The Future is Alright | My Day at Warwick Uni

It came to me, as I was walking out of the English talk at Warwick uni, stumbling slightly with my eyes widened, that I had absolutely no idea what the future would hold for me. I realised then that I was far too terrified for it to be rational and that for the next 15 minutes, nothing would mean anything in a mantra inside my head and really? That was okay.

Let’s backtrack a bit to 7 AM. I’d woken up an hour before, feeling strangely energised yet exhausted; my dad and I hopped in the car on our way to the uni, the journey taking around two hours. Unlike when I travel with my mum, I didn’t feel tense and had intelligent conversation, punctuated by my usual listening to music. When I’d booked the Open day before, I’d spent about half an hour planning what I’d go and see. I double checked it, like I always do, and a curious sort of excitement grew: I’d been looking forward to Warwick for ages and most of my friends who went there said they loved it and that it was amazing. Of course, they were right.

We took a bus from the Park-and-ride service and it didn’t take long, the trees sweeping along the roof which I found funnier than I should have. We got there, got out and got pointed to the registration place. I said “Thank you!” far too enthusiastically to some helpful staff and then I took about a year to get my barcode up. That was… Significantly awkward. Once I was scanned, we walked into the campus itself and the day started. Surrounded by other students, the sounds and smells of food cooking out in the open and music, it felt so relaxed and smelled so much of greenery at one point that I almost forgot I was in a university campus.

The first talk was why we should choose Warwick as a university and I thought, for the first time, that a place felt right in a way. It felt vibrant, the way they spoke about challenging you to think critically and not just to get the skills for a job but to get skills which you would be able to apply anywhere, for the rest of your life. That’s what I’d want for a degree: not just a means to an end but rather, something that would be truly useful and something that would make me fall in love with learning. They managed, in one talk, to make me feel like maybe, I’d get that there. If I got in, that is, which isn’t an easy feat: I’ll sit on my hope for now but not too much. If that wasn’t enough, I went and spoke to the Disability Advisor and a Postgraduate student who set up a around disability awareness after that talk ended. ⠠⠮ way they spoke about the uni made it feel welcoming. I saw the Literature Society, where I displayed a lot of excitement over the existence of it (I’d have been embarrassed if I cared) and found out that yes, there was a Writing society. Cue even more excitement. I spent about half an hour in that hall, wandering round and talk to a few societies to find out what kind of things were on offer, far more than I had at UEA or Birmingham.

The problem that didn’t even register as a problem until afterwards started when I went to the “Applying to Warwick” talk. They spoke about Personal Statements and what Warwick specifically wanted in Undergraduate students and I started to tell myself, quiet but still insistent, that I didn’t have those qualities. I’ve barely started on my Personal Statement because I have no idea how to structure it, despite all the advice and so I panicked. I panicked a lot, a cold harsh feeling in my stomach but I shoved it back. I realise now that I do have the ability to structure it, to write concisely and in a focused way and that all I have to do is start but in that talk, it turned into a raging monster inside my head because it was too big, too much. That was another mantra I repeated throughout the day, “too many things, too much, too quickly.”

Accommodation, both discussed in the talk and seen by me when I went on a mini tour of it, was really nice. That filled me with no fear because I could see myself living there, with or without a Guide Dog; it was close to everything and the anxiety of not being able to drive was stopped because the campus is connected to places around it. The loneliness was negated, too, because there would be people and a nearby city (Coventry). Things weren’t registering as much in that talk but when I went to see them with my dad, thought I’d broken the toaster in the kitchen and found out the differences in the halls, I started to feel a lot better about it all.

After lunch, we had the Students’ Union Talk; it was nothing too groundbreaking. I liked how one of the people spoke about her experiences because it was refreshing to know that loads of different societies existed. Still, it was nothing I hadn’t heard when I was walking about before.

The most important talk was the talk on English and this was where things started to really get confusing in my head. On its own, the talk was great: four sections (English on its own, then with history, theatre and Creative Writing) were really well explained as to make it exciting; there were political jokes and the lecturers who did the talks were both hilarious and thought-provoking at times. Somebody who had graduated spoke to us, as well as another undergraduate talking about a program which encouraged secondary school students to go into higher education. I loved it, so why did I walk out of the talk feeling sick?

The abbreviated answer is that I don’t know if the writing part of it was something I wanted to do. I’d lost focus in that talk, zoning out as I thought about nothing; I was unable to concentrate on the words. The future seemed absolutely bleak to me then and I sat there, shaking with the knowledge that everything felt like it was meaningless and worthless and like I was somehow broken in a stupid way. It was more than me feeling just sad; I felt desperately worried at the sheer amount of uncertainty. I kept on thinking, “Am I doing the right thing? Am I good enough?” and although I knew I was, that second-guessing shocked me. I didn’t want it there, in a room full of people who loved reading and writing just as much as I did. For a while after that, I was very silent and honestly terrified because my apathetic reaction to the talk confused and upset me. When I went into the drop-in session afterwards and spoke to a student doing the course I wanted to do, everything felt better but I presented myself as quite uninterested, bored even, despite the fact that I wasn’t. I wanted to know but the excitement seemed to have been drawn out of me, somehow.

When I got home, I had time to think. Yes, I was feeling unhappy and not thrilled at the prospect then but now, I see what a great course it actually is. I love the university and people there were passionate about their subject and where they were studying. Only when I look back can I understand that although I can’t quite remember what was said in the talks, I know that I enjoyed myself.

Perspective doesn’t make it “all better.” Even for my more positive attitude, I still feel desperate and sad and very panicked, for various reasons. Things are looking up though, in at least one aspect of my life – the university aspect. My work ethic and personal issues are weighing me down but my future’s a little less scary. That counts for something, right?

