Advice from a graduate
I’ve finished my degree! Three years of study done just like that…
They say time flies when you’re having fun, and I had the best time of my life at uni. It feels like I was only there for one year, not three. I try to live my life without regrets, and I probably wouldn’t have done anything differently. That being said, I have a selection of things I’d recommend to new university students to help you make the most of your university experience:
Join a society or a sports team. This is the generic advice that everyone gives, but that’s because it’s good advice. It’s the perfect way to meet people who share the same interests as you. Not only that, but societies are a great way to gain a lot of skills, notably teamwork and organisation, especially if you join an exec team.
Keep a full schedule. University is an experience that you will likely only have once, so make the most of it. Now is the time to get out of your comfort zone and experience new things. Go to as many events as possible. I am not an overly social person, but there was rarely a day where I didn’t have something on my social calendar.
The library is quieter at 1am than at 1pm. It’s an unfortunate reality that study space can be difficult to find in the middle of the day, especially in term 3 while everyone is studying for exams. In my experience, University House is a good alternative to the library and the Rootes learning grid during the day, even though it’s a bit more of a walk from central campus. Alternatively, there’s no shortage of seats in the library late at night. It is open 24 hours normally, so when I had late night rehearsals, I would go straight to the library after. I’m a night-owl, so a nocturnal schedule worked for me.
Campus is really pretty. Get out and explore it. One of the reasons I chose Warwick is because of the amazing scenery surrounding campus. There are numerous nature walks around the outskirts of campus, and lots of greenery wherever you look. Don’t leave exploring it until your final year, and the same goes for the rest of the local area. I didn’t go to Leamington Spa until halfway through my second year, and I wish I’d spent more time experiencing what the local area had to offer.
Cook at home. If you’re looking to be cautious with your budgeting, food is an area of expense to watch. Instead of getting takeaway or eating out regularly, cook at home instead. There’s a Tesco and Aldi next to campus which offer good prices for groceries. It’s worth eating out every now and then though, as there are a lot of amazing restaurants in Coventry and Leamington.
Meal prep. Chances are, if you have a full schedule, you won’t have much time to cook. Cooking large portions in advance and freezing or refrigerating them can help save you time.
Go on tour with societies. Once travel reopens, societies will start going on international trips again. This is a great experience, especially if you haven’t travelled much before. I went to Budapest with EQHO in 2019 and it was such a good time, and pretty affordable too.