or lack thereof,) but for now, on a particularly dry Friday night, Headingley calls. Chin Chin.

Alex

Oh and by the way, Jim was right, I don’t regret going to Huddersfield for a minute!