Photo: University of Warwick/ Media Library

Tête-à-tête: Is the Warwick experience what you expected it to be?

[one_third]YES – Ellie Campbell

[dropcap]U[/dropcap]niversity life comes with a whole heap of expectations – a lot of drinking, a heavy workload, the freedom that comes from living away from home, and so much more. Arguably, university can never truly be what you expect due to the people you meet and the friends you make, but my Warwick university experience certainly came close to what I hoped for before getting here.

Warwick as a university was definitely how I thought it would be. I already had a very clear idea as to what life on campus would be like after attending an open day and speaking to older students.

What pleasantly surprised me though, was the abundance of societies as well as the enthusiasm, hard work, and dedication that people put in to whatever sports team or society they are part of.

Also, the sense of community and friendship that I’d heard about prior to Freshers week certainly lived up to my expectations. Your degree is only part of your university experience. There are a number of events organised, and societies and sports teams have an active role in shaping your Warwick experience.

The nightlife at Warwick, contrary to popular opinion, was a lot better than I expected. I thoroughly enjoyed the many partying options that were now available to me (however, that might be because I come from a town that only has one club). Freshers Week comes with the highest of expectations and if you take full advantage of what the SU offers, you will not be disappointed.

Before I came to University, I was constantly told that lecturers do not spoon feed or chase you for assignments, and that learning is independent and this has proven to be true. I was also not disappointed by Warwick’s high calibre of teaching. The lecturers truly are some of the world’s leading academics.

However, something I’m not sure many can be prepared for before they start University is the freedom and independence that comes from living away from home. But as I hoped, living in halls makes things easier for you.

Campus has most things you need, and it doesn’t take long to get into a routine. What also helps a lot is that everyone you live with is in the same boat as you and you can therefore figure it all out together and feel less alone.

Overall, if you make the most of everything the University and its surroundings have to offer, you will not be disappointed. And whether or not your time at Warwick is the best time of your life, the university and SU certainly does its best to provide the greatest university experience it can.[/one_third]

[one_third_last]NO – Mike Wrench

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]‘ve always been a nerd. I don’t mean your Big Bang Theory ‘socially-awkward-yet-rakishly-handsome’ sort of nerd, I mean your common or garden weirdo, receding hairline and all.

For me, coming to university would be entirely about learning, perhaps in some quaint little nineteenth century library where friendships were unobtainable and therefore avoidable. I would never partake in alcohol, and the only party I would be joining would be the Labour party.

I’m here now, three years on, about to enter a fourth, and I can definitely say that 18 year old me was terribly naïve. The library, for one, is an architectural monstrosity. Its façade’s colour scheme simultaneously reminds me of both a military camp and dried vomit. But in reality most of what I’ve experienced has been immaterial.

I came to university expecting to make no friends, nervous to move into halls and devoutly sure that no-one would be interested in the same things as I am. Of course, at a university with 24000 odd students, this assumption borders idiotic. I have, and I think everyone has, a fine group of friends who are just as odd or bitchy or normal as they are.

My social life is wonderful; I am not the best at attending events, but I find my friends to be tolerant of that. I do go out, and I certainly do drink alcohol – but because I chose to, rather than being pressured into doing so.

I did not think that I would dance at university; admittedly, it’s taken me three years, but I do. Shake it off is my jam and although my arms do very strange things when I’m up on the floor, I will always dance to it. And screech the lyrics as well, but that’s irrelevant.

When I came here, I thought my relationship would last forever. Now I’ve discovered that moving in with your girlfriend in your second year is, actually, a terrible idea. Things end, and that’s fine. And at least part of that ending will be your fault. Shocking.

Perhaps the biggest thing, though, is that University opened my mind, not just to random classical knowledge, but also to everything from feminism to politics. It taught me to question my own beliefs, that perhaps I shouldn’t believe things because I I’ve been told to believe them, that I shouldn’t vote based on my origins and that you should think before you have a thought.

University isn’t what I expected. It changed me, I think and hope, for the better. It is a good place, for me, and it’s taught me a lot.[/one_third_last]


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