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University is certainly not all work, work, work. Obviously, coming out of it with a good degree is important, but there is so much more to it than that. In fact, in terms of getting a good graduate job, if you have nothing to show at the end of Uni than a certificate, then you have wasted your time, and shot yourself in the foot. You will never have as many opportunities open to you, than when you are at university. Where else in real life will someone give you £5000 and let your produce a play, with virtually no experience ? Where else can you meet hundreds of people with the same interests as you, all out to make friends and have a good time ? Where else can you write for a weekly newspaper, read by thousands, without going through years of struggle ? Clubs & Societies are wonderful things - and at Warwick the emphasis really is on getting involved in these, and gaining the vitally important 'transferable skills' that they give you. They even have a whole newly-built Union to accommodate them all, and provide members with the resources to run them. During my time at Warwick, there were some 200 societies, and 100 clubs!! If none of those appealed to you, there was also the option of setting up your own society - and the Union gave you £50 to do so!!! So, if you fancied setting up a society of people who like cheese, for example, and if you could find 30 people who shared your passion, then away you went!! True empowerment!! I was a member of MTW (Music Theatre Warwick), RAG (Raising & Giving), The Pool Club, Community Action, 5-A-Side Football, 11-A-Side Football, among others. I produced two musicals, Little Shop Of Horrors and Crazy For You, the latter in the 530 capacity Arts Centre Theatre!! I was Deputy President of RAG, and RAG Week Co-ordinator, and captained a 5-a-side football team, which all kept me pretty busy. Before Uni, I had never done anything like this before, but just by getting involved, I managed to
undertake some of my proudest achievements. It really does give you a lot of confidence in yourself to do such things, and to realise your dreams. So when you leave Uni, and are applying for Graduate jobs, and the inevitable questions pop up - examples of when you have led a team / overcome difficulties / worked with people from different backgrounds / worked under pressure / worked to deadlines / blah, blah, blah, you will always have an answer!! The biggest societies at Warwick were RAG, a charity soc whereby we raised money (about £30,000 a year) through having fun, Warwick Boar - the student newspaper (with in excess of 600 members!!), RAW - the radio station, and WUDS - the drama society. But these were just the tip of the iceberg. There was a chocolate society, Real Ale society, Snooker, table football, Viking and everything in between. Most societies held regular meetings, had socials, went on trips, and generally promoted and discussed their interests to meet new friends and have a good time. I've got to mention a bit about RAG, as an example of a good active society, because it played a big part in my Uni life. Each year, we organised two charity hitches, one to Dublin, one to Edinburgh, six 'raids' to different cities, numerous Union events, a weekly pub quiz, bingo, bungee jumps, and RAG Week. RAG Week was my favourite, and was basically a whole week of non-stop RAG events, including traffic-light discos, delivery of roses, choccies and beer to lectures, and gnomings (covering victims in water and flour). In just one week we raised £10,000, with everyone having a great time. It's just not the kind of thing you could do in 'real life'!! Facilities open to clubs & socs is excellent at Warwick. Union North houses offices, computer rooms for club work, pigeon holes, and has staff on hand to assist you with anything. Each year, clubs put in budget bids, and are given money by the Union to run thei
r society - then students join these clubs and societies, at two fayres, in Fresher's Week, pay their joining fee, which then goes towards paying for the events which the society organises. Simple eh?!?! Also yearly, each society has elections, whereby anyone can nominate themselves to take up a position on the executive committee of each club or society. Voting takes place between the members, and the elected persons will then take on responsibility for that society for the next year, so opportunities are there for everyone. So my advice to you would be to get involved in everything you can - it only costs a couple of quid to join each one, so give as many as you can a good try. The experiences gained, and the friendships made, will be with you for life. Don't come out of University with just a piece of paper!!!!!
After 3 years at Warwick, I have one very important piece fo advice for anyone thinking of going to any university. Join societies. When I started university I didn't know anyone. I didn't even know any friends of friends who might have been at Warwick. On my first day I met my hall mates, a few days later I met my course mates. Wow I knew about 30 people out of the 1000's here and I didn't even know if I had anything in common with any of these people. Within a week I had joined the brass society and gone along to my first rehearsal. I met another 30 odd people and I knew that I had something in common with these people. We had something to talk about that didn't involve which school we went to, what A levels we did and everything else you talk to everyone about when you first meet them. I was also out without my hall mates, a novelty in itself. Also the old members make a real effort with freshers, they want people to enjoy being a member of the society just as much as they have, if you're lucky you might even get a few drinks bought. Not all societies are great, there are some dodgy ones that don't really do anything. My advice is to think about what you'd like to do, any hobbies you'd like to continue, any new things you'd like to try. And most importantly that you're joining the society because you want to, not your hall mate. Just remember the more people you meet the more chance you have of making some really good friends. You won't get along with every single person you meet, no-one does but you'll meet some people whilst at university that will hopefully become friends for life. I certainly believe I have!
I started trampolining by joining the club at Warwick university in 1999. I had never trampolined before, but the club is really good and I have stayed as a member of the club for two years (and counting...). Its great fun, and well organised. If anyone is coming to Warwick University and is looking for a new sport to try, then I would definitely recommend you try it, as I did. The people that are in the club are really friendly, and very supportive when you are trying out new moves or preparing for competitions. Also the social side of the club, like so many of Warwick's sports clubs, is fantastic.