The Warwick things I wish I did… but couldn’t – OurWarwick
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The Warwick things I wish I did… but couldn’t

Luke James United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Luke James | Politics and International Studies (PAIS) Contact Luke

I started my previous blog by announcing that I have finished my degree. My coursework is submitted and I have completed my exams. I’ve returned my library books (which, in all honesty, had been collecting dust since March) and am now free of many of the pressures associated with university life.

The last fifteen months have been really stressful for… well… the entire planet. The pandemic has shaken us in a way that we failed to anticipate. There are lots of things I miss about pre-Covid life. Going to football matches, watching ice hockey in-person, not having to wear a face mask at work.

The things I miss are obviously pretty mundane (and not particularly important) – but I don’t think it’s controversial of me to write that 2020 was rubbish and 2021 hasn’t been much better!

On a personal level, that has had a profound impact on my university experience. Let me put it this way. All of the assessments that count towards my final grade have taken place since March 2020. It’s obviously not ideal!

Now, I opened today’s blog by acknowledging this because I want to hype up my time at Warwick. (I appreciate that sounds incredibly counter-intuitive.)

Well, I was walking around campus last week (for the first time after I finished my exams) and I was struck by just how much I missed *this* place. My cohort (and many others) has lost out on so much. So, I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to do the things that I either (a) wish I had done, or (b) wish I had done more often during my time at Warwick.

So, here are some things to do:

Go on international trips:

Whether it be societies or sports clubs, there are lots of opportunities to travel abroad while at the University of Warwick (in addition to study abroad, of course!). In 2018, for example, people from The Boar visited Barcelona. Before the pandemic set in, Warwick’s Rugby League team was due to travel to Turkey to play against the Turkish national team.

Unfortunately for me, the pandemic arrived just as I was ready to go on some kind of society-based trip.

So, if the situation is better by the time you arrive at Warwick – maybe give a society trip a try, they sound great.

(Also, my girlfriend (who studies at Coventry) visited Berlin with her course and I have been intensely jealous ever since… which is probably why I felt compelled to give international trips a nod!)

Try new sports:

Before university, I played football to quite a high level. I was always too slow to make it into a professional academy, but – by the time I was in sixth form – I was playing in step five of the non-league pyramid.

At Warwick, though, I didn’t want to play competitively. I love football (and miss playing every Saturday a lot) – but I wanted to prioritise my degree. I stand by that.

What I do regret, however, is my shyness in trying new sports. At Warwick, there are sessions that students can attend regardless of their level… and I wish I’d taken up the chance to try ice hockey at some stage.

I can’t really skate (so would have been terrible!) – but I wish I’d given something new a try.

Whatever sport it is, give it a go – even if it is just once!

Spend more time on campus:

In my recent trips to campus, I’ve come to remember how great it is.

I love how busy it can be. I love the food. I love the Dirty Duck (our pub). I love Fusion (our restaurant/sports bar). I love Rootes (our supermarket) (mainly because they have an amazing range of international food). I love how green it is.

I couldn’t (because of the pandemic) but I wish that I had spent more time on campus, just going on walks and absorbing what is genuinely a really cool atmosphere.

I’ll miss Warwick tremendously.

(Any requests for the next blog? Let me know!)

Luke James United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Luke James | Politics and International Studies (PAIS) Contact Luke

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