As a student who has lived most of their life on the Isle of Man, I have adapted living in a small and quiet but quaint island. So moving away from a small island to a big city — or as we call it, “across” — it is normal to feel intimidated by the change in environment, especially when you are doing it alone.
Before moving to Liverpool in 2018, I travelled to Europe over the summer and spent lots of time with my friends. This eased any feelings of fear and nervousness before moving. Spending time with your loved ones could either go two ways: 1) You will make the best memories with them or 2) because of this you’ll miss them, even more, when you leave. When September came, as much as I thought I would be nervous, I was excited, surprisingly. I was excited to see what opportunities I had in front of me. So when my family dropped me off in my accommodation in my first year, my heart was racing out of excitement. I thought I was going to cry when they left, but I didn’t. I was too focused on unpacking my things so I could start talking to my new flatmates. It was a thrilling experience. But if you are feeling nervous to talk to new people, always remember that everyone is on the same boat. You are not alone in this. Residential tutors are also there to listen and help you.
One thing I was anxious about when moving into halls was the “nightlife”. I don’t drink, nor do I party. But Hope campus life gives you many opportunities to have fun, especially to those who aren’t partiers. For example, in my first year, my friend wanted to do a “Winter Open Mic” for people to showcase their talents and jokes. All she did was ask permission from our residential tutor and even helped her find a room for this event. It was such a fun night! This taught me that if you have a desire to do something, Hope will help you achieve it if you ask. There are also many clubs, societies and events you can join to meet new friends. I really like Hope’s Mental Health Awareness week, in my first year they brought a pug and I met one of best friends there.
When I moved to Liverpool, I was already linked to a church (The Apostolic Church of Liverpool) to join by my pastor. This gave me a chance to help and volunteer in a church away from home. I also became part of a Campus Ministry Society at the University of Liverpool because my church started it there. This one experience showed me that your opportunities in Liverpool and Hope are limitless. There is nothing wrong with making friends outside of Hope. This is all part of that Liverpool experience. Go out there and meet new people!
Because I love travelling, I quickly adapt to changes in my surroundings. I experienced a major change in my life: moving from a countryside farm in a really hot country (Philippines) to a small town on a cold island (Isle of Man). This change played a part when I moved to Liverpool. I was able to adjust to the city life easily especially the “Liverpudlian” life — I even started to pick up some Scouse twangs and sayings because of my friends!
If you want to settle in Liverpool, my advice is to explore the city by yourself or with friends. You will find lots of new and cool places. Act like a tourist but also put yourself in a Liverpudlian’s shoes. By doing this, you familiarise yourself with the city. It might even start feeling like your second home.
Moving away from home teaches you independence. You learn to do things on your own without any help from your parents. Rather than relying on them, you rely on yourself. The opportunities that were given to me in Hope and Liverpool have shaped my identity. You learn more about yourself when you are living independently.
Hope is an experience of a lifetime. Take a challenge and step out of your comfort zone. It will be different but you will not regret it and do not forget to enjoy every moment.