The big Term 1 roundup – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

The big Term 1 roundup

Marianna Beltrami
Marianna Beltrami | Politics and International Studies (PAIS) Contact Marianna

Most conversations by the end of Term 1 somehow include how quickly time goes by. It’s true, it does. And it’s, frankly, depressing! To fight back nostalgia and melancholic feelings, here are my best (and worst, but ending on a positive note) moments of the term.

Welcome Week

My final year at Warwick definitely had a nice kick-start. I was one of the orange-wearing helpers scattered all around campus. This was Warwick’s first ever Welcome Week, so it was an exciting time for everyone. Welcome Helpers were organised into teams and I was lucky to find myself working with a lovely bunch of people! We worked hard during Welcome Weekend at the SU (giving out Fresher’s Bags) and at the Oculus, were I was at the information desk (giving out maps and being made fun of because I asked everyone whether they wanted a map). We gave plenty of campus tours, attended a reception for International Students, supervised a huge colour-by-numbers wall, answered plenty of questions, set up police registration, helped out students who’d lost their passport (that was tense), had chats with people who were in need of talking to someone, and clicked 5000 times at the entrance of Societies’ Fair.

It was really tiring – I got home every night having to go to bed at 9 – but it was such a fantastic and vibrant week. My favourite part of the Week was definitely being able to help out people, answer questions, and try to make new students feel welcome. I clearly remember (because it was really not that long ago) how important it is to have friendly faces helping you out upon arrival. It was wonderful to see new students looking visibly relieved when they saw us orange people smiling at them!

PAIS

My university journey is a lucky one. The more it goes on, the more I love what I am studying, and the more efficient I become in my learning. Being able to tailor my degree according to my interests has certainly helped. My first year was very much introductory, but as time went on, I got to focus on certain things that gave meaning and a sense of excitement to my studies. My modules this year are fantastic, and, believe me or not, I am very excited about writing my dissertation. In particular, this year I have truly been able to have a real interdisciplinary approach, which is one of the main reasons why I chose this subject. In essence: I am excited and feel very much motivated. However, don’t get discouraged if that is not the case for you – Term 1 last year was dreadful for me, for various reasons. Talking to people in my department, seeking help, and getting a grip were essential parts in making everything much better, and this year I was more ready to tackle challenging moments.

Filming

I have got two, huge passions: what I am studying, and what my thoughts gravitate around the rest of the time, i.e. film. The best experience I have had this year in this field was the BFTen competition. BFT is the film production society on campus, and every year they organise a competition of ten short films under a common theme. It starts with a call for scripts. After 10 scripts are selected,  crews are assembled. We then have to organise auditions and, obviously, film and edit. It all ends in a very nice and friendly screening ceremony. This year’s theme was 22:36, and I was over the moon when my script was selected! I also got to direct the film, which was such a fun experience, but certainly not as easy as it might seem. There were all sorts of problems, but it was great to see how we managed to solve them creatively and make quite an enjoyable final product (I hope!). Here is the complete collection of all short films if you fancy a watch!

Fencing

It was a very rewarding term for the fencing club. With our teams doing brilliantly, especially Women’s, and many new beginners taking up a sword, it’s been a great couple of months! My duty in the exec was to organise our National Novices tournament, an annual competition where beginners from all over the country come and enjoy a friendly environment where they can experience what a tournament feels like. I, with the help of my fellow exec members, have been organising it since June, so seeing all our efforts come to fruition in what has truly been a fantastic day was a highlight not only of the term, but of the whole of my university life. The day ran smoothly, people were happy, our own fencers did an astonishing job, and I got given 1kg of Nutella as a thank-you gift. It really cannot get better than that.

Old friends, new friends

From Cryfield 3 Kitchens 6/7, to third year. It genuinely feels like yesterday when we were talking about how fast a month had gone by in November 2016, and now here we are. I truly miss a hall environment, but at least we still have our traditions from first year, including our fancy Christmas dinner followed by Secret Santa and a game of mafia.

But what is fantastic is how, even in your third year, there are so many people you can still get to meet! In particular, this term I got to know some great people in my own course. Making new friends is always exciting, especially in your third year, when it is normal to feel a bit lonely. It has truly been a blessing!

The negatives

Of course, it cannot all be perfect. Overall, it has been a fantastic term, but there have been plenty of tough moments. I feel like I have plenty of time, but then I realise that I really do not. It is hard to keep up, but it is something that needs to be done. The hardest part for me has been, and still is, to figure out what comes next, and having to balance between planning my life as a graduate and wanting to enjoy my last months at university. It’s overwhelming. And my coffee machine broke.

But on a positive note, it is so much better than at this point last year. Second year is very though – completely changing housing environment, realising that in your first year you were not really doing your work properly, feeling four weeks behind in week 2, and for me, quite a few other issues. This year, I am much more aware of what to expect and have been having continuous boosts of motivation, so hurrah to that! (I’ve been watching Blackadder, so read that with a Hugh Laurie voice.)

Other notable bits

–         Kate and the chaplains are absolute stars. I would honestly recommend a visit to the chaplaincy at some point, regardless of what you believe in. They are always there if you need a chat, or if you want to spend some time on your own, make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy the beanie bags.

–         That piano at the Arts Centre is fantastic. People are so talented. Although it reinforced my opinion that “All of Me” did to pianos what “Wonderwall” did to guitars.

–        I actually tried Latin and Ballroom. I actually gave up. I actually can’t dance.

–        Five months till Eurovision. It’s getting closer.

–         Someone referred to Rootes Grocery Store as RGS. I still can’t get over it.

Marianna Beltrami
Marianna Beltrami | Politics and International Studies (PAIS) Contact Marianna

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