Going home for the holidays, what’s changed since I started uni (Sophie)

Returning back home I was greeted by Dad running screaming in the rain to collect me from the train station due to the short monsoon trip to the car. It was weirdly raining more than it had been in Manchester, which I didn’t think was possible.

Waiting for me at home was a £70 fine from over taken holiday at my previous job and a close friend who arrived at the pub with all his belongings in an IKEA bag after some recent family drama. Merry Christmas to me from my former workplace, who I can assure you needed the money much less than I did and a big apology to most of my relatives for receiving charity shop jewelry disguised in nice boxes…

Going home, I was surprised by how little had changed. My dog still squealed with excitement when I walked through the front door, my parents were still welcoming if not a little annoying at times and my friendships back home had stayed the same despite having only visited home once during my first term (oops).

Dropping off my old uniform at my old work I was surprised to see some of the same people working there, who definitely should have been fired and the same customers who ordered the same drinks each time. Cliché as it might sound – some things had stayed the same but I hadn’t.

What had actually happened was what a friend once told me would do. They said that: “When I moved, after the first few months, my hometown wouldn’t feel like my home, but my university city would.”

I found it a little harder than normal to settle into university life, following my usual predisposition to word vomit at my first seminar when asked what my associations and experiences were with Manchester so far. I was honest in recalling my flat mates abandoning me for the first two nights out in a row, leaving said club after finding them there and being ignored. Perhaps not the most approachable or friendly anecdote.

I found that I had to branch out a little further to make some friends at university by joining societies such as pole dancing and rock music and reconnecting with old friends from my home town living in Manchester. As well as some other rather random experiences such as befriending a classmate whose boyfriend asked me out on a date when I thought he was single… awkward.

After returning to Manchester after the break I felt for the first time that I’d settled into university life having completed my first assignments and having made some friends. I had found living at home had become unbearable after my Dad complained that I was cooking too loudly and my friend who visited was simply too tall to be in the house… Gratefully returning to my new home in Manchester.

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