Started From the Bottom Now Were Here
It seems appropriate that for my first post I bring you up to speed with how I ended up at Warwick University and the factors which influenced my decision.
When beginning the application process, the only thoughts in my mind revolved around the glimpses I had got into the university life of both of my sisters. I had visited both of them in my latter school years and the joy which they got from university seemed unparalleled. I mean, they lived with four close friends, they essentially studied part-time, they went out whenever they fancied it and THE GOVERNMENT LOANED THEM MONEY TO DO IT. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I wanted to study and enrich my academic understanding but the independent living circumstances, to me, seemed to make the whole package a win-win situation.
My point is that the excitement for the fact that my time had finally come had rather distracted me from more important decisions. Namely, what I actually wanted to study. Granted, I had interests but they were varied and when considered alongside other factors such as job prospects, method of study and simply the depth of my fascination I felt like an Uber driver without a sat-nav – without a clue of which road to take.
The main thing which eased my uncertainty was when I attended a modern languages workshop day at Royal Holloway. I had no real intention of applying there but we had been told countless times by sixth form administrators, teachers and visitors to schools etc. that attendance at such events would help strengthen a UCAS application. If I’m honest, I really doubt that it had too much of a profound impact on any admission board’s decision for me but nevertheless, at the time my mentality was a) maybe this can help me decide if I want to study languages, b) it can’t hurt to just go, and c) It’s a day off school! So off I trotted to Egham where I spent a thoroughly enjoyable day and managed to clarify my decision – languages were the route for me. This decision was influenced by a number of experiences on that day but one of the parts which I remember most vividly was a brief lecture we received on the practical applications of studying languages (a talk which I subsequently received at pretty much every university open day which I attended). This talk was so useful as it eradicated my doubts that a language degree was as useful as a solar-powered torch and rather confirmed them as a valuable and transferable skill.
After this decision had been made, things got a lot easier. For A levels I was studying French, German and Drama along with an extra-curricular AS in Italian and I knew that I wanted to study all three languages. I am led to believe that three language degrees are ubiquitous nowadays but in 2013 when I was applying, the universities which offered a Modern language course with the Italian, French and German combination were rather thin on the ground (most offered a slightly less classic third option such as Japanese, Portugese or a Slavic language). Because of this, I managed to narrow my choices down to just a few unis.
If I’m honest, when I first visited Warwick it wasn’t one of those ‘love at first sight’ moments. It had an impressive reputation for sure and the campus was nice enough but I wasn’t absolutely blown away. Nevertheless, I made it one of my five choices and carried on my pondering. It wasn’t until I attended the post-offer day that I became sure that Warwick was going to be my firm choice. I learned more about the BA Modern Languages course and how I had the opportunity to not only study all three languages equally but to also undertake a cultural module simultaneously, I met several students who spoke very positively of campus life, and there was a free lunch! The most interesting thing for me though was how the teaching staff with whom I spoke all came across as profoundly interested in their respective fields (which I’m sure the staff at most universities are) and also made a huge effort to animate this fascination to a point of contagiousness. It was then that I could vividly see myself with this same passion in the perfect environment in which to entertain it in the near future. I attained my required grades in my A levels and three years later, here we are.