This week, I took part in a couple of student Q+As as part of the virtual open day events put on by the University. I thought I’d go through my answers to some of the most popular questions here as there were some interesting topics.
So here goes…
Why did I choose to study at Warwick?
To be honest, I chose Warwick based on a gut feeling because I loved the campus and the course. I actually got lost the first time I visited campus (which is quite an achievement as campus isn’t that complicated) and despite that I still loved the place. If you haven’t visited yet and are unable to due to Covid-19, other things that factored into my decision include what current students had to say about the course and the Uni, how engaging the speakers were and the course content and structure.
What’s the transition like between school/college and University?
It’s often considered that moving from school to Uni is a jump but a fellow student compared it to a twist or a sideways move which I think sums it up perfectly. Learning at University is a completely different experience to learning at school or college but I wouldn’t say that you’re thrown in the deep end. Studying is much more independent with less structure which can allow you to explore areas of interest more than you could at school. Content wise, the lecturers know that you’ve got to adapt to a new way of working (as well as lots of other new things) so they start slowly and allow you to get your feet under you.
Does Warwick allow for a good work/life balance?
At Uni your work-life balance is what you make it. You could spend all your time socialising or all your time studying if you really wanted to. I wouldn’t advise either extreme, but where you fall in the middle depends on you, where your priorities lie and how good you are at managing your time. It’s advised that you spend around 40 hours per week studying but no-one checks up on you and you can vary the amount of time you spend each week depending on other commitments.
Do you socialise across subjects?
Yes. It’s actually quite difficult not to socialise outside your subject as societies and clubs are a big part of University life and members are often from a wide range of subjects. I’d go so far as to say that only socialising with people doing your subject can be fairly dangerous as meeting people outside your course allows you to discuss topics with people who have different points of view and can broaden your experiences and knowledge.
What is the careers support like?
There’s lots of careers support at Warwick. You can schedule appointments with careers advisors to discuss plans, CVs, applications etc. I think each department also has a careers advisor with specific knowledge of industries linked to the department who can offer more tailored advice based on what you study. More generally, there also lots of events put on from careers fairs to industry talks to workshops. There’s also lots of support for getting work experience which can range from spring weeks to internships, right through to an industrial placement. Basically, whatever you want to do, there should be someone you can talk to who will help you plan your next steps.
What should you bring to Uni and what do you wish you had/hadn’t bought?
What you should bring to Uni depends on you but there are some basics which can easily be found by searching online. My advice here is to create a list over the summer that you add to every time you use something so you have a personal list of what you need to take.
Something else important to keep in mind is that you probably don’t need as much as you think you need, and if you have forgotten something, you can always buy it at Uni (we’re not located miles away from the shops). I fell into this trap and bought way to many decorations and stationary that I just didn’t really have the space for or use.
Something I wish I’d bought for 1st year but didn’t was a clothes horse and a shoe rack as I often had shoes and drying clothes scattered across my room.
What 1 piece of advice would you give to new students?
Learn to accept spontaneity. It can be difficult, especially if you’re a planner like me, but being comfortable saying yes to doing something that unexpectedly comes up will open a lot of doors and can lead to you making some great friends. Some of the best things you will do at University will not be planned in advance.
What’s 1 regret that you have?
I think my biggest regret about my time at Uni so far is that I spent too much time trying random things that I wasn’t that interested in and not enough time saying yes to the bigger opportunities in clubs that I wanted to be more involved with. It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation because I think that you should try new things and say yes to opportunities, but at the same time, saying yes to one thing means you have to say no to something else so you really have to decide what’s most important to you and when to say “no”.
What’s your favourite memory?
My favourite memory is probably 1st term of 1st year when I went to a freshers dodgeball tournament. Basically, it was a competitive dodgeball tournament for people new to the sport who had never played competitive dodgeball before. With only a few weeks training we were suddenly playing against other teams and didn’t really know what we were doing but it was great fun and I still play dodgeball to this day!
Those are just a few of the questions asked at the student Q+As and I hope my answers are useful to you.