A Week in the Life of an Environmental Management Student
After one quite challenging year, I started my second year as an Undergraduate Environmental Management student at the University of Manchester. Thus, as things started to get closer to their normal state, I could also experience life here at Manchester more widely, and I wasn’t disappointed! If you want to experience university life, Manchester is the best place to do so!
One of the greatest changes this year was the fact that we could finally go back to face-to-face teaching to a greater extent, and therefore see in person the faces of our teachers and course mates alike. Hence, my days now consist of me wandering around on campus, exploring the numerous buildings where I have my lectures/seminars, and finding places where I could rest or do some learning between lectures. My favourite place is the Blue 1 area in the Main Library as there are tons of computers, I can use to do some of my readings during the day.
In terms of my lectures and seminars, I am very grateful that all of them can be held in person. As of now, in my second year, I have three 2-hours lectures and two 1-hour seminars per week. My course is small, so we usually have our lectures in smaller rooms with a more familiar atmosphere. Nevertheless, I do have a module combined with a student from various courses, and those are held in big theatres which make you experience that university feeling! During the lecture’s break, you can have a chat with the students sitting next to you, but the bigger discussions are happening at seminars. They provide a great chance to tell people about your ideas and view about the current week’s topic, and most of the time we are being allocated into smaller groups to develop a policy framework or adaptation techniques, to just mention a few!
My course also does field trips occasionally where I can learn more about the surrounding landscape outside of the city and have some fun. For the latest one, we went to Marsden Moor and the aim was to understand the distribution of the existing vegetation there. Although the weather wasn’t on our side, so we got soaking wet during the trip, it was a fantastic and interesting experience!
Furthermore, lecturers and the staff are always ready to help and answer queries on any topic related to study, university life and other issues. For example, in the first week of teaching, I just had a very long conversation with one of the lecturers in e-mail to decide which optional module should I choose, and she was very helpful all the way through. My lecturers are also doing personal tutorials connected to our assignments in the coming weeks, and they have their office hours every week when you can go and ask them questions in person or online. Also, I recently had my first meeting with my academic advisor this semester to discuss some matters, including how I am finding my modules and my feedback about the previous year.
Additionally, as more in-person activities started to happen I also had chances to socialize more. I joined numerous societies, including the Volleyball Society and the Hungarian Society, and started volunteering at a student-led zero waste shop on campus. Most evenings when I go home I hang out with my flatmates and talk about how our days went and do activities, such as cooking together.
I can say confidently that Manchester has endless possibilities to offer, in terms of learning and socialization as well, there is always something going on here! Being able to do my course here, and get to know the city and the university is an incredible experience. So, I am looking forward to seeing, what else does it have to offer to me in the coming years!