My 2019/20 Warwick Highlights
First of all, I want to say a massive congrats 🥳🥳🥳 to all of our recent graduates. What a year to graduate in! Seeing all of your graduation posts is so heart-warming! I hope that you are all giving yourself the credit that you deserve for getting through 3+ years of uni and finding some time (or making some in the distant future) to celebrate.
Since we’re at the end of term and I will (hopefully) officially be done with 2nd Year by the end of the week (🤞 to all intermediate students) I thought that I would detail some of my highlights from this academic year.
This year has been mad in many different ways. However, if you’re here thinking that I’ll be telling you some crazy night out and housemate horror stories… Sorry for the disappointment! Nevertheless, they are still noteworthy highlights to mention.
So, here they are:
This was my version of socialising at university for a good amount of time (and still is to be honest). I’ve said this many times, but I’m going to keep saying it – it is also one of the most rewarding activities you can take part in, whether that’s having a chat with someone who just needs someone to talk to, or the proud light bulb moment that melts your heart when a child you have been tutoring successfully performs a task without your guidance.
Volunteering is also an activity that can provide you with a flexible way of exploring without tying to a longer-term commitment. My volunteering placement with Right to Read sadly led me fall out of love with a career that I had thought would be an option for the past 7 years. Nevertheless, this also drove me to become more engaged with psychological research and provided me with a newfound sense of excitement to learn more about language development, and a duty to speak up more about socio-economic inequalities.
- BEING PART OF THE SSLC
I joined the SSLC as a way to build connections with my peers and to give the rest my PsychEd peers some representation and more of a voice. I think I spent about 4 hours bouncing between whether to reply to the email asking if anyone wanted to join or not, but considering PsychEd had no representation and with us being the first cohort of the course there were, and are, going to be issues that crop up that need resolving. ‘What’s the worst that could happen?, I told myself as I nervously clicked the send button and made up worst-case scenarios in my head. Fast-forward; I don’t regret it at all.
Many students seem to think that we don’t actually do anything. That it’s just some fancy title to add to the departments’ reputation. Absolutely not the case in Psychology. I knew that feedback was taken very seriously as we are constantly being updated with staff responses and changes that would be made as a result of them, but being able to see the process myself showed me how much our staff genuinely care about our experiences. Communicating with students who are spread out across multiple modules and between departments can be a challenge, but a learning curve that I hope to improve on in the next academic year. Achieving the changes that your peers want to see and being able to help calm the storm when we’re all in a panic (apologies to our course leader for the very long list of questions every now and then!) is well worth it. What’s more is that it prevents prospective students and saves them from having to unnecessarily encounter the same problems.
As a bonus, it forces me to keep in contact with students on the course, get to know staff that I otherwise may not have and students from other year groups. I really enjoy going to the two meetings a term to. They never fail to lift me up!
Prior to joining OurWarwick, I had already been blogging for a year. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do but was strongly discouraged from when I was in school. It would have caused problems, but now that I am at university… well, freedom to make my own decisions (responsibly, of course!). Contrary to what my posts may tell you, I’m quite a private person in-person. There are only a couple of people who I am open to, but even then, some of the stuff I write about, I would never bring into conversation. Despite it being so public and the effort it takes me to click that publish button every time, it’s also kind of like a little safe space where I can spill things out, connect to people sharing the same experience, and it makes explaining my feelings and thoughts easier to myself and my close friends, and even helps others to organise theirs.
It can be a challenge juggling between two platforms, but with OurWarwick, I am held accountable for posting twice a month, so it forces me to keep it up among the mad student schedule, which I like. It’s great to also engage with another part of the university outside my home dept as we get sent opportunities beyond the OurWarwick platform to. Thanks to Warwick Engagement Team, for these; especially to Sarah and Laura for their friendly emails and support😊.
- SOCIALISING WITH OTHERS
After the not-so-great experiences that I had in Year 1 with this, it took quite the willpower to pull myself up, allow myself to do a complete restart, and to put myself into social situations without overly freaking out about them. We pushed through and we’re still working on it, but little steps will do!
Besides what I have already mentioned with volunteering, the SSLC, and blogging, there are 2 other things that I came to enjoy this year. One being the Psychology Art Club which I think I have mentioned once before. It was often a small group of us, was super relaxed; it didn’t matter if I was bad at whatever we were doing that session, and I got to have chats with other students. There was none of that need to go out late at night clubbing or drinking to feel included.
Secondly, the common room became my second home. I was in there every weekday as soon as I got comfortable and realised that this was much preferred to locking myself in my room. It’s a great way to get to know other students and staff and to have very random, yet lovely conversations with them. Very disappointed that I won’t be able to do this in the next academic year 😭.
- TAKING UP OPPORTUNITIES
All of this came with pushing and allowing myself to take up opportunities. As many of you would know, that often comes with many hours and sleepless nights of telling yourself that you are capable and have the ability to do well. If you don’t think you are, this is the chance to prove yourself wrong. Afterall, there’s a reason that you think about taking these opportunities up, so there must be some faith in there. You have to learn to go for it and don’t give the time for your thoughts to intrude the process. Even though I didn’t go ahead with many of those in the end (thanks, Corona), I’m glad that I gave myself the chance to try. Counterintuitively, the disappointment of them not going ahead only reflects upon what you deeply care about. I’ve got some exciting stuff planned for final year as a result and will share these some time in the immediate future!
And that’s that! If you’re a prospective student, I hope that this has giving you an insight to some of the other activities that you can participate in, if like me, you would rather not engage with the nightlife or drinking games. There’s plenty out there – I’m still learning as I’m heading into my last year – but you might just have to dig a bit deeper and explore. Pop me a message, email me, Instagram me (whatever you like to do) if this is something you are concerned about and I’ll be happy to pass out any advice I can.
As always, please make sure that you take care of yourselves and let me know your highlights from this academic year to or what you’re looking forward to when you start uni!