If you’ve come across this article, you’re either looking for some advice, wanting to write for us, or interested to see if you agree with these pointers. Whatever your reason, though, you are probably a student of Warwick.
If you’re going to be joining the cohort in October, then congratulations! You’ve powered through the A Levels (despite some pretty nasty grade boundaries) and made it to the best university in the UK. Well, in my opinion, and I am a little biased.
For those of you who don’t know me, I am Georgia, campus correspondent for Her Campus here at Warwick. Going into my third year is making me very emotional, and scared to enter the world of adults, but it has also made me reminiscent of that first week at university two years ago. I was PETRIFIED. With term starting in exactly a month, I decided to share 6 things I wish I had known in that first week and hope that they can make your first-year life a little easier.
You aren’t going to find your calling within the first few weeks
Every piece of advice I was given before starting university was to try everything, and that advice still stands. University is one of the only times in your life when such an array of opportunities are presented to you – so why not have a go at some of it? That said, coming into university with this mindset I expected to find a life-changing hobby or interest in the first few weeks. I went to taster session after taster session, but nothing seemed to quite stick.
And with Warwick offering over 250 societies and 60 sports clubs, it can be a little overwhelming!
It may seem like everyone around you is getting into groups and finding their passions, but I promise that you will not be left behind if this isn’t the case for you. It wasn’t until second year that I discovered my love for yoga and still, going into my final year, I am trying new things. Next up is tennis, so wish me luck!
Essentially, don’t panic if you’re not part of a team or practising a new hobby straight away. Try as much or as little as you like and eventually something will stick.
Don’t fall into the Tesco Stir Fry trap
I completely get it. Cooking for one is hard. But you will find so much more joy at the end of your day if you set aside some time to make something delicious. One thing that puts a lot of people off cooking is that delicious food seems to have the label ‘difficult to cook’ attached to it. This is not the case. There are thousands of easy recipes for students that don’t compromise your health or your tastebuds.
Take stir-fry for example. I used to think that the cheapest and easiest thing was to buy the Tesco stir fry deal (Tesco will be your local shop unless you’re rich enough to shop in Rootes) and pop it all in a pan. But it was never that great and made me miss my Mum’s cooking even more. So, I started to make my own, chopping up fresh veg instead of pre-packaged, making a simple sauce of soy and honey and adding fried eggs for added protein. Not only was this SO much nicer, but it turned out to be cheaper in the long run.
Essentially, don’t fall for the easy food options. While they seem to be the better option for students, there is nothing quite like a home-cooked meal. Check out this simple recipe below:
POP is fun, Circling is intense
Now, this is more of an opinion of mine and perhaps it’s because I am getting old and boring. But one thing I wish I had known about before joining Warwick was circling; mainly so I could mentally prepare myself for it.
For those of you who need context, every Wednesday the Warwick SU holds a club night called POP. As the name suggests they play all the best (and worst) pop music from the last few decades. My personal favourite is the ABBA medley played around 11:30 pm every week.
Before you get into all of that, though, a lot of societies hold a pre-drinks/game/I’m not sure what to call it where everyone sits in a circle and takes part in a series of challenges. Now, don’t get me wrong, circling is so fun and often ends up in some pretty fun nights, but it is not for the weak. If you are late, go on your phone, don’t come in costume or fail one of the many complicated games there is a forfeit – and it usually involves drinking!
Definitely get yourself to a circling event to see if it’s for you, but be warned… You might end up with purple beer down your outfit.
You’re not actually going to Warwick…
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been researching your new home for the next three years and will have been delighted at the gorgeous photos of castles and quaint little towns. Sorry to burst your bubble but in case you hadn’t realised, the University of Warwick is actually in Coventry…
But all hope of pretty countryside towns is not lost! You can get into Warwick, in view of the beautiful Warwick castle, in just 18 minutes by car. Or, just under an hour by public transport. Not only this, but many second and third-year students end up living in the nearby town of Leamington Spa, and this is yet another beautiful place. Known for its regency architecture and broad boulevards, Leamington is stunning, especially with the winding river Leam flowing through all of the main centre.
Geese, geese everywhere
In my first year, I was in Lakeside accommodation, and it was wonderful. I was surrounded by water, trees and wildlife. Even baby bunnies in the spring! But all of this beauty came with a cost; geese. No one really knows why there are quite so many of them around, but they are noisy and will leave green splats everywhere you walk. And don’t even think about trying to go near them. I have been chased, followed and even had my bag pecked at by the things.
I was even told this before I arrived and didn’t believe that it could be that bad. But please believe me when I say, they are the ones who are really in charge of Warwick University.
Food market Wednesdays
As well as POP Wednesdays, our campus also hosts a variety of food trucks on campus every week. These are a little bit over the usual student budget for lunch but are excellent every now and again as a treat. I would recommend the Greek gyros personally, especially if you’re a halloumi fan. There are burgers, curries, dumplings, pancakes; you name it they’ve got it.
My favourite time to go along is in summer terms, where there is often some sort of book or clothes market alongside the food. With the sun shining on everyone eating great food, the vibe is perfect.
One of my flatmates has actually been to the food market every Wednesday since coming to Warwick, so perhaps I’ll get him to give me a rundown of the best spots and let you guys know…
There are so many more things I could tell you about this place, things I love and things I’d avoid, but part of the fun is finding out some things for yourself, right? So, I’ll leave you with those six and see how you get on.
Whatever happens though, have an amazing first term (either ever or back on campus) and make the most of it – cause before you know it you’ll be outta here!