Why I chose Warwick?
- The course- in theory, this is the most important factor when choosing a university. Most students will go online and look at the course rankings to find out which universities offer the best course. For Sociology, Warwick is in the top 10 (I’m pretty sure it is 6th!!) which is a brilliant start. I remember going to an introductory talk and finding out what kind of topics there are available. I recommend using the university website because all modules and their descriptions are on there, but also they bring out new modules some years (because society is constantly changing- hence why this course is always interesting ;)), so you might find yourself doing a new module and really relevant topics. I did one called Racism and Xenophobia this year, all about immigration and Brexit so that was really topical! Having nearly graduated, I can honestly say that the best thing about this course is how varied it is! The modules are so broad but also really focussed on their specific topics, one year you’ll be doing about racism and xenophobia and the next you’ll be learning about the sociology of animal domestication and eating meat. I doubt you’ll be bored.
- The campus- however besides the course, you also want to attend a university that you like because it is three years living in a new place, so it is good if you like the campus. This is another feature of the university that they are pretty proud of (and rightly so) because we have a pretty impressive campus! Firstly, the piazza is in the centre of campus and there is usually something going on. People having bake sales for charity, sports societies trying to promote their team, food markets, plant markets, etc. On one side you have Warwick Arts Centre, perfect for theatre lovers and cinema goers. In summer, the campus looks gorgeous because the flowers will have bloomed, people revise on the grass and the trees are all green. I think the university is quite rare in the fact that it is actually a really pretty place to study. Also the numerous cafes such as Costa, Curiositea, Cafe Library, the Bread Oven plus restaurants like Xananas, Varsity and the Dirty Duck. There is also a brand new building called the Oculus which is incredible and a new great place to study. In general, it is hard not to love the campus at university and I’ll doubt you’ll find another one quite as nicely laid out.
- The career prospects- it sounds ridiculous to think about career prospects at this stage, before even coming to university but choosing the right place to do your degree, fundamentally impacts where you will end up in a job. The University of Warwick is firstly a Russell Group University, meaning a world class, research-intensive university, that stands out on a CV. Your employability prospects will significantly increase if you’ve got Warwick down for your degree because the top employers look for warwick graduates. Having been to a few interviews myself, the response is amazing when they find out you went to warwick but also from family/friends I constantly hear ‘wow you’re studying at warwick’. This definitely stood out for me because it is important to think about your future and I know that my degree will steer my career once I leave.
- The location- I personally loved the location of the university. Firstly, I am quite the country girl having come from Lancashire and I can honestly say that when I attended the open day, this university stood out for me the most because it was the only place that I felt a sense of being at home. You don’t get the hustle and bustle (and expense) of a city university. In 2nd/3rd year, rather than living in outer city towns, Leamington Spa is only 20 minutes away on the bus and it is such a gorgeous little town to live in (I definitely recommend it for students looking to find a house in term 1). It is also perfect because you’ve got Coventry about 15 minutes away and Birmingham is half an hour on the train, where you can shop till you drop. Also, getting a train to London if you get the right one, doesn’t usually cost more than £5, it is unbelievable! Plus for me it was only 2 hours on the train home if I wanted to get away for the weekend and this definitely contributed to my decision.
- The atmosphere- each university when you go and visit on the open day, will have a different atmosphere. Just remember, the university is there to impress you, not the other way around. I remember going and all the staff and students helping out were really friendly, there was music going on in the piazza and sports clubs campaigning for something (it was a long time ago)! I will never forget the feeling of just wanting to be apart of something and getting excited about the prospect of starting my own life independantly, making new friends, joining new clubs, etc. It was a buzzing place and that definitely hasn’t changed over my 3 years at university!
- The societies/clubs- your course is obviously very important but what I always tell people, is that you only get out of university what you put into it. That means, throwing yourself into clubs and diving in the deep end will be the best thing you can do at university. For me, it was important that there was Netball and that I went to a sporty university but also that there were a diverse range of societies so I could explore some interests that I never tried, for example dancing, cooking, etc. I ended up trying pole dancing, drama clubs and the Northern society, all of which were amazing experiences and I met lots of new people. Warwick can definitely boast about this because their Student Union is amazing and has so many opportunities for everyone, I will be shocked if you can’t find anything you like.
I think the best advice I can give to offer holders who are coming to campus days, is be as relaxed as possible because this is the university’s chance to impress you! Go in open-minded, ask plenty of questions even if they seem stupid to you, tour guides will have heard it all before and investigate the place. Find out what is available, where you’ll be staying, the nightlife, etc. Just wait until you get that butterfly feeling because that is what I did and attending this university has been the best thing for me! Good luck everyone 😀