Thinking about first year?
With this being offer-holder season for many of you, you should be either starting to receive or have received all of your university offers – congrats to you all! With this in mind though, many of you will probably be feeling the sensation that university is starting to become a very real thing. Therefore I thought I might clarify a few things not only to do with Warwick but also more specifically to Computer Science.
This is subjective but anything that your department happens to ask you! For Computer Science, my department stated that we didn’t need to do any extra prep such as preliminary reading before arriving and simply asked us to enjoy our summer (and you should too regardless what response you get, you’ve earnt a well-deserved break after your exams). However if you’re REALLY eager to start exploring around your subject, I would recommend instead finding more generalised, user-friendly material such as popular books, podcasts or even YouTube videos!
Nope! This is up to you! As stated before, the department didn’t require us to do any summer preparation before term begun. However if you want to begin exploring or to continue practicing programming, then go for it! But don’t feel you need to reach a golden standard before arriving, since all the prerequisite knowledge will be introduced to you throughout the first year. So if you want to dive straight in, don’t pressurise yourself to learn any difficult concepts just to get a head start, start off small with something that interests you and just It’s worth mentioning too that you shouldn’t feel intimidated by other offer-holders who may appear to have more technical knowledge – you’ll find a range in technical ability during the first year from those who have never programmed before to those who seem like pro-ninja coders, but of you will deserve to be on the course!
Again this is very subjective but particularly for tech-related degrees like Computer Science, this question seems to be asked A LOT (i5? i7? 16GB RAM? MacBook?). As a necessity, Computer Science doesn’t require you to have your own computer to do well on the course since you’ll always have 24/7 access to the departmental machines, which are way more powerful than any spec you can buy and are sometimes a lot more convenient to use! That being said I did purchase a new system before arriving at Warwick, but there is really no need for specific specs or fancy features, just something that’s useful and meets your own needs. For instance I decided to choose a laptop with good build quality and battery life as I felt this was more important for me as a student.
Apart from the department and the diverse campus environment, Warwick had stood out for me personally by its friendly, inclusive atmosphere. While perhaps this may not sound very differentiating to other universities, I believe Warwick’s encouraging attitude towards taking up opportunities outside of work really sets it apart. After completing my A-levels and knowing how tired I made myself through studying, I wanted to ensure I chose somewhere where I had the chance to try new things and to simply grow. Therefore Warwick’s vast number of societies (over 250+ of them!) and collective support available through the SU, university services and my department swung this decision for me!
If any of you still have any worries or questions about preparing to be a fresher regardless wherever you’re planning to study, please feel free to post me a comment and I’ll be more than happy to help you out where I can!