The time has come. Three years, a whole load of essays and countless books later, my university experience is drawing to a close. The spectre of the graduation gown looms in the distance. I find myself stuck in a strange limbo, wishing for the end of the week to arrive while simultaneously wanting my last few weeks of Term 2 to last forever. Letting go of my status as a student is going to be tough: I may well shed a tear as I look back on my years as Warwick and reminisce on what I’ve learned along the way.
Starting as an anxious fresher desperate to be liked, I would never have imagined that three years later, I’d be where I am now. They say university makes up the best years of your life, a claim I recognise is not universal. However, thinking about this statement recently, I realised that despite the many hours of stress, tears and general hopelessness that my degree has brought me, the past three years have still been the best years I’ve experienced, at least so far.
While transitioning from school to university had its difficulties, making the jump from being a student to the ‘real’ world has a different, deeper sentimentalism surrounding it. Our little Warwick bubble has been home for the last three years and contains within it people I care about, societies that have formed huge parts of my experience and opportunities that you can only access as a student.
People who mean the absolute world to me, who I’ve shared laughs and formed memories with, will soon part ways on their own adventures
I’m a very sentimental person, a fact many will attest to given how many times I’ve said “Oh, this is the last insert random activity here we’ll ever have!”. Thinking about how in a few months I’ll no longer be wandering campus or have my best friends conveniently nearby makes me genuinely sad, so it helps to think about the positive things I can take from my student experience.
People who mean the absolute world to me, who I’ve shared laughs and formed memories with, will soon part ways on their own adventures. As much as I’ll miss them, I know that the bond we formed here is one not easily broken. They may be scattered around the country and beyond in a few months, but there’s a thread of love that will connect us nonetheless, as cringe as that sounds.
Studying topics I had a genuine interest in, as nerdy as it sounds, has meant I’ve spent my time here surrounded by like-minded people who shared the passion I had for literature. I’ve been exposed to some insightful, intelligent thoughts and the chance to discuss and debate with incredibly smart minds is one of the reasons I feel my time at Warwick was worthwhile. I may not land a swanky job at a bank, but I studied something I loved and enjoyed (almost) every moment of it.
Although the future is daunting, it’s crucially also exciting in a terrifying kind of way
Alongside learning in the traditional sense, I’ve grown massively as a person over the last three years. I’ve discovered personal strengths I would have otherwise never identified in myself, learned to throw myself into new opportunities without letting the fear of rejection hold me back and gained a confidence in my own capabilities that I doubted a lot prior to university.
I can confidently say that I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, and I guess that’s the biggest takeaway from the whole experience. I held exec positions on two societies I adore and accomplished a whole lot in those roles, as well as having an amazing time with the friends I met. I may not have done my reading some/a lot of the time and there were a few last-minute essay panics, but by and large I threw myself into my degree. I found what I want to pursue as a career and persevered with the things I loved.
Although the future is daunting, it’s crucially also exciting in a terrifying kind of way. There are still a few months left before I have to say goodbye, and I’ll strive to make the most of that time. While it makes me well up a little thinking about the moment I’ll walk out of Warwick for the last time as an undergraduate, I take forward with me memories and friends that will live long beyond campus and I think that thought is what I’ll keep in mind to try and stop me from crying at every ‘last’ moment I have in my final few months here. It may be wishful thinking; sentimental mess that I am, I imagine there will be a few tears to shed yet.