Posted on Tue 07 Jan 2020 at 12:07 by Christopher Carter
Term 2 can be daunting, because there’s an assumption that you’re already settled into life at uni. However, some people aren’t, and that’s completely okay! It took me until midway through my second term of first year to feel properly comfortable at Warwick - and, I’m not going to lie, I still considered dropping out right up until I walked across the stage at graduation and realised I had a degree!
If you’re still feeling unsettled, why not join a club or society? It’s never too late to join up, and personally I think it’s really important to make friends away from your flatmates and coursemates so that you have a different circle of friends. I wouldn’t have made it through without the pals I made from sport – I never even met one of my flatmates in first year, and being around coursemates talking about deadlines all the time can be just plain stressful! Sports Clubs run taster sessions and Societies have ‘give it a go’ sessions in the first week of the new term, so you can try things out for free and then join that club/soc if you think it’s what you might have been missing out on.
Most degrees at Warwick are weird in that they don’t have January exams, but everyone always seems snowed under with deadlines anyway! (Maybe we just work too hard…?!) When it comes to study space, getting a seat in the library towards the end of Term 2 can be near-impossible, and sometimes the stress just isn’t worth it. Unless I needed Floor 5 silence, I always worked in the Uni House Learning Grid. (Not gonna lie: I did a History degree, yet never set foot in the library until midway through Year 2…!) Okay, so Uni House might be a slightly further trek, but it’s definitely superior, especially if you have a couple of study-mates so that you can nab a big table. No one judges you for taking soup, blankets and hot water bottles, either!
In terms of socialising, take advantage of cultural opportunities such as going to gigs, comedy nights, museums, theatre, sporting events, restaurants and - of course - nightclubs. Students have one of the best cultural venues in the UK on our doorstep in the form of Warwick Arts Centre - they have some great comedians and performers coming in, and you’re never going to have easier access to big names in the industry, or get to experience some of the amazing (and cheap!) nights our performance societies put on.
Elsewhere in Term 2 there are all sorts of other things to get involved in – you can run to be on a club or society exec, you could stand in the Spring Elections for an SU Officer position, or you could help someone with their campaign. Personally, I’ve done all three and although it can be mega-tiring, it’s also super fun and rewarding and makes you feel like a real part of the wider Warwick community (even if I can now never hear Rick Astley without having traumatic flashbacks to election week last year and crying in my ex-boyfriend’s car at the side of a hockey pitch in Worcester… but that’s another story!)
But the most fun thing of all to get involved with in Term 2 is, of course… Varsity. Okay, so maybe I’m a teeny bit biased on this one, but this year we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of our sporting rivalry with Coventry and are looking to make it a big 30 years undefeated! Even if you’re not competing, you can still get involved with #TeamWarwick by getting out over the weekend and supporting our student sports teams. We even have some exciting fixtures lined up at stadiums in Coventry, but I’m keeping those hush until the big reveal. Trust me though, you won’t want to miss it!
On a more general level, getting a good night’s sleep and healthy eating are by far the most important things. Not to sound like your mum, but sometimes your body just needs a night off – writing this post at the end of Term 1 after 5 nights out in a row and about to go on a sports tour, I certainly felt that deeply! A good meal is also a mood-improving must. For the past 4 years, I’ve been eating nothing but pesto pasta, but there’s no need to subject yourselves to such a gluten overload. Learn how to cook 7 simple meals – not only would this benefit your health, but your dinners will taste better too! The BBC has a great student food section if you need some tips.
And finally, remember that there is always help available if you need it. A lot of students suffer in silence, particularly at stressful points in the year such as exam season. The SU has a free and independent Advice Centre (located in SUHQ), the University has their own Wellbeing Support Services (located in Senate House), and every student has a personal tutor within their home department. I’m not ashamed to say that I turned to my personal tutor a lot during exam time in Year 2 – although I was stressed, the support I received helped me get through that period and made me better-prepared when exams came around in third year.
I hope the above will help you navigate your way through Term 2. Be sure to look after yourselves and have the best time possible, because it really flies by!