- Campus Life
- Language, Culture & Communication / Applied Linguistics
- Preparing for University
Why I chose to join Warwick during a pandemic
Throughout lockdown one right up until the A-Levels Fiasco, my friends and I spent a lot of time discussing whether to start university during Covid-19, or take a gap year – which I’d never really considered before the pandemic hit. The importance of the decision, its potential to uproot my carefully-laid plans, and the rapidly changing global situation, was really challenging.
Given that the next bunch of prospective students are facing similarly difficult decisions about university, I’d like to explain why I decided that starting Warwick in 2020, rather than taking a gap year, was the right choice for me. If you read on, remember that my reasons are based solely on my logic and goals. Everyone’s reasoning will look different, but sometimes understanding someone else’s thought process can help your own.
My first thought in the ‘University v. Gap Year’ debate was, well, all my future plans are based on me starting Warwick in 2020, and finishing in 2024. How could I do anything else? I concluded, however, that the only way to decide whether starting university in 2020 was the right thing right now was to focus on this year, not the next five years. My future plans had to fit in with the current situation. Obviously, I did stick to my university plan – but not because I felt I had to, but because it would be the best thing for me right now.
The main reason that I decided to start university during Covid-19 is that I missed education, and I wanted to be learning. I love Linguistics, and after six months of self-study during lockdown, I just wanted to start officially studying it.
Furthermore, I quite simply didn’t want to take a gap year. They can be great for some people, but I wasn’t drawn to it. Anyway, I’d spent lockdown writing, doing online courses, and trying to make the most of not having anything pressing to do. I’d had the summer job in a bar too, and so I felt that I didn’t need any more time out of education.
I also knew that the Linguistics Department would do as much as they could to make our university experience engaging, enjoyable, and as normal as possible. I felt welcome on the Offer Holder Days, both the in-person and the virtual ones, and the current students were enthusiastic and friendly. Of course, university would be different in a pandemic, but I rightfully had a lot of trust in my course leaders and fellow students to make it a good experience.
Also, I was completely drawn to the opportunities that Warwick offered. The extra research projects, LingSoc, sports societies etc offered so much that I wanted to get involved as soon as I could. And who could predict what 2021 would look like? What if there were different challenges? Perhaps strangely, I was comforted by the fact that I have no frame of reference for what university ‘should’ be like. I came to the conclusion that I just wanted to start my degree, pandemic or otherwise.
My reasons for starting university during a pandemic are based on my logic and my experiences. Most of my friends did choose to start university in 2020 as planned, but one friend decided to take a gap year from starting vet school and has become a successful full-time dairy farmer – and loves it. The pros on my list massively outweighed the cons but, of course, everyone’s lists will look different.
Starting university during a pandemic has had its challenges, and I’m more than aware that there are things I’ve missed out on. But I love my course, I’ve made some great friends, and ultimately, I don’t regret my choice one bit.