Studying at Warwick as a Coventrian – OurWarwick

Studying at Warwick as a Coventrian

Studying languages, being from Coventry, being involved in different societies…
Find out more about me Contact Oliver

Hi everyone. I’m Oliver, a second year student of Hispanic Studies with Italian. This is my first post, and I decided to talk a little about my background and experiences last year. If there are any specific topics you’d like me to post about, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments! 

For many people, their first consideration when selecting a university is its location. It’s rare to find someone eager to study close to home, as part of becoming independent is moving away from family; and learning how to keep on top of all your laundry. 

I have lived in Coventry all my life, and belong to that uncommon group of students who study in their hometown. Of course, there are pros and cons, but I don’t regret my decision in the slightest. 

So what are those pros and cons? Let’s run through them.

  1. Pro – I know where everything is

This one is really significant. Being from Coventry means I know where the best shops are (admittedly few and far between), where to go out, places to eat, which buses to catch to get around. I know which areas are safest, and which landmarks to show my friends. When someone says “do you know where Primark is?” I have to say, “of course I do, I was practically raised there”. I’ve caught myself acting like a tour guide on many occasions, retelling the story of Lady Godiva, explaining what a ‘batch’ is, and pointing out Hearsall Common as the favourite haunt of the young Frank Whittle, inventor of the turbojet engine. 

  1. Con – I didn’t get to experience the excitement of moving away

There wasn’t much in the way of bonding experience for me, in terms of getting to know the city. I heard stories of wild nights out, lost in the streets and taking refuge in the local Spoons. On these nights I was safe in bed with my cupboards fully stocked, while everyone else was still searching for a Tesco. 

  1. Pro – I can pop home for a meal or a cheeky spin on the washing machine

Finding the opportunity to use the washing machine is a fine art, at least in Westwood halls of residence. Nothing on this earth can really compare to the disappointment of carrying all your dirty clothes down to the laundry room and then finding someone else has just started a 30 minute wash. In these trying times, I turned to the family home, who kindly (and reluctantly) let me use their washing machine. I’m also regularly provided with free meals, courtesy of my mum and grandma, so long as I do the washing up. Not a bad deal, especially when my fellow students were surviving on the famously nutritious Pot Noodle. 

  1. Con – My friends are jealous 

No one wants to hear that I don’t pay rent. Not when their bank balance has just been decimated by lavish Leamington prices. And during first year, I saw at times a sense of anxiety accompanying some of my friends, as they felt out of place in such an unfamiliar city. If you’re a student from Coventry, it’s best to keep it quiet – some people get pretty homesick. 

  1. Pro – I haven’t travelled much

This might not seem like a positive thing, but I have met people who just don’t seem as excited at the prospect of travelling. They’re so accustomed to it, it’s lost some of the magic. As someone who has never lived outside of my hometown, I can’t wait to start travelling in the future, and see where my languages degree can take me.

  1. Con – I haven’t travelled much…

Everyone who went to university in a different city has a headstart on me. They’re used to being away from home and dealing with homesickness, independent living, and finding their way round a new environment. I’m sure it will be a big shock for me when I go to study abroad in Spain next year, but I’m ready for the challenge.

  1. Pro – My family is always close by for me to visit 

If you come from Cornwall, and you’re attending Warwick, you won’t be nipping back home to grab the phone charger you forgot. For a lot of my fellow students, home is hours away, and they don’t have access to the convenience I do, where my relatives can help me move my belongings wherever I need them. I feel truly lucky that I can visit my family whenever I want to, keep an eye on my grandma as she adapts to living on her own, be there to watch my younger brothers growing up, and pet the cat now and then so she doesn’t forget who I am. 

  1. Con – I am inconsolably enraged whenever someone says something bad about Coventry

Before going to Warwick, I was blissfully unaware of the misconceptions people have about this place. Whether you think it’s ‘rough’, ‘common’, or any stronger, expletive-laden adjectives, Coventry is my city, and I’m proud of it. From my perspective, everywhere has something amazing to offer, and as we are the City of Culture for this year, we’ve proven to be a great community with a rich history. I’ve tried to get used to it, but even now, hearing that people believe Coventry and Canley are separate places is like a red rag to a bull. And honestly, guys, Leamington is kind of overrated…

I hope you enjoyed my first blog post. I’ll see you in the next one, and make sure to comment below if you have any questions about studying in your hometown.

Challenge: What interesting fact do you know about Coventry?

Studying languages, being from Coventry, being involved in different societies…
Find out more about me Contact Oliver

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