Three years ago, I was like many of you coming into university: innocent, nervous and lastly, not an alcoholic. To combat my nerves of leaving home and living with a bunch of strangers, I watched youtube videos, joined Facebook groups and even browsed the Warwick SU website for some guidance, but I felt like I needed something more brutally honest.
Now, not only do I still have my research but I have also lived it. After a ‘normal’ pre-covid freshers’ experience, on top of a year filled with isolations and lateral flow tests, finalist students are arguably the experts at helping you gain the smoothest entry to your life as a Warwick student. With that in mind, here are the top 5 pieces of advice given to you by your fellow finalist students:
Even the most social people can feel lonely at times
Moving away from home and your family for the first time can be very difficult at first. So instead, focus on preparing to live in your new home with your new ‘family’ by finding accommodation group chats on Facebook.
This way, it will be more comforting for you to know that you’re not going through this transitional process alone. There are plenty of Warwick fresher Instagram pages to connect with your year group. Although conversation starters may seem cringe at first, remember that everyone is on the same boat at the end of the day, and could end up benefiting you more than you know.
The truth is, you’re not going to like everyone you meet, and even the most social people can feel lonely at times. The sooner you realize that this is completely normal, the easier it will be to find people you will enjoy being with. Warwick has over 250 societies, which means that if there’s a sport or a hobby that you are passionate or curious about, there’s a high chance there is already a society for it.
Covid has impacted everyone’s social batteries and comfort zones
The societies’ fair is a great chance to meet new people outside of your accommodation. Whilst you’re there, why not join a society that you have never taken part in before? This way you can learn new skills, as well as talk to people who you may never have otherwise encountered.
Do you think you’ve finally ditched the school uniform? Wrong, because here at Warwick, students celebrate the shirts and ties combo every fortnight at an event called ‘Skool Dayz’. We love dressing up so much that there’s a midweek tradition ‘Circling’ dedicated just for it. Although it sounds like a cult trap where vultures surround and eat up the fresh meat, it’s really just…exactly that. But much stickier. Good Luck. To make it easier, it is advised you pack with you any odd bits of costumes and props you may own (devil horns, facial hair, a genie lamp – you’ll need them all).
Whether you are introverted or the life of the party, just remember that covid has impacted everyone’s social batteries and comfort zones in the same way. I promise you that whilst you are caring about how you’re presenting yourself, everyone else is doing the exact same thing.
You will only be a fresher once in your entire life
So you might as well do some self-reflection, prioritize where you want to place your energy and be your most authentic self. And if you’re still unsure about how to present yourself, don’t worry too much as by the end of freshers week you’ll have plenty of practice introducing yourself over and over again to people you will probably never see again.
Amidst all of the excitement of a new environment, and prioritizing to find ‘your people’, it is important to note that everyone views the ‘Ultimate University Experience’ differently. Your definition of fun may not be exactly the same as your friends, and that’s okay. Remember that this is the year with the least academic pressure and that you will only be a fresher once in your entire life.
Even once you are sure of yourself, made friends and settled in, don’t stop there. So take advantage of your energy now, and explore. Explore your surroundings – believe it or not, there are things that exist outside the Warwick bubble. Explore around your degree – there are societies and workshops that can help you become the best in your field. Lastly, explore your mind, always challenge yourself and make the most of what Warwick has to offer you.