Parents Review Warwick University: Mum
This post is the first of a new series, or duology, if you will, where I will be interviewing my parents about what they think about Warwick. My hope is that this will not only provide an insight into Warwick for prospective students but also calm any anxieties that their parents may have (I know that my mum in particular had concerns before I started at university and she read a lot of these blogs to help)! First to be interviewed was my mum!
I want to give a little bit of insight into my parents’ background as they both have very different experiences of university. So my mum studied history at the University of Cambridge in the 80s. It was a very traditional course, especially in terms of the assessment. She attended all Open Days with me, both at Warwick and other universities that I was interested in. She has visited me countless times, both while I was living on campus and in Leamington, and has even made use of the new Sports Hub! So, without further ado, here is my mum’s take on the University of Warwick.
Did you have any preconceived ideas about Warwick? What were your expectations?
My best friend from school went to Warwick and, although I never visited, I knew that it had a certain prestige about it (compounded by the fact she had been identified by our school as a possible Oxbridge student). We also did plenty of research before you applied for university. I was especially interested in what the feel of the place was like, particularly as it’s a campus university and obviously significantly younger than Cambridge.
What were your first impressions of Warwick?
That it was a friendly and welcoming place! The organisation at the Open Days was impeccable, with the Park ‘n’ Rides, information packs, and plenty of people to interact with and available to help. I found the Piazza impressive and it certainly made a good impression at it was the first area of the campus that we saw. I liked that it was a lovely open space with plenty of coffee and food outlets and places to socialise.
What do you think of the campus as a whole?
I like that it’s pretty compact, nothing is too far away. I appreciated how there was accommodation close to the centre of everything, as well as further out, but that all amenities were accessible. In particular, I was impressed by the Occulus, which I seem to remember being a focus of the day. On the other hand, I did find some buildings more dated and cramped.
What do you think of the accommodation, Lakeside in praticular?
Overall I think that there is a really good choice of accommodation in terms of location, the number of people that you shared a flat with, and the facilities available (e.g. en suite), and price. This was reassuring because I knew that there were plenty of choices that fitted what you wanted from accommodation at university. Although we didn’t visit Lakeside on any of the Open Days it was definitely the right choice for you. I think the distance from campus was good as it was close enough for you go back between contact hours, but far enough out to separate studying from socialising and the like. It’s also set in a lovely environment, surrounded by nature, which was great.
What do you think of the facilities, both academic and recreational?
The lecture theatres are really impressive, especially compared to ones I was used to. I was able to have a look in them at the Open Days and through Warwick Student Cinema (a society that I would highly recommend, by the way). The new sports facilities were definitely fantastic. In terms of food outlets, I especially like the Dirty Duck. It has good food and I appreciated that I felt welcome even as a parent. I don’t know if this counts as a facility, but I also really enjoy the food markets in the Piazza.
What do you think of the history course and department?
I am very impressed by the course! I’m really jealous of the choice of modules, there’s such a wide range, from era, to geography. I like how specialist some of them are, and they clearly reflect the research interests of the staff. I also appreciated the willingness of the staff to share their research with students and involve them. I’m also very impressed by the range of assessment methods, they are very imaginative, from blog posts and study guides, to book reviews, and more traditional essays. I like that you can minimise the number of exams you take based on the modules you choose because exams aren’t for everyone. I always think it’s such a shame when students can’t show their full potential because they struggle with exam anxiety.
Since I’ve been at Warwick, what have you been most impressed by?
The mental health support, definitely, and the academic support available from staff. They’re always available and will do what they can to help.
Could you tell me a bit more about your opinions on the mental health support at Warwick, based on my experiences?
There has been a lot of bad press about the support available to students at universities, so I’ve just been blown away by Warwick. I was very impressed with how well they accommodated you – even though you had no appointment they did what they could and found someone to help you, they didn’t turn you away. The GP that you spoke to was great too. She listened and accepted what you told her, she didn’t just dismiss you. That’s much better than anything you’d get from our family GP. She gave you options, made sure you had follow up appointments booked.
Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to share with parents and prospective students?
Warwick puts a good emphasis on matching students with their flat mates, which I like! As a parent on of my biggest concerns was you finding friends that accepted you for you, didn’t force you to do things you didn’t enjoy or exclude you for that. It was reassuring that, although there was no guarantee it would work, that they attempted it, unlike other universities we visited.
I would also reassure them that there is genuinely something for everyone! Make sure you take every opportunity to talk to staff and current students.
Would you recommend Warwick?
I hope that this could be of some use to any prospective students and their parents, be that easing anxieties or just satisfying curiosity!
Until next time,