How to keep a record of your time at Warwick – OurWarwick

How to keep a record of your time at Warwick

As many of you soon will be beginning your journey at Warwick, what might slip your mind as you immerse yourself into the university life is keeping track of everything you achieve here, big and small.

Many of you will probably have Facebook/ Instagram which people tend to use as their personal blogs to share moments with friends and share achievements as well but what would you keep for yourself to look back at? Something for you to go through in your personal life that is untouched by the glamour of the world of social media where you just spill your heart out?

I think this is definitely a question worth thinking about. Recently, I decided to write all my poetry I have written to date in a notebook because I wanted to have something to hold in my hand that I could call my work and it is crazy how strongly how I could remember the moments and the feelings at the time when I had written the poems. It felt almost as though the poem in itself encapsulated all my sentiments of the moment when I wrote it.

Writing a diary is also something I started doing in second year. I am not a master of the art of journalling. Ever since I started writing a diary, I have given up on it many times and gone back to it. Now I use an app on my laptop to write my diary but it is not frequently that I write an entry but it certainly is a way to spill your heart out and write down how you feel. Sometimes when writing when sad can make you more sad – I certainly feel this way – but writing things down also helps to clear the mess in your head and make sense of your emotions and circumstances.

Blogging had been an interest of mine before I came to Warwick and student blogging for Warwick has been an absolute blessing. Now I look back at my blogs where I used to share my plans, and goals and hopes and I see just how far I have come and how much I have grown as a person during my time at university. But even if you are not a Warwick student blogger, there is nothing stopping you from starting your own blog. What do you think I am going to do once my time as a student blogger comes to an end? There is no way I am going to stop blogging.

In terms of academic achievements and other CV-related achievements, I would highly recommend you to get into the habit of writing down little things you do at university even if it is just one day volunteering because keeping a note of this might mean you are able to answer an interview question on resilience or whatever (some skill). Warwick’s My Portfolio is a great start to keep a record of your achievements and you can also work on your LinkedIn as you do more things and update it as you get involved. Even if you don’t want to do anything online, consider having a CV on your computer and update it as you go. I certainly have my CV on my laptop and I have a long one with all my work experiences so whenever I apply for a job, I copy and paste the relevant work experience from my record to the 1-page CV that I submit. In this way, the CV is tailored to the job and saves me some time as well.

Chemistry students can keep a record of their achievements on something called the Undergraduate Skills Record. I discovered it a little late so have not been keeping up with it but if you can, I’d encourage you to give it a go. It would be a good way to engage with the Royal Society of Chemistry as well.

Taking a picture of a beautiful moment with friends is not my thing. It just never occurs to me that I should take a picture with my friends but the thought only haunts me in hindsight. I take pictures of nature and particularly make sure that there are no humans around when I take the pictures. Nevertheless, there are conversations I have had with my friends that I want to be able to think about in years’ time and there are days I have seen when I have made it even though I doubted myself. Keeping a record has given me the ability to cherish some of the most beautiful moments at Warwick so I can relive the feelings even when the people are no longer around and can pick myself up when I next fall by thinking of the numerous times when I have fallen before and then risen.

As freshers, you probably want to think more about your hellos than your goodbyes. I am not even remotely suggesting producing a documentary on your every day at university but remember that whatever you find yourself feeling, good or bad, it doesn’t harm to keep a record of it.

  • Vanshika Saxena Computer Science

    Love this! Which diary app do you use and would you recommend it? Not sure whether to start a paper diary or go digital


    • Manpreet Kaur Chemistry

      Hi Vanshika, I’m so glad you like it and keeping a diary is such a useful habit. I use the app Reflection on my Mac. Regardless of whether you use Apple or Android, I’m sure there are apps out there to use. Reflection is free and the layout very minimalistic which is what I like. For example, you could easily use a Word document but I find it too overwhelming sometimes whereas you get Reflection with a simple font type, and dark mode as well. Having said that, I would recommend an app over a Word or Text file because the aesthetics can really boost your motivation to write a diary but I guess it ultimately comes down to personal preference. I used to have a paper diary as well but I write a lot when I’m venting therefore due to the environmental implications I decided to use my laptop instead (although I do miss a good writing sesh with my Parker pen if you might enjoy that). Sorry about this long response but I hope this helps and please do feel free to share what you decide on here! x


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