If I could live my first year again…
I absolutely loved my first year. But like all other rewarding experiences, my first year also taught me a lot about myself and living the student life. There are a few things I could have done differently and I'll share those with the new #Warwick2017 freshers. Choose to follow what you like and if you have any questions, just ask!
- I would attend the sports fair. I hadn't done any sports since GCSEs and therefore didn't bother going to this one but really wish I had. The opportunities you get at university, you might not get elsewhere in terms of the poeple, the place and the money you spend for the services. I did attend both the societies' fairs and joined quite a lot of them! The opportunities you get at university are unique. Make the most of everything!
- I would take post-labs really seriously. See my post – Results and lessons learnt – to learn how I'm planning to change my revision strategies for second year but I definitely have a lot of regrets with respect to labs. If only I had taken them seriously enough. As much as I enjoyed being in the labs, I didn't put enough thought and research into my post-labs. Take little assignments seriously because they often add up to give you a good score in the end!
- Practice Bhangra – I am a very slow learner. I have to put a lot of effort into everything. If only I had practised every Bhangra routine after attending the classes, I would have improved so much by the end but I only relied on the weekly hourly classes and they didn't take me very far. This has been a serious issue over summer because I have been craving Bhangra but all I could sadly do to handle the withdrawal symptoms was kick around the house. If you're with a society to seriously develop a skill, practice it! It is the only way to improve.
- Use Facebook wisely – I only joined Facebook a month before starting university. It sadly took me a while to establish the right way to use Facebook in terms of how much time should ideally be spent on laughing at the Political Bible page memes. It got really bad in my case to an extent that I had to delete it in the middle of exam season (only to later get it back after exams). At university, like it or not, having a Facebook account is a necessary evil if you want to get involved with societies (well, most of them anyway). But when I finish university (which isn't anytime soon), it better be the first thing to go. Be careful about time management and try to reflect upon your day every night before going to bed; think about what you got done, how you're getting on with things and change your lifestyle as you go to make the most of your time.
- I wish I had done extra reading at the start of the year. The only reason why I feel like I performed well in organic and inorganic was because of all the different books that I read in term 3 related to the material. If I had done this heavy reading from the start as any ideal student should do, the results would have been different. Enjoying your subject should involve exploring it and making it a part of your lifestyle.
- I wish I had thought about the skills I need to develop at the start of the year. I am quite a big fan of thinking about all the things I can and cannot do. Those I cannot do, I try to think how I possibly can learn to. If only I had thought about this at the start of the year, I could have made use of the opportunities on campus to develop those skills. Instead I did nothing and then have been thinking about everything over summer.
- I wish I had gone out with my friends a bit more. I went to cafes etc with my chemistry friends and met up with a Bhangra friend at Curiositea and that was it. If only I had spent more time with my flatmates. There is one who always pushed me to go Subway with her and as much as I wanted to go, I was always "busy" but quite frankly only in my mind. If I had tried harder, I surely would have had a great time. The only good thing is that I'm living with her next year so surely I'm going to redeem myself. Take out some time for friends who make your university experience more enjoyable.
- Tag people in memes. Yes, a bit of a funny one but I have noticed it is only awkward the first time around. This is perhaps the only thing where I've found Facebook useful in the process of making friends.Tagging people in relevant memes indicates that you think about them.It can be such a fun way to get rid of that initial awkwardness where you're not quite sure about how good friends you have become. I was quite late with this but once you get into the habit, it can be really good. Just make sure you don't end up coming across as two different people online and offline.
- Try cooking with flatmates. If only I had taken part with my flatmates in making those biscuits and other things they made. I would have learnt so much cooking but me being me, I was always just studying in my room. Hopefully, next year I'll spend more time with flatmates and learn some cooking skills from them. This would also help with having a happy life at home with buddies.
- Have a 9-5 revision schedule. My first year counted which is why I revised for my exams seriously. I am an avid reader of student blogs and have found that many revised seriously for their first year exams even though their year didn't count. Like, wow. If you're likely to be one of them, or if your year counts, then have an organised schedule. As much as all-nighters are sometimes needed (admit it), if you stay on top of your work, you'll have a better and a more structured time. Go to bed on time, wake up on time, spend time both in the library and with buddies in a way that you get work done and get the rest you need.Yeh, just fit socials in this schedule somehow. I'm not a big fan of them therefore not sure how to do that. There are many other super nice bloggers around here, you know. Ask 'em!
Lastly, Welcome to Warwick! xx