Regrets that you can avoid having in first year
As it’s nearly time to say goodbye to my bedroom in Tocil, I thought I would go over some regrets of mine from this year, that this year’s freshers can avoid having! I have had a brilliant year, but there are some things that I look back on and think ‘hm, I should have done X or Y’.
1. Society involvement
Joining societies at university is a great way of meeting new people and doing something you enjoy. I was very optimistic at the start of term 1 and attended a few sessions here and there. I enjoyed myself but given my slightly shy nature and the fact that the workload started piling up, I found myself not becoming involved in terms 2 and 3. This is a shame, and I definitely want to step back into it in my second year! My advice would be to try out a lot of different societies, then narrow it down to your favourites (don’t make the mistake of taking on too much too soon). If you feel shy meeting a whole new room of people, perhaps ask a friend to attend a session with you (as I did). There is no pressure to go back if it isn’t for you, but it’s worth a try!
2. Meal planning
My ‘meal planning’ has pretty much consisted of realising I need to take a trip to Tesco’s soon, scrawling some essentials down on the notes section of my phone, and hoping for the best! I wouldn’t say I have been disorganised, but some of my flatmates have proper meal plans, meaning they have a good idea of what they’ll be cooking each day, and thus know exactly what to buy in the supermarket instead of wandering aimlessly down each aisle! Another slight regret of mine is staying too much in the ‘comfort zone’ i.e. just cooking things that I know well. Next year, hopefully I’ll make more use of my cookbook (that I think I have opened twice this year). Towards the end of term, I always grow tired of cooking meals, but I think this is because I don’t have much variety! I would therefore advise that you make a rough meal plan each week, and maybe try something new each week as well!
3. Making use of on-campus work spaces
The past term I have made a lot of use of these work spaces, particularly The Oculus. Other places I have used are The Library and Rootes learning grid. In the first term and most of second term, however, I was mostly in my room when working. Looking back, I think this made me feel lonely and isolated from time to time, as well as demotivated, and this term, working in open spaces has made the whole experience of revision much more positive, as background noise reassures me that other people are working, not just me! I have also rather enjoyed grabbing an occasional coffee from the oculus café – it’s important to treat yourself! I would advise new students to make use of these areas from term 1 and form a habit of doing most of your work here. This way, you room becomes more of a relaxing zone, rather than half library, half bed!
So, there have been a few regrets of mine this year, but nothing that can’t be changed in my second year at university!
My general advice to the freshers of 2019 would be to try new things, be spontaneous (but a little structure always helps) and utilize all the resources that Warwick has to offer! This campus will be your new home, so explore it and enjoy it!