Advice I would give to my younger fresher self
Two weeks ago, I graduated from the University of Warwick and last week I received my certificate in the post making it even more official. I cannot quite believe my three years at Warwick are over. I thought I would look back and reflect on my three years in this blog post and what I wish I knew when I was a fresher with all three years ahead. I hope this helps those who are thinking of going to university in September or those already at university.
Take every opportunity and get involved with as much as you can. I look back and I am so happy I took most academic and social opportunities with both hands and embraced what I could. I am so grateful I ran for president of Warwick Linguistics Society and became president in my final year which taught me so much. Making connections and learning the importance of leadership has been so invaluable and an opportunity I am so happy I was a part of. Making new friends in the society and strengthening my teamwork and leadership skills are invaluable lessons. I really am proud of myself and would encourage anyone thinking of running to be a society exec member or even contemplating of joining a society, to do it! As well as making friends it creates an interest away from your studies whether it is a sports society or Students Union society.
Contradicting my last point, my next piece of advice is to not join too many societies. I remember in freshers week, my first ever week of uni, I joined about six societies thinking I could easily do all their socials and go to all the events or training. I quickly learnt the hard truth that it is quite hard to balance more than three societies. By third year I stuck to two societies, which one I was president of, so my time was limited on top of writing a dissertation and all the work third year brings.
Stay organised academically from day one. Everyone will tell you this, but they say it for a reason. When you are given compulsory extra reading, do it! Make sure to write out a timetable at the start of the year and include time slots of when you can do extra reading outside of your lectures and seminars. Another point to go along with this is to go to all of your lectures whether in person or virtually. It can be easy to fall behind after only missing one or two lectures and if the lecture is not recorded then you have lost a week’s worth of content which could impact your studies. Continue to be organised and find a healthy balance between getting all of your work done for the week and still having fun!
I am going to end on a rather cliché note, but just enjoy university life! This is your first taste of independence and meeting people from across the world. You will be in your own university bubble which I have loved over the past three years. Enjoy and embrace every moment. I can look back now and tell you that time goes very fast at university and before you know it you will be ready to graduate. Continue to work hard to achieve your dreams and remember anything is possible if you put your mind to it!