26 March 2021

Aaaaaaaaaaand cue the WandaVision theme. JK, but I’ll try not to make this as long as the credits for that show 😂

Firstly, I’m so so sorry for having not written anything for so long, I know you’re all eagerly refreshing your emails for a new update from me, but school has been, well, y’know. However, today I just had my very last class of 1L, so other than exams, I AM FREE!

If I’m not mistaken, I have news all the way from November 2020 to pass along. So sit back, grab a drink, and let’s get started.

Alright, let’s start with December. Essentially, the whole month was counting down till I can go back up to London to see my family; my nephews, niece, cousins, uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers in law, the whole shabang. However, due to the small piece of news you may not have heard about called Covid, it totally was not a shabang. However, I did get one of the coolest experiences ever, the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, aka the HARRY POTTER STUDIO TOUR. Yeah, that’s right, be jealous. And you better believe that I bought a wand too 😉

Harry Potter Studios is so freaking cool, and I super recommend it when you eventually come to the UK to visit me, like you ALL promised me you would 👀 I’ll include a few pictures, but I don’t want to ruin it. All I’ll say is, you can drink some butterbeer, and it tastes really good. Did I spend far too much money here? Yes. Do I regret it? Nope. Will I be willing to go again and spend more money? Absolutely.

Overall the rest of the holiday break was low-key, cause the UK was being bombarded with Covid cases, so everything was closed. Everything is still closed as I write this, but now there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.

1 January I came back down to Exeter, cause my lovely university decided to give us an exam the first week back from the holidays, cause, why not right? Don’t worry mom and dad, I did really well, like I literally jumped up when I got my grade back cause I did not think I was going to do that well 😂

After the exam, school was kind of “same old same old” for a while, with no big assignments for the rest of January. However, a few friends and I did start a project here at the university. Our project, Active Together Exeter, is aimed at changing and bettering the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) training that the sport societies provide to their members, to create safer places for students of colour. This project has been incredible, as it provides us the opportunity to make some real change here at the university, and hopefully create a lasting legacy.

We been working with the Exeter Education Incubator, and they have funded our project. It means so much having a project that is officially affiliated with the university, cause that is how we can drive real change. In only 2.5 months, we’ve accomplished so much, with getting the project off the ground, and getting in touch with the right parts of the university. We have gotten the backing that we needed and look forward to implementing our plan. I won’t spend anymore time plugging our project, but for more information, follow our Twitter/Instagram: @ATogetherExeter or visit our webpage: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/teaching-excellence/educationincubator/about/slar/

Now, where were we? I’m like, 85% sure that was all there was for January, I guess this is why I should do it more often so I don’t have to remember it all LOL.

Let’s move onto February then. February was pretty dry, but it did come with some awesome news. Soon to be fellow Carleton Alumni, and Carleton Moot Team member Alexandra Chadwick IS COMING TO EXETER IN 2021 (read that as me yelling cause I’m so excited). I think its safe to say that we have spent every day since she applied (not even confirmed) planning out places to travel to, whether its cool TikToks, or Instagram posts of places all around the world. All these messages come with four simple words: “Add to the list”. This list now has over 160 different places, which for some reason we think we will be able to visit while we’re both full time law students. But I’m going to stop poking holes into this because imagining travelling brings me immense joy LOL.

Some friends of mine back in Canada and I did start to become pen-pals, I guess you can call it that anyways. Since this lockdown was still going on, I thought about sending my friends back home postcards from here. Was it expensive and inefficient? You bet it was, but it was so much fun! Honestly, how often do you get the chance to send postcards from abroad? And the best part for me, is that I got some great postcards and letters back from Canada. There’s definitely something special about getting a handwritten letter in the mail. I have all my cards/postcards pinned up on my wall, and its so nice to go back and re-read them.

