Reflections on my first term at Warwick
Before I came to Warwick, I was most nervous about what everyday life as a fresher (in a pandemic) would be like. I was nervous about things like who I’d spend my days with, how much work there would be, and just generally creating a life somewhere entirely new. But this experience, for the most part, has been incredibly exciting. Naturally, I’ve made some mistakes along the way, so here’s a few things I would have found helpful to know before starting university.
Studying at degree level means a lot of work and determination. But if you enjoy your subject, it’s more than worthwhile. I’ve absolutely loved my first term of Linguistics.
If you do choose to study Linguistics, you won’t find yourself in a lecture hall of 200, as it’s quite a small course. We get to know our course-mates and module leaders well, and seminars consist of lots of discussion and group work. For me, this is the perfect set-up, as it’s easy to get involved and feel like a real part of the community.
This year, the social life has been a little different, but we’ve found ways to make it work. Before lockdown, I regularly played tennis with the Tennis Society, which was a great way to meet new people – and I’d definitely recommend making use of the sports facilities.
During lockdown, the LingSoc virtual quiz and games nights helped to ease any quarantine boredom, and my flat and I entertained ourselves with board games, takeaways, and a couple of football matches. If you have room, definitely bring a few games to play with your flatmates, as it’s a good way to get to know each other.
In the week, my flatmate and I gradually fell into a routine of breaking up study with a mid-day walk. Getting some fresh air at lunchtime really helped my productivity and wellbeing, and implemented some structure into our days.
After a while, we learnt that cooking as a two, and planning our meals together, saved time, money, and was infinitely more fun. If it’s possible to plan your meals with someone else, I’d recommend it. Of course, we made plenty of mistakes, and learnt the hard way that you can, in fact, burn pasta. But that’s fine, it’s a learning process.
Other than coming to the Offer Holder day, I’d never really been to this area before. I’ve loved exploring nearby places this term (where it’s been possible), and can’t wait to be able to explore more.
The university is in a great location, near to cities like Leamington Spa, Birmingham and Coventry, but also surrounded with countryside and smaller towns like Kenilworth. During lockdown, my friend and I took to exploring any nature trails around the campus, which really helped to shake off any lockdown fatigue.
In terms of the campus itself, I was worried about being constantly lost to start with (I have a shocking sense of direction). But it only actually took about a week to learn my way around – and once I realised that Google Maps was the way to navigate campus, it was easy. The piazza on central campus is always worth a visit, and has a few cafés and bars. Also, if you don’t live in Lakeside Village, make sure to visit that side of campus – it’s lovely, as the name suggests.
All in all, it’s definitely been a first-term to remember. Of course, some parts have been harder than others, which is a result of the current situation. Nevertheless, I’ll remember the first-term not only because of the pandemic, but because I’ve loved getting to know Warwick, the course, and the people here.