The Warwick Bubble
The “Warwick Bubble” is a phrase often bandied about on open days and around campus. I feel like it something general to all campus universities, but what exactly is it and what does it mean for prospective students choosing a uni?
For me, the Warwick Bubble is the community feeling around campus. There are so many facilities on campus that means everything is in one place and you never need to leave! In my first year, I found this a really nice thing; I felt like I was part of a huge group of students and staff, all living, working and socialising in the same area. It made me feel less lonely, as everyone was around in the same space.
I guess the idea of a Warwick bubble has positive and negative connotations. On the one hand, I find campus very friendly and community like. It is impossible to walk across campus and not see familiar faces or friends to stop and say hello to. This is a pretty incredible thing; we have over 26,000 students at Warwick! Having a main, central campus where most students study, as well as socialise means that there is sense of a shared space and community. Lots of society and sports classes take place on or around campus, as well as many of the social events. This is especially convenient in first year, where most students will live in the centre of campus or in accommodation around the edges.
Part of the reason why so many events take place on campus is due to all of the facilities. Warwick Arts Centre is one of the largest of its kind in the Midlands and brings together members of the public and students to see art, dance, music, theatre, film and comedy. I still can’t get over how lucky we are to have this right on our doorstep! There are shops nearby (Rootes Grocery Store in central campus and Cannon Park Shopping centre on the edge) and numerous cafes. Warwick SU run a pub (the Dirty Duck), a restaurant (Xananas), a bar (Terrace Bar), a club (the Copper Rooms), a tea shop (Curiositea – my favourite!) and a sandwich shop (the Bread Oven). Within the SU building there is also a pharmacist, travel agents, bank and hair dresser.
The hustle and bustle of campus makes it so vibrant and an exciting place to be, but when a little peace is needed, we are surrounded by countryside to explore. Bluebell lake is just behind Bluebell accommodation and has a lovely walk along it, and you can eventually end up in Tocil Woods. These are between central campus and Gibbet Hill and are especially lovely in spring when the bluebells are in full bloom. There are running routes all around campus, and the walk to nearby Kenilworth takes around an hour.
It is very easy to feel like you don’t need to leave! In fact, in my first year I didn’t really. If you keep doing the same thing and go to the same places, campus may start to feel too insular and suffocating. It is important to consider whether you are more suited to a campus or city environment.
However, we do have excellent links to other areas, such as Leamington Spa, Coventry, Kenilworth and Birmingham. Regular buses go to Leamington, Kenilworth and Coventry. There is a taxi rank by the bus interchange, and we are very close to the A46 if you want to drive anywhere. Leamington Spa and Coventry have well-connected train stations, from which it is easy to get into Birmingham city centre. Therefore, there are lots of opportunities to do things away from the Warwick Bubble; in big cities like Birmingham and Coventry or smaller towns like Leamington Spa. Some societies also run their activities off campus, and many will do socials in the local area as well. This is because most people will live in Leamington or Coventry after first year.
Personally, I find the Warwick Bubble gives me the best of both worlds. Everything is on your doorstep and there is a lovely and vibrant atmosphere, but a change of scenery is at most a train journey away!