Dear incoming freshers – OurWarwick

Dear incoming freshers

At Warwick, this is undoubtedly the best time of the year. Imagine: after weeks and weeks of endless exams, they’re finally over.

There is no work left to do, but everyone stays on campus anyway, for countless gatherings and parties and games in the sun. Last year we explored every inch of campus, baked cakes, played football and rounders, had dinner and brunch parties and watched movies in lecture theatres. The Westwood residential team even held a barbecue, with inflatable bouncy castles, volleyball and sumo wrestling.

Those are some of my best memories.

As we all know, this year is not the same. I haven’t seen my friends since they started to get fevers and all raced to return home. Although I miss them, it’s for the best. You’ve probably heard of freshers’ flu, and as someone who’s experienced it twice, I can tell you that it’s the perfect example for how quickly viruses spread on campus.

Although the university’s current stance is that in-person lectures and classes will continue in the coming academic year, none of us can predict the future. There is a chance that this might not be possible, or even if it is, that the typical uni life, the restaurants, the clubs, the events, will not be allowed.

So, incoming first years. You’re probably worried about missing out on the university experience, the freshers week, the icebreaker events, the parties.

Students are students. Trust me when I say that students will always find a way to have fun. This is something I never quite appreciated before university, but with a magical mixture of creativity and craziness, we students always find a way. To give you an idea of how we’ve adapted, POP!, our weekly club night, goes on! It happens virtually of course, but it’s great fun listening to Disco Dave and watching the live-streams with friends. Many events and gym classes continue online too, and my friends and I revise or play games together every day. Societies have been running virtual events, which are beginning to become pretty exciting. Since distance is no longer an issue, they can now collaborate with other universities and have much higher-profile speakers. As someone on the executive team for two societies, who sees the plans for the coming year, let me tell you that online events will only continue getting better and better.

Eventually things will go back to normal. You might find your true friends slightly later than you would have otherwise, but you’re not missing out on anything, since everyone’s in the same boat. My advice is to go in with a positive mindset and decide that you’re going to make the most of the year.

It’s why I’m not upset right now, even though I’m missing out on new memories. Instead, I’m happy when my friends call me to play games and catch up. I’m glad that I have time for self-development, to read, and even to practise my writing! I’ve decided to make the most of everything, and now have the opportunity to do things I wouldn’t have been able to under normal circumstances. Once you change your mindset, everything changes.

It’s not the end of the world, and by this time next year, you too will be able to experience the best time of the year, with the sun and the food and the parties. Nobody has the exact same university experience and yours will be special in your own way.

Throw yourself in there. Even online, there’s so much opportunity at Warwick, you’ve just got to find it.

It’s cheesy, but when there’s a will, there’s a way.

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