Every year, hundreds of new students move to Warwick, ready to start the next chapter of their lives and begin their university journey. Making mistakes, doing things wrong and learning along the way is all part of the experience that comes with moving away from home for the first time and navigating the world of higher education. Two returning students share some of the best advice they have for new Warwick students.
The one thing that I cannot emphasise enough about starting university, is to allow yourself time to grow and learn. University is essentially a new beginning, for most people it’s the first time we’re away from home and living as independent individuals.
It’s both daunting and exciting at the same time; I vividly remember counting down the days to move-in day, planning days out with my friends from home before we all move to different parts of the country and eagerly joining fresher’s group chats to understand who I’ll be living with for three years. However, no matter how much planning is done, there will always be something new to learn.
This really stood out to me when it came to academics; it was overwhelming at times and the increased independent learning took some time to get used to. It’s normal to set high expectations for ourselves, which is not a bad thing at all. However, do not be too disheartened if your first assignment doesn’t go how you want it to, take advantage of your tutors and course mates and ask for help. Remind yourself often that you are more than capable and no one is an expert immediately, so allow yourself to grow academically.
Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t easy, but I promise you won’t regret it
One of the more beautiful aspects of university is definitely how many opportunities there are to meet new people and make good friends. One of my biggest anxieties about university was the fear of not having any friends, but the wide range of events made things much easier. Even making friends with the people in your halls and on your course doesn’t have to be complicated.
This is said so often, but it really is true – everyone is in the same boat. Any worries you have about making friends at university are valid, but I can assure you that most other students are feeling the same way. Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t easy, but I promise you won’t regret it.
Dear new Warwick Students, you’ll get a lot of tips about making friends and staying positive and confident, but the advice I really needed when I was a fresher was to get a good calendar.
A lot of you might be busier than you’ve ever been, and now the only person who will remember which meeting you have on Thursday is you. Don’t just schedule things that you know the date for either- if there’s an essay that needs to be done at some uncertain point in the future, just pick a day, and put it in your calendar for then.
I promise you that it will make you less stressed and your life easier
Best case scenario, you get it done on that day, and even if you don’t it’ll be an extra reminder. Whether this is a physical calendar that you’ve put on your wall or an app on your phone, put everything you need to do in there, and look at it every day when you wake up in the morning. I promise you that it will make you less stressed and your life easier.
My only other advice is to pick a place in your room where you keep all the things you need to leave the house, such as wallet, keys and mask, and to bring snacks with you everywhere you go. One will save you time, the other will save you money. At university, you will never have enough of either.