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What's it like at Warwick Uni? Emily Buckley, BA History

Published August 2014
What’s it like to study history at the University of Warwick? History student Emily Buckley shares her thoughts on living in halls, new-found freedom and her ‘Warwick family’.

Emily BuckleyName: Emily Buckley
Degree: History BA
Home town: London
A-levels studied: History, Spanish, Psychology and Religious Studies at AS

Where were you before you came to Warwick?

Dame Alice Owen's School

How long have you been at Warwick?

I’ve just completed my first year

How did you apply to Warwick?

I applied through UCAS. I decided pretty late in the process as it was a toss-up between Warwick and another university. I definitely made the right choice to firm Warwick.

What’s it like to study at Warwick?

Amazing. It’s made me realise my potential, and I’m so grateful for that. To potential first years reading this; please, please make the most of that year. Living in halls can be absolutely hilarious and is a great way to build life-long friendships.

It really annoys me when other people brush Warwick aside and just label it as a ‘field’; it’s so much more than that. We have such great facilities here, from the library to the SU, and the campus is a really encouraging environment to live in. New students shouldn’t panic about ‘the bubble’ – there are far worse bubbles to live in (and I know from experience!)

There are so many societies to join, so make sure you sign up to them because they’re honestly a great way to meet people. If you’re doing History then HistSoc should be a definite but don’t feel like you’re limited to just us. One of my flatmates studies computer science but joined the German society and absolutely loved their socials. Come out of your comfort zone: you could surprise yourself!

After the open day I could see Warwick as a place where I could happily live...

What was it like going from studying at A-level to studying for a degree?

It’s so different from school, or at least my school, which has a reputation for getting a ridiculously high number of students into Oxbridge so the staff were very pushy and made sure you worked to the best of your ability. At Warwick you don’t really have anyone checking your work - only your attendance. It’s definitely a skill to balance work and play with your newfound freedom. I’ve also questioned how I managed to wake up at 7.00am every day for seven years as well as having a full day at school – now having an average of two contact hours a day is draining!

Why Warwick?

The first time I came onto campus with my parents, I knew it was a contender. It wasn’t an open day, we just came along so I could get an idea of what a campus uni was like. Even though it was a complete ghost town when we visited (it was early September), I loved the facilities that the campus had to offer. Warwick also offers foreign language classes so I could keep up with my Spanish and the possible options for a year abroad were so much better than the other university I was looking at.

Emily Buckley

What have you found most challenging?

Without a doubt the workload. It wasn’t too much, it’s just that living in halls means there are always fun things going on distracting you from work, be it having a chat, movie nights or jousting matches in the corridors!

What were your favourite memories of the past year?

There are too many to list. The people in my accommodation are my Warwick family so just scrolling through my floor’s WhatsApp group has me in stitches. We have all sorts there, ranging from selfies with my flatmate’s stolen tagine lid to group dinners or shots of people walking through the piazza in onesies and a duvet.

I’d advise anyone coming to Warwick to study History to get involved with HistSoc as quickly as possible and also other societies in general.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this year?

University has definitely been an eye-opener. I’ve learnt a lot about myself but the most important is that I have the ability to succeed if I put my mind to it.
Also, do not circle [pre-drink] with Cava and non-humanities students are awful at Scrabble.

Any low points?

At uni, you realise that you were friends with some people at school just because you saw them five days a week. I resolved it by just letting the friendships fade out and made sure that I built stronger friendships at Warwick.

Will you be studying overseas as part of your degree?

Yes, yes, yes! That’s always been the plan. I’m hoping to go somewhere that speaks English but with nicer weather! I’m really excited about the thought of living abroad for a year as I love travelling and I’m still not as independent as I’d like to be.

What do you plan to do once you’ve completed your degree?

Depending on my results, I’m considering doing a masters and then a gap year before I enter the real world. If the results aren’t so promising then I’ll just go for the gap year.

What do you do when you’re not studying?

I am the marketing and charities officer for HistSoc, so I’m learning a lot about web development at the moment. I also am a mentor with World@Warwick and I’ve written for Cobalt Magazine and The Boar (where I'm also a sub-editor). I’m just waiting for someone to encourage me to do something sporty now!

Who have you met whilst you’re here?

For the first year I’ve just been focusing on building friendships. However, next year I plan to establish a good network on contacts through my exec role.

What’s your favourite spot on campus?

Curiositea. I’ll definitely be spending more time in there next year; the food and drinks are delicious and a lot of effort has been put into the beautiful décor.