Warwick Scholars: A Term of Virtual Socials
Online quizzes have now become the ‘cliched’ event of 2020. From something that would have been perceived as quite innovative at the beginning of 2020, it’s now become the go-to event. Not just for University societies and programmes, but the wider public across the world as a means of socialising!
As part of the Warwick Scholars programme, social events are quite an important part. This allows fellow scholars to get to know each other, especially First-Year students to get the opportunity to make many new friends quite early-on. In particular, Warwick Scholars provides students with a great network of those in the year-above.
This term, it’s been difficult but many online events have been held. Recently, a Christmas themed quiz and end of term virtual get-together ‘social’ was held. In the past, Christmassy social events have included a pizza night with games. Whilst this wasn’t possible this year, given the current situation with the pandemic, it was still important to host virtual events to engage the Warwick Scholars community. This was an ideal celebratory event that was an ideal way to wrap-up a relatively difficult and “strange” term.
It was a really fun quiz that had many different format categories. The traditional Christmas questions were a given. I was so chuffed to have been able to successfully name all of Santa’s reindeer! There were other questions such as guessing the word that 2 pictures combined were referring to. Finally, there were fun-fact’ questions about the local area. Indeed, this gave me many ideas of places I could visit after the pandemic is over as I never realised some of the things that are on offer in the region.
Importantly though, it was a great way of getting in the festive spirit and marking the end of term. We were all able to share some of our reflections and Christmas plans (albeit quite limited!).
Other types of ‘socials’ in Term 1:
This actual year, let alone academic year, has indeed been quite difficult. Adapting to the new online teaching format has meant that we’ve had to adjust to a new way of learning. Whilst some have received face-to-face teaching, others have completed the term virtually. A big impact of Covid-19 has been on social events. Given the restrictions in place, it has meant that Warwick Scholars, amongst other groups such as the Widening Participation cohorts, haven’t had the opportunity to meet face-to-face and socialise.
Instead, I have been delighted to have worked with the Warwick Scholars teams to support the bid to overcome ‘Microsoft Teams Fatigue’ and hold online social events. These have taken the forms of bi-weekly catchups, which were particularly invaluable at the start of term. It’s been a great opportunity for everyone, across the different years, to come together to catch-up and provide updates. The beginning of term was focussed on supporting the new First-Year students and answering any queries. Afterwards, it was a chance to provide updates on how everyone has been getting on with their respective courses and their experiences. It’s been very useful to hear about the experiences and concerns, where staff have then been able to best advise students.
Importantly, First-Year students haven’t been able to get to meet each other as usual, including having a normal welcome week or first-term experience. As a way of catching up, these events have been useful for students to get to meet each other virtually. It hasn’t been an ideal platform, but it’s definitely been better than nothing.
The future is still uncertain. It’s unclear what restrictions persist in the New Year, and the duration. However, the Warwick Scholars programme will definitely adapt and ensure that it engages its fellow Scholars. Keep an eye out on the emails and e-bulletins.