Top tips for Freshers (Part 2)
I loved my first year at university. Everything about it, from my degree to the group of friends I made, was amazing. However, looking back there are still some things that I think would have helped me if I’d known them sooner.
Packing (and unpacking)
When preparing to come to Warwick, I can guarantee that if you’re not careful, you will over pack. I’m notorious for bringing all sorts of stuff to university that I never use, but can’t bear to leave at home on the off chance I’ll need it. It’s hard to do, but I’d advise being as frugal as you can when it comes to packing.
It’s surprising how cramped and cluttered your uni room can become once you unpack, and you will acquire a lot of extra stuff over the year. From lecture notes to sports kits and uni merch, it all takes up extra space, and you’ll need to be able to fit it in the car to take back home! If there’s anything you don’t bring but realise you need, you can always bring it with you next term. As long as you have kitchen supplies, clothes, bedding, stationery, and coat hangers (!!) you’ll probably be able to manage.
Even though second year seems a long way off, at Warwick you need to start thinking about next year’s accommodation ridiculously early. Of course, you don’t have to stress about it, and people do manage to get last minute accommodation, but it will save you a lot of time and frantic house-viewings if you get sorted early. It’s a good idea to have your house sorted well before Christmas, so get thinking about what you want from your second year accommodation! Coventry, Canley, Kenilworth or Leamington? Ensuite or not? North leam or South leam? Large house or small? These are all things to think about and will help you narrow down your options. It also helps you decide who to live with, as you can find the people who have similar priorities. Just watch out for deciding on your flatmates too soon- your best friends in freshers might not be your best friends in second year.
Find the place where you’re most productive
At university, it’s up to you to motivate yourself and get work done. I spent my first term trying to work in my room in halls, and most of the time it just didn’t work. I’d get distracted, and often end up in the kitchen chatting with my flatmates rather than reading. I became a lot more productive once I realised that I needed to work outside my accommodation. Giving myself ‘working hours’ in the library and then using time in halls relax helped a lot. This way I got the work I need to get finished done, and didn’t feel guilty for taking time for myself in the evening. I think it’s important to figure out where you work best, and when you work best. Personally, I prefer working early in the morning, in the library (or the physics concourse, where I can be productive without the atmosphere being as intense), and then taking the evening off. You need to find out what works best for you.
Try not to be nervous about joining societies
During my first year of university I joined a lot of societies, but didn’t really get involved properly in a lot of them until second or third term. This was partly down to being busy with my degree and preferring to socialise with my flatmates (I was lucky to live with an amazing group of people in first year), but I was also apprehensive about the whole thing. However, once I properly started going along to socials, any worries I had disappeared. Every society is full of lovely, welcoming people, and you’ll definitely find at least one that you love. The Northern Society, Warwick Tap, and The Boar are probably the three that I most regularly go to, and this year I’m on the exec for The Boar! Even though it’s daunting, making the effort to get involved in societies is definitely something you won’t regret.
If you fancy reading some more of my tips for coming to Warwick, here is Part 1!