I’m not the first to say that this has been an academic year like no other. It has certainly had its ups and downs, but as we are now in Week Ten of Term 3, I’ve been taking some time to reflect on the academic year. I am struggling to understand how I have now completed two years at Warwick (trust us when we say it really does fly by!), but when I look back on that time, I realise just how much I’ve enjoyed them. The uni year is short and, at times, quite intense, which I’ve always felt makes the time go very quickly and leaves you with little opportunity to take in everything that’s happening. So, I’ve picked a few standout highlights for me in this very unusual academic year to highlight how, in spite of the strangest of circumstances, there have been some pretty great moments in 2020-21.
- My course
If you’ve read any of my other blogs, it won’t take you long to find out that I am a self-confessed (and proud) nerd for my degree. I love studying History, and perhaps what stands out most for me when reflecting on my Second Year is how much I have enjoyed learning more about my subject and becoming a better historian. Albeit in a very different format, we were still able to have seminars and lectures this year, and I was very lucky to be able to learn so much about modules I was so interested in. I really valued seminars as I could express my thinking and ask my questions, and gain a better understanding of the content as a result. I loved being able to discuss such interesting topics with new people, and make some friends in virtual seminars! I think we all made the most of the circumstances, and now I can look back quite fondly on those discussions and everything I learned from them.
Unfortunately we couldn’t participate in them as we normally would, but sports clubs and societies have been very much up and running this year. I joined families to get to know people I wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to meet, and had some fun scavenger hunts and quiz challenges as a result! I’ve learned a bit more German with a native speaker through Languages Society. I even got on the exec for History Society, which has been a fantastic experience so far — I’ve met loads of like-minded people, and we’re all really looking forward to (hopefully) running some exciting events for next term. Societies and sports clubs have been really important in my entire uni experience, and thankfully this year has been no different. If you aren’t already, I cannot recommend enough getting involved with something that takes your interest; you’re guaranteed to meet new people and very likely to have some fun along the way!
Second Year has been a pretty hectic one! The workload has been heavy at times, with a seemingly endless list of reading, essays, and tasks to get through. However, being online gave me the flexibility to use my time as I liked. The contact hours for humanities degrees are usually pretty low anyway, but without fixed lecture times and commuting and so on, I had a lot of freedom in terms of how I spent my time. This really encouraged me to keep myself organised and on top of things, so that I could use my time productively and maintain the best possible work-life balance (not always the easiest when working from home!). Nonetheless, having that flexibility meant that I could find how to best use my time for working and relaxing, and that certainly taught me a thing or two about time-management and prioritisation. There’s still a fair bit for me to do on this front as I look towards my final year, but looking back on this academic year I feel very fortunate to have been able to use my time so freely for the betterment of my studies and for being able to do the things I enjoy.
I hope this optimistic spin on the last academic year has been of some help to you, and happy summer holiday!