Saturday, 24 October 2009

The University Affair

University life is one full of fluctuations. Two weeks after starting, my opinion of university has much changed. Initially planning on doing a 25-hour week course, I'm slightly glad that's not my current predicament so I can get more involved in university. Studying French with International Studies, my teaching hours are much shorter, less than 12 hours. This does not mean however that my personal working hours are non-existent. In fact, it is quite the opposite as I have a large amount of reading to do - this week on the Vichy regime for French as well as a French book called Le coeur a Rire et a Pleurer, our second semi-autobiographical book following La Place (by Annie Ernaux), as well as doing research for the International Studies part of my course. We have been presented with many new ideas and so trying to manage it all is hard when you're not fully aware. I can foresee a lot of reading and re-reading needed in the future! The fact that I'm actually interested in what I'm studying is always a good situation to be in, and definitely makes life easier!

Living off campus is definitely a different experience. Unlike most first years who, at Warwick, have the luxury of living on campus, I unfortunately got the short end, taking me anywhere between half an hour to an hour (by bus) to travel to university. This does limit the amount of time I can spend on campus, having to be reliant on the bus timetable, but doesn't actually mean that I'm worse off. Whilst cliques were formed from Day One, based upon accommodation for the most part, I spend much of my time in friends' various accommodations thus getting to meet many great new people and getting invitations to many different events (which unfortunately I'm not actually able to take up due to other commitments). On the other hand, I also make friends off campus, as I'm living in a block with just first year, University of Warwick students. From meeting my flatmates, studying engineering, chemistry and law, whose course I actually find myself very compelled by(!), to other people within my complex studying a largely varying selection of degrees. My only real complaint is that within each accommodation on campus, people have neighbours studying similar degrees which allows them to make better friends with people on their course. Doing a rather unusual degree, of which there are only about 30 students, it would be rather incredible if of the more than 6000 first year students, one of those 30 were placed in my complex.

My final gout d'université is the involvement in university. Three weeks have passed by so fast. Yet so far, it's been a race to catch up with the change. Freshers fairs, society fairs, careers fairs, socials, taster sessions for sports, lectures, seminars, playing sports (for fun and for departments) are just a few of the things I've managed to pack into my schedule so far. Aside from the above, I've made a few achievements, most notably being elected to be a Student Union Councillor for first years, thus being once of 9 students representing a body larger than 6000 to ensure that the student experience is enhanced. Further to this, after having an interview for One World Week, the world's largest student-run organisation, I'm now a team member for the Middle East and Africa Day. One World Week is a week in which the culture of different regions is spread across the university through many different activities, and so I'll be helping in the preparation of the MEA day from beforehand and on the day. Finally, I'm part of a team of about 25 people working on a conference called TEDx (look up on wiki), a conference in which new and innovative ideas and spread. This year we're getting a chef from France to come over and talk about how to unboil an egg (yes, you read right!).

Anyway, that's all for now, take care:)