Now there was something pretty big that happened in Exeter in March, but I just can’t remember what it was. Oh yeah, they found a World War II bomb on campus. Not what I was expecting but apparently it’s somewhat common 🤷‍♂️ Long story short, they couldn’t take the bomb out, so they had to do a controlled explosion, which meant many students, (which thankfully did not include me) had to spend “a few nights” at a hotel. I put a few nights in quotations because there were people who were there for upwards of a week, since the explosion caused some serious damages to a few residence buildings. So much damage that some people were not able to go back to those buildings for the rest of the school year. Do you remember that completely empty floor I was bragging about for most of the school year, yeah that’s gone. I had at least 6 people move onto my floor about 2 weeks ago, and honestly, I’m already done with it LOL. It’s fine though, only got a few more months left here anyways.

The weather has gotten so much better now, I mean, not that it was really all that bad, (looking at you mountains of snow that Canada got 👀). But for the first time since September, I made it back to the beach, and back to the ocean. First was Exmouth, the same beach I went to in September. Funny story, I had just handed in my last essay before exam season the night before, and I had woken up at 6am, and immediately decided to book a train ticket to Exmouth. Not really sure why, but I guess I just really needed a change of scenery, even if it was only for a few hours. The very next day, I went to the beach again LOL. This time, not alone, and to Torquay Beach, which I had never been to before. This was so much fun, it gave that slight semblance of normalcy, and what I was hoping for when I first decided to come to Exeter. I really hope to make spontaneous trips to the ocean a somewhat regular thing from now on!

Okay, I think that is pretty much it. Like I mentioned at the start, I have just finished my last class of 1L. I’ve got 2 assignments and 3 exams left in my first year of law school. All of that is going to be put on hold for a little bit though, since I’m finally going back up to London for Easter break! Excited to see family and get some homecooked food.

On a side note, current plans have the UK opening up, no restrictions, starting 21 June 2021, soooooo Summer ’21 may be on, and I’m holding out hope that I can travel! Fingers crossed on that 🤞

Anyways, thanks you guys! Again, sorry I have been so absent here, and I’ll try my best to keep up with it more often, but honestly, don’t hold your breath 😂

Love, Manan.

PS. I don’t know if you noticed or not, but at the top, the date is now in European format, Day/Month/Year instead of the Month/Day/Year I was using before. So it took a little over 6 months for me to start changing who I am, good to know 😂😂😂

November 19 2020


It has been a very long time since I’ve last posted, and I apologize for that. However, as many of you can probably imagine, school has been, relatively busy.

So, I believe there are a couple things for me to update you all on. Firstly, the UK is back into lockdown. Awesome. Covid is just the gift that keeps on giving.

More importantly, school is going really well at the moment. Overall the lectures and topics are interesting and I’m able to stay on top of it. I have not had any proper assignments as of yet, so no way of telling how well I’m actually doing, but lets just assume that its all dandy.

I’m also back onto the moot train! Those of you that know me, know that I spent two years mooting at Carleton back in Ottawa. Mooting was always so much fun, because it allowed me to really act like a lawyer. Not only that though, I have also met some of my closest friends through mooting. I decided to get back into it here at Exeter, and it was one tough scenario.

The topic of the moot was on Estoppel, a concept in Contracts law. Problem was, at the time the moot question was dropped, I had not learned estoppel yet, and I had a week to prepare a full moot on it. I went straight to my contract law page online, and the week that I was on just happened to be estoppel.

I thought this was great, I was going to blaze through this week’s readings and lecture videos on estoppel, and then get started on the moot prep. I figured it wouldn’t be too hard, because so far contracts had been fairly straightforward. At the very beginning of the first lecture video, our lecturer starts out with saying, “Estoppel is a complicated topic, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t understand it.”


After making my way through that weeks readings and videos, I realized he was right. Estoppel is weird and stupid and I don’t like it. However, I still had a moot to prepare on it, so I decided to message my lecturer on it, and tell him I am mooting on this topic and that I do not fully understand it in the hopes that he will help me.

Turns out he was helping run the moot, and it would a conflict, so he was not allowed to help me on it. Sick. So after days of going over the same readings and cases on estoppel, as well as asking every law student I knew (British and Canadian) if they understood estoppel well enough to help me, I finally figured it out. I put together an argument and hoped for the best.

