In this blog BSc International Management ambassador Inès discusses what she found to be the biggest changes between school and university life.
University is vastly different from anything you've experienced in high school. Immediately, you're immersed in a cultural mix of different people, a newfound sense of independence, and the need to adjust to your new social life. Having settled into my second year here at Warwick Business School, I can confidently say that I've finally come to terms with life at university. With that being said, through my experience, I've collated a few tips that will help you make the most out of your years at university!
Having attended high school in France, I had very little control over which subjects I could take. This is the first major difference to what you'll experience at WBS. I strongly recommend that you pick up modules that align with your passions or interests. As a university student, there's nothing more boring than doing a course that you do not enjoy working on. At university, you have the opportunity to pursue your passion and experience life to the fullest, take your chances and take comfort knowing that you'll be in your element at WBS.
Try something new
Secondly, I advise you to try out things wherever you can. During my first year, I earned a place in Warwick's basketball team. However, I was not a fan of my time there so I decided to leave and try out boxing. Initially, I feared the sport as it was out of my comfort zone, but, I did not let the fact that I was inexperienced and the only girl at training demotivate me. To this day I still box and I've set a completely new routine different to what you would've experienced during high school where your routine is typically set by your timetable.
Organise your time
Something I'd like to quote from my high school vice-principle is "At high school, you put in 70% of your own effort while your teachers feed you with the rest. At University, you're responsible for your own involvement, you're expected to contribute to your own joy, which often involves 95% of effort from your own side". To further explain what he said, each person has their own work, whether it be professional, academic, or self-inflicted. You need to strike a balance between your social life and your educational life, and organise your routine in a way that keeps you happy. Taking account of your commitments will help you settle smoothly into your university life because who better to organise your life than you?
Gain your own independence
My next tip is that at university, you'll quickly realise that you're responsible for your own expenses. For me, this was a striking realisation that was not an issue in high school. However, at university, you have to take into consideration your living costs which might include your grocery shopping, laundry, and socialising. Promptly setting a budget will take this weight off your shoulders which will allow you to have a clear mind and enjoy university without worrying about your expenses.
Find your own way to connect with people
A common fear that most first-years have is: how do I find a new set of friends? Luckily for you, Warwick is a multi-cultural hub that hosts students from all over the world, so you'll never feel out of place! I would recommend that you make friends with your flatmates because they're the people that you'll find closest to you throughout your first year. Your flat is your haven, and getting along with your flatmates makes it easier to feel even more at home. At Warwick, you never know who you might become friends with and everyone has their own ways of connecting with people. My tip would be to find people that whom you share common interests. Start with people that you're familiar with, get comfortable, and adjust to your own rhythm, you'll have plenty of time to broaden your horizons and meet different people at events, socials, or even classes. I met some of my closest friends at WBS. Another great way to connect is through Whatsapp or Instagram pages. Prior to joining Warwick, I reached out to a few people and became friends with them over group chats, we're all in the same basket and it's never uncomfortable to be the first one to reach out!
Finally, for any prospective Warwick students, keep in mind, that time has its own way of working out. Entering university might seem scary, remember you're not alone and getting in tune with your new life often does not happen in a week. You have time and support to adjust to everything and everyone in this new experience. I hope that with my advice, you are a little more confident stepping into this new world.
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