December 2017: Preparing for a new experience in Manchester

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The night before I travelled to Manchester to set off on the newest adventure of my life, I was spending some quality time with my best friends by the sea side, staring widely and admiring the beautiful skyline of Doha, the city I’ve lived my entire life in, wondering what was going to be my next story in my new adventure. When the time came to say goodbye to my friends, a goodbye that was harder than usual, they presented me a beautiful diary that had the following quote by Dan Millman on the first page:

“You don’t just have a story – you’re a story in the making, and you never know what the next chapter’s going to be. That’s what makes it exciting.”

Looking back at the day I landed in Manchester exactly 100 days ago, I can relate so closely to Millman’s words on how my experience here so far has been a story in the making, a story that I can tell is going to unfold itself in the most beautiful way. To be honest, nine months ago when I was making plans to apply for a new job, I did not even see myself here in Manchester, trying to learn cool things in analytics, making math models, preparing reports and delivering some of the most rewarding presentations of my university career. All I knew was that I was looking for a change, and the sense of that change turning into reality first came true when I received my acceptance e-mail from Alliance Manchester Business School back in May.

The subsequent months followed extensive preparation for moving to a new city, most of which involved mentally preparing myself to switch from 52 degrees Celsius in Doha to 2 degrees Celsius in Manchester. Days and months passed by in anticipation of starting a new story during the process of which I got to interact with some of my classmates through Masters Online. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that this was one of the best things that happened – little did I know that my then potential course mates would go on to become some of the best people I have currently known only because we decided to break the ice months before we actually met. In fact, when we met for the first time, it was like we already knew each other for a long time!

By the time I arrived in Manchester, I had mentally prepared a list of things to do in the first few days. However, I did not expect to fall in love with the city and the surroundings so quickly. The city, even though vibrant and busy, has a unique sense of belonging to it – it was very easy for me to accept it as my new home. I will admit that it was a little hard initially as I began to miss home, but I found my new home in Manchester sooner than I expected. I found myself becoming part of a wonderful, diverse group of people who took off the word ‘loneliness’ from my dictionary.

So far, my story in the making has been nothing but exciting. I have experienced some wonderful moments inside and outside the classroom, making me believe that moving to Manchester was one of the best decisions I have taken in life. I love how our course feels like a family. Most of the times we just wait to go to class so we can see each other, help each other, work with each other and enjoy these learning experiences along with the friendships we have developed. If I were to select my best memory so far – which is honestly very hard – I would pick the Brathay trip, which is of course a no-brainer, because we bonded with each other at a whole new level. Other than that, I also really enjoyed my first ever Halloween, Black Friday and Christmas Market experiences, things that I had never been part of before I moved here. Not to forget, my new friends like family threw me the most amazing birthday surprise of my life too! These are indeed some gorgeous memories, all over a period of only 100 days!

Even though sometimes there are tough days, in the end it all fits into a beautiful story in this new home, Manchester. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of this story is going to be although I know deep down that it’s filled with more fun, amazing and beautiful adventures!

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