It was recently reported that Warwick SU would again petition for a lecture-free Freshers’ Week. However what do current students think about the proposal?
Starting university is a terrifying, yet exciting time. Being thrown into a new environment with strangers, whilst attempting to survive without your parents’ cooking is a big adjustment.
Warwick’s approach to that adjustment is made even more difficult by our lack of a lecture free fresher week. By placing lectures and seminars in the very first week of university, Warwick is implying that the most important aspect of your time at university is simply your degree.
There’s no denying working hard at the academic side of university is essential, and a major part of why we’re all forking over so much money for a piece of paper.
Warwick is implying that the most important aspect of your time at university is simply your degree
However, having said this, university is so, so much more than your degree. University is made up of the people you meet here, the societies and clubs you join, and the experiences you have. Having a lecture free fresher week is essential for nurturing all of these aspects.
The societies and sports fairs both take place in week one, and give you the opportunity to find out more about all the extra curricular prospects. However, the reality is, as great as it is that our university puts on fairs like these, being able to actually attend them may be a different story if your timetable is already full of seminars.
University is made up of the people you meet here, the societies and clubs you join, and the experiences you have
Additionally, having a lecture free fresher week guarantees time to attend welcome events and taster sessions of clubs and societies. This is particularly important for sports clubs, where trials will take place. A lecture free freshers week would give everyone a chance to get involved in all areas of Warwick life.
A lecture free fresher week isn’t only essential for freshers joining uni, but for second and third years. Many of us will be on the exec of societies and will be involved in fresher recruitment and activities, whilst attempting not to jeopardize our degrees.
Many of us will be on the exec of societies and will be involved in fresher recruitment and activities
We take up these positions voluntarily and it’s not fair for the university to expect us to make the choice between dedicating time to the societies that make university life more enjoyable and our degree, we should be able to do both.
Ultimately, freshers should be a time for socializing, settling in and becoming aware of all aspects of Warwick life, something we cannot do without a lecture free fresher week.
As freshers flood into Warwick once again, they will doubtless be disappointed that the university lacks a lecture-free freshers week (especially after hearing about the antics their school chums got up to on their own). However, this isn’t as negative as the doom-mongers make out.
At uni, you’re going to have to spend your time balancing lectures and social activities and, as with anything, being thrown in at the deep end is the best way to get accustomed to it.
People have been balancing the two for years, and it has never caused any real problems – you have to learn to adapt, and being forced to is the best way. Most of the lectures in these early weeks are admin stuff anyway – you’re not doing stupid things the moment you walk through the door.
Being thrown in at the deep end is the best way to get accustomed to it
Then, you’ve got to think of the money. There’s far more of a temptation to splurge in those early weeks – hell, I knew a guy who was out of student loan within his first week of arriving – and a week of social activities is bound to be a drain on the wallet.
This week adds another week of rent payments and another week of food costs on top of the events, and for people who will struggle to stretch their loan over the current ten, that would not be good news.
This week adds another week of rent payments and another week of food costs on top of the events
Added to this, what would even be done in this freshers week? The club nights quickly lose their lustre (and for non-drinkers like myself, the drink-focused socials had no attraction anyway), which would leave us with university welcome things (the kind that everybody is encouraged to go to, and then wishes they hadn’t if they did) and society events.
How would this even work with non-freshers – would they have lectures, or would they be forced back for a week that, unless they are society execs, they have little obvious stake in?
How would this even work with non-freshers – would they have lectures
There are some good reasons for having a lecture-free freshers week, but on the whole, I doubt that anyone could really argue that they are especially disadvantaged without one.