Ideas for Settling In
I hope you are all doing ok and adjusting back to life at university under the current circumstances. I know that things are not how we may have imagined them a year ago, so I wanted to write something that pieces together some ideas for settling in to university amid the new normal.
Ok, so first off, I want to address the space where you will be spending a lot of time for the foreseeable future. Your bedroom is fast becoming a library/seminar or lecture room and even maybe a social space too. With all that in mind, it makes sense to invest some time in facilitating a place that can multi-roll as all of these things, but still be somewhere that is homely, safe and relaxing. My advice would be to decorate your room and even invest some money into claiming the space as your own. All to often we write off our university accommodations as temporary dwelling spaces, and they may well have been in the past, but right now the bedroom (for most of us) is the setting for most of our university life. I know that there are studies that suggest that working from your bedroom can disrupt sleep patterns, as people find it particularly difficult to switch off during down time. That being said, making a clear distinction between which areas you work and which you relax in in your room can make a big difference. This means it could be worth spending some time creating an area of your room reserved for leisure, and keeping work-related things at your desk to avoid any overlap.
Joining/ Staying in touch with Societies
Particularly for those of your joining the university this year, it is helpful to remember societies are still an integral part of university culture, and they are doing their very best to acclimatise to online formats. I know that socials are still running, albeit online, and although this may feel alien or unfamiliar, I would encourage you to still participate, even if it is just for the benefit of extending your social circle for an hour or two. Enjoy the awkwardness and tackle it head first, it is the best way to start.
I would always start by requesting to join societal Facebook pages where you will find updates on their calendars/ events/ be able to network with others in the society and keep up to date with any news. From there you can scope which events may interest you, anything from online circling to online workshops, Q&A’s and meet and greets.
Finally, I would say whether or sporty or not, do not dismiss joining an organised team sport. Organised sports currently still remain legal to practice in person, and this could be an excellent way to pick up a new skill or meet a different community that you would never have had the opportunity to encounter before. Remember that, if you are a complete beginner, societies welcome any new members and are more than happy to help you find your feet. More than anything, you will be respected for giving it a go.
Online Events @ Warwick
During this time, Warwick University has been extremely proactive in providing their students with online content that is stimulating and engaging.
One society that has been working tirelessly to initiate this it TedxWarwick (link to their homepage here: https://www.tedxwarwick.info/), an independent, student led organisation that works to uphold the Ted conference initiative, that being: facilitating ideas worth spreading.
TedxWarwick has a number of online features that could be appealing, from blogging to an online web series, to information on their upcoming 2020 conference ‘TEDxWarwick: Creativity Within Crisis’ (link for more info here: (https://www.tedxwarwick.info/creativity-in-crisis) there is a huge spectrum of topics that could pique your interest. I would definitely recommend visiting their site to see what is on offer, as the multidisciplinary nature of the society is designed to accommodate everyone here at Warwick.
Theatre related things to do
Finally, for those of you that are passionate about theatre, Backstage (online magazine, link here https://www.backstage.com/) have been regularly posting information around open casting calls and auditions for jobs in film, TV, theatre, modelling, and voice-over. Furthermore, in April they launched ‘Stay Active While Isolated With Backstage’s Digital Seminars’. They have been working hard to curate content involving workers from an array of creative practices and disciplines. Webinars are being marketed, recorded, and uploaded constantly so it is worth following their Instagram page to stay updated.
I hope some of this tips will help you, both freshers and returning students, ease into the first few weeks of term.
Best of luck and speak soon,