What I would do differently if I knew then what I know now
The new year calls for new year resolutions… which honestly I am terrible at keeping. Instead of lying to you with a list of resolutions that I will probably forget about within the next few days, I want to offer some advice to new freshers based on my (nearly) 4 years of experience at the university.
What would you do differently if you knew then what you know now?
I accept that this is way easier said than done. I remember as a fresher reading through so many different articles online, all offering university advice. I read through them, but that doesn’t mean that I followed them word by word. I learnt a lot and all of it has been a roller coaster experience that I am glad to have experienced.
Nevertheless, what I would have done differently:
Explored the local area
Can I really call myself a Warwick student if I have only been to Warwick once? Although, I do pride myself in visiting once more than a lot of other students…
With just a few months left, until I graduate, I am starting to realise just how much of the local area I haven’t seen.
There is so much in Leamington Spa that has been on my to-do list since the start of the first year, and well, it is still on there…
I would definitely tell myself that if I don’t do it now, I won’t ever. This especially applies if you live in England, where it is so easy to fall into the “not being a tourist in your own city” trap. I found when I was in Australia, the final end date really forced me to travel as much as I can.
Making use of career-related resources early on
4 years into my degree, a few months until graduation, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up…
Warwick has some excellent resources such as career fairs, one to one advice, CV help! Don’t be afraid to make use of these resources, even as a fresher.
Get involved in more societies
I wish I attended more socials in the first year to really get to know lots of different people and try out different things. Warwick is known for having a vast amount of societies, this is a better time than ever to get involved.
Start thinking about assignments early
This really helps with time management, and something I have tried to do this year. Instead of leaving work till the last minute, take on small steps to get assignments done. Even if it is as basic as choosing your question, and reading a few pages every few days.
Don’t stress about the future
This is slightly hypocritical considering I still don’t know what I want to do post-graduation, but honestly, if there is anything that I have learnt since my first year, it is to stress less. I was worried about what I would get at the end of my first year. It worked out. I was worried about what modules I would do in my second year. It worked out. I was worried about how I would cope in Australia, away from home for a year. It most certainly worked out. Honestly, everything does work out in the end.
One of my seminar tutors gave us some advice which has really stuck with me: “I wish I had focused on my university experience and achieved a 2.1, rather than overworking myself and getting a first.”
A 2.1 is a solid grade. Sure, a first is impressive but if it hinders your university enjoyment and your overall experience, it really isn’t worth it.
Dear past me, You are going to meet the most amazing people and experience the most amazing things. You will increase your confidence and most importantly: you will enjoy it.
Shanita 🙂 xo