I arrived at university for my first day on the 28th September 2016, where I remember having a tour around the university and making friends from day one. Since then, university life has been wonderful and an invaluable experience, and a lot has happened, both good and bad. Upon reflecting on my time at university, there has been a lot of great moments, and there have also been a few lows and difficulties along the way which have been equally as helpful as these challenges have enabled me to learn and grow as a person.
The main thing which comes into my mind when I reflect back on university is that I have certainly have embarked on opportunities that have allowed me to make the most out of university life. In my first year, I participated in a month-long volunteering programme in India that was in collaboration with the university. Although this only lasted for a month, I am extremely glad to have had this experience, as I developed various soft skills such as adaptability, communication and leadership. Furthermore, this experience gave me more confidence to try out other cool and interesting experiences after my first year, such as being on the Welfare Committee for the Warwick Student Union, as well as holding 4 different committee positions in total during my time at Warwick, all of which have exposed me to different challenges and opportunities. Moreover, I have gone to other universities such as Oxford, Nottingham and Birmingham to meet my close friends, and experienced university life at other universities as well, which has helped me gain a broader perspective.
However, I also have a few regrets as well. The main regret that I have was not taking up a new sport in my first year at university. If I did that, then there would be the possibility that I would have carried on this sport for the rest of my degree, which would have been a key part of my university experience. I have also had smaller regrets when I have done my end of term reflection, where I reflect on things I did well and things I could have done better. However, these regrets are a part of life, and I have always tried to learn from the mistakes that I have made in the past.
Overall, I have certainly felt that I have learnt an incredible amount during my time at university. For school friends that know me well, I was always known as someone who was quite smart who would get top grades on a regular basis. However, university has also helped me develop many soft skills and become more all rounded as a person, which will be essential in my future endeavours. For example, being Campaigns Leader and delivering weekly talks has allowed me to improve my planning and my public speaking skills. Having to deal with every challenge that has come my way has allowed me to become more adaptable and resilient. Moreover, balancing a demanding degree with several extracurricular activities and leadership roles have helped me improve my time management and my work ethic. All of these skills that I have gained will allow me to look back fondly at my time at Warwick. Also, I am forever thankful for my friends and the wonderful people that I have met at university, as they have always motivated me to become the best version of myself.
From my time at university, if I was to give three main pieces of advice, these would be:
- KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS FROM BACK HOME – My friends that I was in the same sixth form and high school are still some of my closest friends today. It is very easy to get consumed in university life and become so busy that you forget to keep in touch with friends from back home. However, one thing that I found was that keeping in touch with friends from school that weren’t in the same university as me was not only a good way to catch up, it was also an excellent way to take a break from the stresses of everyday university life.
- GETTING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE IS REALLY IMPORTANT – It’s a common saying but if you don’t try you will never know. Getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things often lead to interesting and fun experiences, and is where real growth as a person happens. The worst thing that can happen is that you try something new and you don’t like it, but in that case at least you gave it a go. Furthermore, one thing that is the worst after you graduate from university is the regret from the things you didn’t do. Creating this blog is a fantastic example of me getting out of my comfort zone, and is something that I am so glad I did.
- TRY AND MEET A RANGE OF PEOPLE – This could be from meeting people in your flat, to meeting people on your course, to meeting people in different university societies. University exposes you to a range of people, and I certainly think that it is important to take advantage of that. Firstly, this gives you the opportunity to make lots of close friends, and some of them would end up being your friends for life. Furthermore, another thing that I found by meeting a lot of people was that I was able to learn lots from others that helped me become the best version of myself, whether that was how to solve assignment questions, how to stay organised, or even something simple like how to maintain a good routine at university. Diversity at university is something that isn’t talked about enough, but it was something that I was able to use to my advantage. Everyone is different and everyone has wonderful unique qualities, so it’s always good to be able to learn from each other, and help each other become the best possible version of themselves.