Photo: Lucy Stubbings

Ode to a fresher – Mary Francis

Coming to the end of two years at Warwick, looking back there are definitely mistakes I wish I hadn’t made – for example, having to pull all nighters because I left essays to the last minute, ‘getting with’ the wrong people on nights out, getting a little too drunk, or maybe just snapping at a flat mate because I was too tired from all the craziness of university. However, all those ‘mistakes’ turn out to be some of the best things that happen to you; all of the best stories that you laugh about at 2am with all those amazing friends you made along the way come with all those little moments and mistakes, or they get lost in all the great things.

So my best advice to any fresher is to not arrive on the first day expecting to be perfect. You might not do all the reading, you might make some silly drunken mistakes and you will probably annoy a few people in your time here. University is the biggest learning curve of your life. I remember arriving in October 2015 thinking I was the epitome of maturity, and I could not have been more wrong. But now? University has taught me to like myself a whole lot more because it gave me the chance to realise who I was and be my favourite version of it.

It should definitely be mentioned, however, that university is very different to school. You will meet some of the smartest people in the world at Warwick and there is little point getting caught up in the competitively because it is much harder to distinguish the ‘top student’ anymore –so many more factors determine a great student than grades! Remember – you got into Warwick! That’s half the work if you’re worried about the future, even though hard work is still important.

University is the biggest learning curve of your life

Finally, find your thing! Really utilise all the taster sessions and events that different societies hold in the first couple of weeks, and find something that just makes you tick. You don’t have to be great at it, but if you find the right people and get some enjoyment out of it, you will soon find you will develop a passion. Take me, for example; I never wrote a thing outside of coursework before joining university, but thanks to my friend Lucy getting ahead in The Boar I soon developed an interest for it and found that I actually really like writing.

Furthermore, I never picked up a hockey stick before second year, but thank goodness I gave it a go, because mixed hockey has enhanced my life massively. I have friends who have tried other sports, such as cheerleading and lacrosse, as well as friends who are involved with student radio. Everyone has their hobby that they love, which is one of my favourite things about Warwick. Overall, university is the place where you can be the very best version of yourself, so look at it as a clean slate, realise your passions and most importantly, just have fun.

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