I wrote a post with a similar title to this at the end of Term 1, explaining why I was glad I had picked Warwick. In this post, however, I wanted to answer this question in a way that would have helped me a year ago. I know that university open days are not going ahead in their usual way, and whilst the online versions will be a big help, you might still have some questions. I had my reasons for picking Warwick this time last year, and with a year now under my belt, I thought it might be helpful to evaluate how those reasons actually played out.
This was the biggest selling point for me. I know that many of you will not have visited campus, which might make your decision more difficult, so make sure you check out the virtual campus tours available at the moment. So what did I like so much about the campus? Choosing a city or campus uni is a personal preference, but I liked that Warwick felt secluded and safe. It has everything right on your doorstep, from cafés to bars to a convenience shop to tennis courts. This year I was a five minute walk away from all my lectures and seminars, and my friends lived very close-by, and Tesco was only fifteen minutes away! Being right in the middle of the campus means that there’s no reason to miss out on the fun social stuff, or worry about public transport playing up on your way to lectures. It feels like a comfortable place to be.
2. THE COURSE
Obviously this will vary from one person to another, but taking the time to research your course is really important. I study English and History, and unlike a lot of universities that offer joint honours degrees, Warwick offers a course which integrates the two. I wasn’t floating between two departments, but felt like a member of both communities. I actively learned about the overlap of the two subjects, whilst still developing more specialist knowledge of each. Additionally, it was important to me that the focus of the course was modern, as this is what I am most interested in. Overall, make sure you like the look of the course. Learning at uni is very independent and self-driven, so enjoying your degree is really important in motivating yourself.
At the open day, it was very clear how important extracurricular activities are to Warwick students. I can confirm that there is a society or sports club for everything you can think of – if there isn’t, you can start one! Being a member of societies has had a huge impact on my first year. It is one of the best ways to meet people whose paths you wouldn’t otherwise have crossed, and make friends with similar interests. Societies will organise social events, which in my first term helped me to settle in. As I’ve said in previous blogs, it can be easy to feel lonely at uni because you have so much more control over your time, so having societies and sports clubs to engage with has been great for me. Being a member of a sports club has also been really fun, and ensured I would get some exercise in my weekly routine.
4. LIFE BEYOND UNI
Warwick does an amazing job of preparing you for the world beyond graduation. There’s a career support service available to every student, and you can book meetings with the staff to chat about your options at any time. There are loads of opportunities to broaden your horizons, whether that be teaching or studying abroad, voluntary work in the local community, internships, or even international challenges to raise money for charity. Even in my first year, I have been presented with so many opportunities to make me stand out as a candidate to employers after uni. I knew before I came to Warwick that it was a respected university, which would help me in the future, but I didn’t expect there to be so much help along the way.
These are just my reflections on my own experiences, and if you asked another student they might well tell you differently. Make the most of the resources available to you for the virtual open days, as these will help you to make an informed decision. I hope this blog post has been helpful!