Was it my fearful reaction to me being emotionless that marred the English talk slightly? Is Warwick really the right place for me? Will I have a definite idea of what I want to do in the future, without feeling panicked? I don’t know the answers to any of those questions. I think, though, that I don’t to know just yet. I still have time ahead of me.

Have you been to Warwick and what did you think? Do you know what you want to do in the future?

From Elm 🙂

62 thoughts on “The Future is Alright | My Day at Warwick Uni

  1. I used to live in Warwick!! It was a really nice place, and we visited Warwick university for a maths event from school once. I really liked the campus. 😍

  2. Hi Elm! 🙂 Oh my goodness I loved Warwick! I’m so glad you visited! I went to the open day before this one. Whilst the requirements for the courses I like are high, the overall vibe and options really appealed to me! Good luck with the personal statement – I find that time flies but it does help if you write something out so it gives you and your teachers something to work with. Mine’s getting sent off soon!

  3. I’m about to start as an undergrad at Warwick- when I start I’ll be happy to answer any questions though at the moment I have basically no clue about it! Personal statements are hard I found writing a sentence about something I liked about an aspect of what I was studying helped the flow of it- good luck!

  4. My best friend graduated from Warwick this year! Though I never visited, every time we facetimed, she was at campus and showed me everything around her – from classrooms to the library, and her dorm: It was magical!

  5. I really enjoyed reading about your first experiences with Uni! Don’t stress too much about your decisions as you can ALWAYS change your mind. You’re never really stuck. Just try and do what feels right in the moment.

    • I really needed to hear that 🙂 thank you so much! It’s difficult to remember that I can change my mind and that things aren’t set in stone. I really hope that things go well and they also go well for you! How’s school going?

      • I like to remind myself that nothing is permanent and nothing is forever. There is always room to change. School is good for me, I guess. I did fail a math test, but I went a lot better in the next one so that is good. Basically everyone knows about my blog – well, my old one – so I’ve decided to embrace my new one. If I show that I’m not embarrassed about it then no one can hold it over me. And I honestly don’t care what random classmates think anyway; its not like I’ll know them in five years or so.

      • YES! I love your confidence; you’ve gone through a lot and you’ve progressed a hell of a lot too. I’m more proud than ever because you’re embracing who you are xx

      • Coincidentally I started writing a post just yesterday about how I can’t really be bothered to care what others think of me anymore. I’m thinking of calling it “reckless confidence” or “careless or confident”. I’m not sure. In fact, I’m not even sure I’m going to post it based on the fact that I’m not sure I’m ready to open myself up like that so soon on a new blog.

      • I think you should do what you’re comfortable with 🙂 But just remember that if people judge you for it, they don’t understand you and what you stand for in yourself xx

  6. I’m about to start as an undergrad at Warwick so when I get there I can provide ‘insider info’ haha! Personal statements are hard- show it to all your teachers especially if they have done multiple degrees!

  7. I loved reading this, it sounds so interesting and fun. I don’t know if I’ll go to uni, I’m still in two minds, but I’ve got years to think about that.
    As hard as it is, it’s best to try not to stress, you can always change your mind. xx

    • Gosh yeah that’s so true! I always forget that I’ve still got time to think and it changing my mind isn’t bad. Also, don’t think about uni now! You don’t need to and it’s just unnecessary stress – but you’re right, not stressing about it and finding ways to de-stress is really important xx

      • School are already making us look at universitiy options, tbh I really don’t think it’s for me, i’d much rather take on an apprenticeship, but I’ll worry about that when the time comes xx

  8. Hey Elm!! So yesterday I went to a thing about universities and found courses I wanted to do (creative writing and publishing) and some great universities. Whilst I was there it was great, the person I was talking to really enjoyed the course and I was looking forward to it. When I got home, I started feeling inadequate. I thought maybe it isn’t right, maybe I’m not good enough to go and I’m still kind of struggling with it now. What I’m trying to say is that I understand and if you ever want to talk to me about it you can, I’m here if you need to vent or discuss stuff with me xx

    • Ahhh thank you!!! Bethany, what you just said was so relatable – and I completely understand. But trust me when I say that you are good enough – feeling inadequate is completely natural but it doesn’t mean it’s true. Don’t second-guess yourself – follow what you really would love to do and don’t let people stand in your way. Remember I’m always a message away if things get too overwhelming XX

  9. i just adore this brief snippet of your life and i hope things continue to go well. it’s normal to have so many questions when starting something new, especially something as important and huge as uni! let us know how it goes. xxx

    • Of course I will! It’s really nerve wracking but I’ll hopefully be able to get motivated and to really take hold of my future. I really appreciate the support you’ve been giving out recently, by the way. Thank you! Xxx

  10. This reminds me so much of the only open day I went to – I was in love with Cardiff, but I thought it was too good to be true. Don’t worry about your personal statement, this time two years ago, I hadn’t started it at all and I was on holiday in New York! You can go at your own pace. If you love somewhere, you’ll know it. I just started my second year, still have my ups and downs about it but it’s mostly good. I hope everything goes well for you!xx

    • Hearing of someone who has been in the same situation as me, personal statement wise, is really comforting. Thank you so much! I’m really really glad things are going quite well for you – there will always be ups and downs to situation but it’s great to know that you are happy there. I get quite worried that I will feel crappy at university but I suppose I’ll know if I love the place, like you said. What are you studying by the way? How did your first year go?

  11. There are so many different uni’s out there, I know it can be a stressful time but you will find one you like. Yeah, I do love the feeling of getting the vibe from the uni that it is a good place to be. It’s definitely okay to have mixed emotions about courses and uni, it’s okay to change your mind, I know I definitely did a number of times! If a course is not for you, that’s totally okay too. Thanks for sharing your uni journey so far! 😊

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