Life at university as a Muslim

The transition to university is a daunting experience for anyone; it was for me too. My decision to move out for university was not impulsive, as I have always been inquisitive and independent; keen to develop my insight into the world. 

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Meet Misbah

My university experience has taught me that it is possible to have fun without having to compromise on my faith.
Front view of the Student Centre
Misbah Bashir
LLB (Hons), Law

It might be reassuring to know that whilst the first few weeks at university can feel overwhelming, this will ease over time as you develop your own support network. I was fortunate enough to have made friends on my course very early on - partly owing to my approachable and talkative nature. It is important to remember that everyone is in the same boat as you, so exchanging a quick hello with someone may be the beginning of a lifelong friendship.

Whilst Preston is known for its enthralling night life, as a Muslim student, I had to find my own ways of making university life fun - and I did. My friends and I discovered many spots that appealed to us. Level is a large leisure venue within walking distance from the bus station and hosting many activities, such as bowling, crazy golf and laser tag. Plus, it has a student discount! If you’re looking for somewhere to relax after a gruelling day of revision, then Kaspa’s is a great option for some incredible desserts - their menu covers a spectrum of delicacies. One of my favourite aspects of Preston is the easy access to Halal food, the City Centre itself has an array of restaurants and takeaways offering a variety of options to cater to Muslims.

Preston train station.
Preston train station.

Even geographically, Preston neighbours big cities like Manchester or seaside towns like Blackpool. That means if you ever feel like going on a spontaneous trip, you won’t be limited for choice.

The UCLan library has been my second home- it is open 24 hours a day, which is every university student’s dream! As a final-year student, I have found that booking study spaces in the library is a great way to surround myself with my friends, whilst we all crack on with our respective work. If you prefer to study at night like me, I would highly suggest you make use of the library and its facilities.

Another memorable aspect of my university experience has been taking on the role of Student Ambassador. Befriending fellow Ambassadors from different parts of the world and ethnicities has also been rewarding. Plus, I get paid to do it! This has been a good way to make some extra money and help budget.

For my fellow Muslim students, there are many reflection spaces offered around campus enabling you to offer your daily prayers at ease. My university experience has been pivotal in teaching me that it is possible to have fun without having to compromise on my faith.

A final message for those of you worried about how to strike a balance between university life and a social life, remember it is possible to do both, so spend your time wisely!