Why you should expect to be surprised at university
Before I came to Warwick, I did all the research. I read the university webpages, the prospectus, the Student Room, as well as these blogs, all to try and get a good idea of what it would be like to be a student here. Given the chance, I would have certainly interrogated a current student on the ins and outs of Warwick life. It was exciting and unknown, and I couldn’t wait to become a Warwick student.
On the most part – bar the Student Room perhaps – I got a pretty good idea of what to expect. After all, a lot of what it is like at university is as you would expect it to be. It is full of loads of studying, a whirlwind of socialising and meeting new people, making plenty of mistakes and throughout the whole experience learning so much as well.
However, there are certain things that I definitely did not expect to happen. If you told me before I came to Warwick that I would eventually receive my yellow belt in judo, I would have laughed in your face. Doing any sort of martial art had never crossed my mind before university. Then to tell me that in third year I would find the time to start a brand-new sport, attend two training sessions a week (one of them on a Sunday!), where the terms were in a foreign language and I didn’t know anyone else at the start, would be a pretty surprising idea to say the least. And yet, to my great excitement, last week I completed my first ever judo grading and was presented with my yellow belt! This was honestly one of my proudest achievements at university. Practicing judo has taught me to be more determined and to persevere no matter what. It has led to me becoming fitter and stronger and I have made some new friends as well!
This week, I had a trip down to Exeter for an internship interview. The train journey took four-hours, and then I had to find my way through an unfamiliar city just as it was starting to get dark. I then spent a night in a hotel and completed the assessment day, all under my own steam! Although it doesn’t sound like much, I was very proud of myself for doing it. Even this time last year, I would have found the whole experience incredibly daunting, but I took everything in my stride and it didn’t feel like a big deal at all. Clearly, being at university has taught me to be more confident when managing new, unfamiliar situations. Does this mean I am now a proper adult?!
At university, I have friends who have done the most incredible things. There are people who have trekked up mountains and ran marathons to help raise money for charities. There are people who are studying abroad in a new country, being lectured in a foreign language. There are people who are on the execs of societies and sports clubs, have presented radio shows, sat on panels, written articles, took part in protests and campaigned against inequalities. Warwick is full of people who are trying new things and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. I find it hard to be on campus and not be inspired by what my fellow students are doing every day.
In short, it is never too late to try something new, and there are countless opportunities to do crazy, inspirational, life changing things. If you are here already, or are considering choosing Warwick, I promise you that you will constantly surprise yourself with what you can achieve.