Day 1 of the tournament came around, I dressed up, with a crisp white dress shirt, my Star Wars Millennium Falcon Blueprint tie, and sweatpants on underneath (it was a zoom moot, so, y’know) and I felt ready. It went well, and the finals were going to be held the following week, so I wouldn’t find out my result for a few days.

After day 1 was done, I thought I had a shot, but in all honesty, I was hoping that I wouldn’t make the second day, because it was so much work prepping for the moot as well as staying on top of my school work. I thought it would just be easier to not make the finals.

A few days later, I got an email saying that I made the final round. I was so excited, because counting my total moot career (Carleton + Exeter), this was the first time that I had ever made the second day at a moot tournament. However, I was also thinking, “shit, now I have extra work to do.” But it was all good, because I was excited to try and win it, and now that I made the final round, that was my goal.

The day of the final round finally came around, and once again, I thought I did well. However this time it was not well enough to win. Was I disappointed? Yes. However I was still very proud of myself, and in all fairness, the person that won was phenomenal.

The very next day, the moot festivities continued, this time going back to where it all started at the Capital Cup at Carleton University. I had volunteered myself, and my good buddy Lewis (you’ll remember him from the last post) to be judges at Carleton’s Capital Cup 2020. This was so much fun, as many of my friends are still members of the Carleton Mooting team, and being able to judge them is a hoot haha.

Nothing is more fun then scaring them beforehand by telling them you’ll be a hard judge, and then not giving them a single question LOL. I did end up getting tougher as the tournament went along though, and was very impressed by what Carleton’s team had to offer. Some of the more senior members of Carleton’s team were newcomers back when I was on Carleton’s team. Judging them in this tournament was great, because I was able to see just how much they all improved from when I first saw them two years ago, to now. Saying it was impressive, isn’t enough, because they were absolutely incredible, damn near perfect.

After the weekend of mooting ended, it was back to the regular day to day operations of law school. Reading, reading, reading and more reading. One cool thing that did happen recently however, was that I secured a position at the University of Exeter Pro Bono Clinics. Here we offer loads of different legal services to members of the Exeter community free of charge. I am going to be working in the Wills Clinic, helping people draft their wills. I’m very excited for that to start, and gain some real world experience in the legal profession, as well as beef up that CV/LinkedIn profile 😉

That’s about it you guys, thank you for reading, and sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time. I’ll try to keep it coming more often. We’re still in lockdown for another couple weeks, and then the holiday break is just around the corner, and damn am I ready for it.

See you all soon!

October 4 2020

Hey everyone, so classes have started. I now understand what everyone means when they say law school sucks. Last time I posted, it was about 2 weeks ago and I had literally just stepped out of quarantine and gotten my first taste of Exeter.

Just a bit of a back story, months before I flew to England, I had been in contact with quite a few people that were also coming to Exeter for their first year, and like me, they were all mature students. Now don’t make fun of me here because I didn’t name it, but the name of the group chat was “Oldies” haha. It was fantastic though, we had people from all around, studying all sorts of different things, but the best part is that we were all very supportive and helpful, especially when we were having issues with getting ready for school. In my case, it was issues with travel and visa, and making sure I will have a proper spot to do my two week quarantine. However, every single person in this group was so nice, and supportive even though they couldn’t really do much to help at the time, but I realized that these are exactly the kind of people that I want to be friends with when I move to a new country.

Fast forward to a day after quarantine, and I was finally able to message these lovely folks and see if anyone wanted to meet up. Well, we ended up going to the beach that day at Exmouth, right on the English Channel. When we got there, it was absolutely empty, it was like it was our own private beach. It was such a good time, we all sat around, introduced ourselves, played some cards, and tried skipping some stones across the water. But the main thing about this beach experience, was that I realized that these people that I have been chatting with online over the past couple months, were just as nice in person.

This first week after quarantine is technically when classes started as well, but they were all the “Welcome to Law School” videos and “Hi, I’m you’re lecturer” introductions, so they didn’t actually do anything. Later on in the week however, I met a few more people, also from the same group chat (who unfortunately couldn’t make it to the beach) and wanted to meet up. We met up at the biggest landmark in town, the Exeter Cathedral. These three people, who I will mention in a second, are special. You know when you just have a connection and just bond so quickly, well this is what I had with them when we met up.

