20 Things to do During Lockdown
Access Books and Study Spaces
1. Throughout lockdown, it might be beneficial to familiarise yourself with the new procedures regarding accessing your books and study spaces, with the University continuing to work hard to improve service availability. The click and collect service and study space reservations are now accessibly through the library website, with these helping you to access any books needed for your upcoming studies as well as providing almost 500 quiet study spaces across the Main Library, the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons and Joule Library
2. Although still unable to deliver services face to face, the Careers service is offering a range of online workshops and events that will be incredibly beneficial. These events, which are well worth looking out for, will help you to begin thinking about your future and develop your employability skills. Information about these, as well as the other services offered, can be found at the Careers Service website.
Counselling and Mental Health Service
3. The Counselling and Mental Health service is currently operating remotely and are offering a range of online workshops and sessions throughout the induction period. Information about the sessions available can be found here, with workshops covering an array of topics. The services offered can be a useful tool during lockdown, and are available to provide any support you may need or answer any questions you may have during these uncertain times.
4. The Students’ Union building is finally reopen! Located at the heart of campus, the building is the hub of student life, providing an opportunity to get involved with societies, volunteering and campaigns whilst also offering a diverse range of food and drink outlets. The SU is well worth checking out if you haven’t already as it will form a key part of your university experience
5. Throughout the induction period and the beginning of the semester, the university are offering a range of useful and interesting events that you can attend. Sessions offered include an array of sporting activities, wellbeing sessions, careers advice and many more which can be found here. Most sessions are offered online and they can provide you with different ways to spend your time during lockdown.
6. Owned by the University, the Manchester Museum is situated on Oxford Road at the heart of campus and is finally re-open! You and your housemates could spend time exploring the works of archaeology, anthropology and natural history displayed in the museum, providing an educational and cultural way of socialising together!
7. Located right next to university, the Whitworth Gallery is now reopen for bookings. The gallery, which also operates as a place for academic research, contains around 55,000 items in its collection, making it a worthwhile visit to spend time culturally socialising with your housemates.
8. Weather permitting, Manchester is home to a number of excellent parks and green spaces for you and your housemates to socialise in. You could plan a picnic together or organise to play some ball games together, either way the parks can be a fun way to get out of the house and spend some time outdoors. There are a number of parks to be found in Fallowfield, Platt Fields being the biggest, as well as other parks such as Whitworth which is a bit closer to main campus.
Arndale Student Discount
9. To welcome students back to Manchester, the Arndale Shopping Centre is offering a huge range of discounts for students that are well worth checking out. The centre is home to over 200 stores for you to explore, and full details about the discounts offered can be found on the Manchester Arndale social media accounts.
10. Crazy golf is always a fun activity to do with a group, and Junkyard Golf Club is now back open for bookings! You and your housemates can choose between the three 9-hole course available, all whilst enjoying a sweet student discount. Between Sunday-Wednesday, students can enjoy 50% off during off-peak times, making this enjoyable activity affordable as well!
11. Under the new guidelines, cinemas are now beginning to reopen across Manchester, providing the opportunity to see some cinema classics as well as new films! The reruns give you and your housemates the chance to experience some all-time greats on the big screen, and ticket prices are often cheap with Vue Printworks offering tickets from as little as £4.99
12 .Stuck for something to do in the evening? Why not host your own quiz night with your fellow housemates! Quizzes are a fun way of testing your trivia knowledge whilst socialising as a group. You could either try some of the endless premade quizzes available online or in quiz books, or alternatively you could try your hand at writing your own questions! Either way, quiz nights can be a fun way to socialise together at home, providing hours of entertainment and enjoyment.
13. A number of bowling alleys around Manchester are either back open or re-opening soon, offering you and your housemates another fun way to spend time socialising out of the house together. Places also tend to offer a student discount, meaning you can enjoy your games even cheaper than normal. For example, Dog Bowl (reopening 01.10.2020) offers 50% off for students every day, excluding Saturday, until midnight!
14. Manchester is home to lots of really cool and colourful graffiti that can be found across the city. A fun way to spend time exploring the city can be to go on your very own graffiti tour. You could spend the day walking around city centre discovering lots of creative street art and new parts of the city. A graffiti tour can be a fun group activity that gets you outside, whilst also providing the opportunity for lots of cool photos.
15. A fun group activity to pick up at home is cooking, allowing you to try out a range of new dishes whilst also socialising together. You could choose to organise and cook house meals together or take it in turns making food for the group, either way it can be an excellent way of socialising together in the evening!
16. Like cooking, trying out baking as a new hobby can be another fun way to spend time socialising together as a group. There are endless amounts of recipes online for you to try out, all of which will offer the opportunity to try new things whilst also developing your skills. You could take it in turns to bake for each other weekly, bake things together, or even organise your own baking competition! Whatever you choose, you and your flatmates will have loads of fun together, whilst also enjoying an assortment of cakes and treats.
17. Playing board games is another great group activity to do from home, offering a range of different activities that can keep you entertained for hours. Whether its D&D, Chess, Articulate or one of the many others, there is something for everyone, meaning you and your housemates will all be able to socialise together. If you are struggling to find games to play, then charity shops can be an excellent place to look for cheap games, with the price becoming even more reasonable when split between you and considering the hours of enjoyment you will get out of it.
18. Going on bike rides can be an excellent way to spend time outdoors and explore more of Manchester. Luckily, Manchester has a bunch of excellent cycle tracks that you can follow, all of which offer different types of routes and scenery. If you do not have access to a bike in Manchester, Manchester Students Group as well as other sites such as Gumtree can be good places to find bikes for a reasonable price
If you are interested in finding out more information about the cycle tracks, more information can be found here.
19. As you may well know, Netflix offers a free 1 month trial for new customers. You can capitalise on this opportunity and bag yourself an excellent way of socialising with your new housemates during lockdown. Why not find a new TV series to get into together? Or organise a series of weekly film nights where you all get together. Either way, the broad range of films and TV shows will enable you to spend hours of time together, and what’s more, it won’t cost you a thing!
20. Gardening can be an excellent project to pick up during lockdown, providing you with an array of mental and physical benefits. If you have access to a garden, then growing your own herbs and vegetables can be a fun activity to bond over with your housemates, whilst also encouraging you to try incorporate new vegetables into your meals. Equally, if you don’t have access to a garden, there are a number of volunteering opportunities across Manchester that allow you to try your hand at community gardening. For example, the Friends of Platt Fields Park organise monthly events to support the park and encourage better use of the green space available.
Article by Matthew Walters