My Top 5 Experiences being an Art History Undergraduate: First Year Edition
This year has been so different to previous years for universities, with teaching online and a lack of social experiences I have still had some wonderful experiences that I would love to share.
- Making a group of wonderful friends during the first term.
History of Art is quite a niche course and currently in first year there are only around 35 of us. Because of this, it was really easy to befriend people within the course and go out as a group of six. After the first lecture, with some people I had already met, we created a big WhatsApp group and all started chatting on there. Then in groups of six we were able to meet each other and form small friendship groups within the course. However, since everyone gets along they are super interchangeable.
2. The lecturers are so kind
Online lectures have definitely been a challenge, but they have also brought some lovely memories forward. In both Painting Techniques and Natural World seminars, my lecturer Sarah has been interrupted by her wonderful cat and it always manages to put a smile on everyones face. Furthermore, some of the people within the course have pets too and when we have their cameras on sometimes a little dog is in view. Since our course is seminar and discussion based, there have been so many fun discussions with lecturers especially in the module Fakes and Forgeries where we analyse if a painting, or sculpture is real or not.
3. Having an active role in the History of Art Society
The History of Art society has been amazing this year, and have organised loads of different events for us to attend. In the first term, in tables of six we were able to meet outside, and from this I got to know second and third years. What they were doing seemed so beneficial and in second term I applied to join the exec. Now I am the Talks and Careers coordinator for the History of Art Society and have started to organise more fun events for the society.
4. Having a positive experience of writing essays
The feedback after writing essays has been so extensive and lecturers are willing to have meetings to discuss this. With a feedback form discussing pros and cons of the essays and annotations alongside the essay, the department definitely pushes for success and improvement. After receiving a result that I wasn’t happy with, it was really nice to be reassured by my tutor that I was still on track to do well. Now, whenever I am stressed or am upset by a grade I just schedule a meeting so that I can find areas to improve.
5. Knowing that next year I will be living with a group of Art History undergraduates
One thing that I was worried about was definitely what to do about accommodation for next year. As part of my course, in second year we go to Venice for a term and that means we will be leaving our accommodation here to move out to Italy. I wasn’t planning to move out with my flatmates as I wouldn’t be there for a term. Alternatively I had the choice to stay on campus, but I was determined to live with other second years in Leamington Spa so I could experience the social lie there. Luckily, a few other course mates were also struggling with deciding where to live so we organised calls to talk about it. Now, I am moving in with six of my favourite coursemates and I can already tell that second year is going to be amazing.