Lewis, Romy, Elesha and I met up in front of the Cathedral, and after an exchange of pleasantries, we did exactly what the British way of life entails, we found a pub, to pop in for a pint. Inside the pub, which was the ‘Ship Inn’ in case anyone was curious, we sat down, got our drinks, and just started talking about ourselves. It was great, our conversation never had an awkward pause, or a lull due to lack of familiarity, it was just an easy conversation, which was really, really nice considering I only first met actual people in Exeter earlier that week.

Before moving to England, I had many things to worry about, and making new friends in a brand new country was definitely up there. I am so thankful for the friends that I have made so far. They have made this move from Canada really easy and made sure that I wouldn’t be missing the comforts of home, because (other than the rain) it feels like I haven’t left.

Unfortunately, soon after these amazing meetings, the UK and the University increased restrictions due to the pandemic. There were already rules to not meet in groups larger than six, but now the University made strict rules about not going into other people’s dorms, and not leaving your dorm unless absolutely necessary. After that happened, the four of us kind of decided it would be safest to not go to any pubs/restaurants for the time being, which is tough because we all LOVE food. However we do have an ongoing list of food places to try in Exeter the minute it gets better 😉

Fast forward again to this past week, and we are in the thick of school. Thankfully we don’t have any assignments due yet, but OH MY GOD the readings, they just never ever stop. I only have four courses this year; Legal Foundations, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Contract Law, and Criminal Law. Those are the only four courses I will be working on every week, so I figured it would be manageable, and I wouldn’t stress too much.

I was wrong.

While we only have about 3-4 hours of online lectures per week, but we have about 30 hours of reading to do per week split between the four courses. Add that time plus the time in between to actually make notes on the topics and its more than a full time job right now. We just had week two, and about 75% of the class was confused about what we were doing in Contracts class (me included). Thankfully we have such amazing lecturers here at Exeter, and they took the time to not only answer our questions, but also set up a catch-up seminar where we can talk directly to the lecturer. This was really helpful because in a full lecture with over 400 students, it’s really hard to ask a question let alone actually get it answered. The catch-up seminar was really awesome and helped me get back on track for Contracts. Luckily the other three courses have been more straightforward and easier to follow, but the total reading times have just been brutal.

That’s all I have for my current update, thank you for reading, and I will talk to you all soon!

See ya!

September 21 2020

Hey everyone, I’m back, and I’m finally OUT OF QUARANTINE!

After a tiresome move this morning, I finally got to explore this beautiful campus, and realize just how many hills there are here. Not only the campus, but I did get to enter the city center for a little while and see how, for lack of a better word, adorable this city is.

When researching the university, pictures really showcased the green space on campus, and in all honesty, it does not do it justice. Just walking around for a couple hours on the campus and seeing all the natural beauty this place has to offers already makes me realize that I made the right decision to come here.

Classes began for the university today, but I have my first lecture tomorrow, and that means that Law School is officially beginning. This definitely is not what I would have imagined my life would be at if you asked me 10 years ago, but I am already so glad it is.

Not much else to talk about today, but I am going to be posting pictures of the university and the city on my instagram: @mananshah44 for those that are interested!

Thanks again y’all, talk soon.

September 11 2020

Hey everyone, so I guess, Welcome to my first blog post?

So I arrived in Exeter a few days ago and have been stuck in quarantine since (thanks Covid). I’m trying to make the most of it but in all honesty, there just isn’t anything to do. Classes don’t start until September 21 so until then it’s all about that #Netflix life.

Huge thank you to my friends and family for constantly answering my messages when i’m bored though, you all are the real MVPs.

But yeah, there isn’t much for me to talk about right now, i’ll try to keep you all updated on my life here as often as I can but when school starts that might get a little tough.

However I am going to be here for 3 years at least and fully intend to get some travelling in throughout Europe, so expect to see at least a few posts about that!

This is a not very long winded way of me saying, welcome to my Exeter Adventures, and thank you for coming with me on this journey.

See you all soon!

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