A Final Year’s Advice
As you may have guessed from the title, I’m now in my final year at Warwick. I am part of the eldest cohort of undergraduates, and I feel somewhat nostalgic when seeing the freshers come into the library, looking around at their brand new environment that they will one day start to call home. I still remember my fear and trepidation as I came to this wonderful campus in 2016. I was shy, nervous and unsure of what to expect from university. My biggest worry at the time was whether I would make friends. Now, four years later, my biggest worry is what class of degree I will obtain. My previous anxiety seems somewhat idiotic, but it was all part of my journey of self-development that has made me who I am today.
Looking back at my previous years, I wish I had done things slightly differently. Although I came to university with the attitude that I would seize every opportunity that I could grasp, there might have been better ways to go about it. When you come to university as a first year undergraduate, for most degree combinations, your year does not count towards your final grade. It is therefore a time to explore, to dive into all the activities that catch your eye. The majority of you will be living on campus, and it makes it so much easier to gain access to what is on offer. When I was in first year, I only focused my attention on societies, such as AIESEC or Chess Society. However, as a fourth year living on campus, I decided to give sports taster sessions a go. I have recently signed up to Lacrosse (no promo, I swear), and I’m loving it. I realise that if you join as a fresher, it’s so much easier to start a ‘community’ feel and have a team spirit with you throughout your time at university. In second year, you could apply to be an exec, and third year, maybe even President of the society! Therefore, I would strongly recommend first years to get involved in both sports and academic societies.
In second year, you’re meant to be relatively settled into the routine of university. You’re living off of campus and your grades begin to count towards your final mark. It is therefore important to have good organisational skills. Time management is essential. I wish that I was a lot more focused academically in second year – a lot of my time was spent in between several different exec positions of societies. I didn’t manage my time properly, and third term before exams I had to spend 12 hours a day in the library, just to make up for the time I had ‘lost’ on societies! I wouldn’t recommend doing this, as it’s not healthy for you mentally, nor for your work ethic.
In third year, I went on my year abroad. To everyone who has the opportunity to do so, I would strongly recommend it. I didn’t take a gap year so for me this was a time to travel and ‘discover myself’ (no pants from Thailand for me, however). Still, it was a time that I feel most developed me as a person, and where I learnt about other cultures. I’m also very grateful for the opportunity to have time out as I feel that I have come back to university with a lot more focused attitude. I realise the importance of this year, and I want to make the most of it.
& that’s where I’m up to now in my journey through Warwick. A final year, with exams already looming up ahead of me. I’m joking, it’s only first week, but I still feel that my attention this year ought to be focused on my studies. I am hoping, however, to still continue to take opportunities that help me not only towards my academic goals, but also my career aspirations. If you’re in the same position as me right now, I’d love to talk to you about any challenges you’re facing! Maybe we can even become study buddies on Floor 5 Library. 😉