Moving into second year
This year is incredibly different to last year. It’s so new that it almost feels like being at a different university. Of course, this is because I have only known Warwick in the context of a pandemic. I started Warwick in September 2020, and last year we spent significantly more time on campus in lockdown than out of lockdown. Whilst I enjoyed most of my first year anyway, we’ve now finally been able to see everything we’d been missing.
The academic things:
This term, we’ve been having our seminars in person (in Linguistics), although lectures are still online. Throughout last year, I greatly missed working in classrooms and working amongst people in real life. Being able to do in-person group work and see our seminar tutors outside of the small Teams box has been a fantastic start to the year, and in-person teaching has, as I thought it would, greatly improved my academic experience at Warwick. Meeting people who we’ve known online for a year is a slightly surreal experience too – but one that’s been a long time coming.
The workload for second year is, unsurprisingly, something else to get used to, and something I’ve been asked about by other prospective students. I’ve found that the content is more challenging and the workload slightly greater, but I’m actually really enjoying being able to study Linguistics at a more advanced level, and move on from the foundational work that sets us up in first year.
The social side:
Warwick might not be known as the party uni, but compared to last year, it’s like one long social.
In freshers’ week, we were able to explore the Societies Fair – half feeling sad that we didn’t get the experience back when we were freshers, and half feeling extremely happy that we get to experience all the classic university things now. Better late than never. We’ve dressed up in school uniform and sung loudly to ABBA at Skool Dayz, we’ve been to society discussions and events, and we’ve been able to study together in the new sociable study spaces on campus. We spent a lot of last year listening to the older years reminisce about things like circling, Pop and Skool Dayz – and I’m glad to be able to join in the conversation.
The living situation:
For any second year, the living situation changes – pandemic or not. Generally, people move out of halls and into houses or flats with people they have chosen to live with. I’m lucky to be in a small house with my two friends quite close to campus. I did really enjoy halls, but I’m definitely enjoying the quietness, cleanliness and ease that comes with renting your own house. I still spend a lot of time on campus because I love being there, but I’m definitely glad to have a whole house to go back to at the end of the day, rather than just a room.
Moving into second year has felt more challenging perhaps because of the way our first year panned out. We’ve had to get used to changes in the way we learn, the way we socialise and the way we live, as well as adapting to the new academic year and the pressure of studying at second year level. It’s been a busy, exhausting and exciting first four weeks – but I’m incredibly happy to get to experience Warwick, finally, in a more ‘normal’ way.