Lauren Briner, History and Politics
Published August 2014
Name: Lauren Briner
Degree: History and Politics (Joint Honours)
Home town: Rochester, Kent
A-levels studied: History, Politics, English Literature and dropped Philosophy/Ethics at AS
Where were you before you came to Warwick?
The Rochester Grammar School (non-private)
How long have you been at Warwick?
How did you apply to Warwick?
Through UCAS, and I made it my first choice around February 2013, very soon after I had my offer.
What’s it like to study at Warwick?
Warwick is an amazing place to study, especially when you are researching and learning about subjects that you have loved at school. The resources, facilities and staff are all such a high standard, and the variety of modules on offer caters to every individual student and what they’re interested in.
What was it like going from studying at A-level to studying for a degree?
It is very different from A-Level, in that at school you are comfortable being told that you need to learn a certain criteria in order to get a specific grade. Whereas at Warwick it’s totally different in that the skills you acquire equip you in making the decisions as to what is important to learn and revise for those all-important exams.
Warwick was the highest-ranking university that I had applied to. I thought Warwick would provide me with the best education and opportunities.
I have no idea why, but I wanted to go to Warwick from when I was in year 12. Probably because of its reputation, but I had never met anyone who had actually gone there at that point. When I looked at different universities that offered History and Politics, Warwick was the one with the best course. I also just loved the campus, thought it was a perfect distance from home in that it is far enough that I am living somewhere exciting and new, but close enough for me to come home if I wanted to. Warwick is both strong for History and Politics, and it was the highest university that I had applied to. I thought that Warwick would provide me with the best education and opportunities.
What have you found most challenging?
I have found the jump from politics A-Level to a degree level the most challenging. At school I had always found politics relatively easy, but this was completely different at degree level so that was difficult to adapt to and accept. My advice for people doing History and Politics is to be prepared for the workload because it is difficult doing a joint honours degree. I was under the illusion that joint honours wouldn’t be as difficult as I have found it.
What were your favourite memories of the past year?
My favourite memories have to include living in halls, with a mixture of people from around the world, some who you don’t get on with but some that you end up being the best of friends with. This is just a life experience in that you meet so many new people with diverse backgrounds, and each has their own interesting experiences. Also, becoming involved with the History Society by meeting the exec in the first week of Fresher’s Week, and then becoming a Freshers’ Rep alongside 3 others to help with events was a great experience. Then also standing for election and becoming Social Secretary for the society.
In addition to this, going on the Prague tour with History was amazing, as I had never been to Prague and it was such a good opportunity to visit somewhere new, and meet loads of new people, and paying a very good price which you would not be able to pay if you went outside of university. I also have enjoyed volunteering in primary schools teaching politics, which was fun, challenging and helped gaining experience as I am likely to wish to become a teacher. Lastly, it has just been the social side of Warwick, in that every student is so friendly, and I feel lucky that I am able to meet so many different people.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this year?
Academically, I would say that learning how history and politics interlink in most topics, and getting to study topics I’ve always wanted to learn such as the French Revolution. Non-academically, I would say being independent and learning to live by myself.
Any low points?
None particularly. Living away from home can sometimes be difficult but that’s natural and is solved through time.
What have you learned about yourself since starting university?
I have realised that I have the confidence to participate in a wide range of activities that I have always wanted to do. I have also learned that I do deserve to be at a top university. During the first few weeks I was intimidated by others on my course who participated and made comments which were ridiculously intelligent, but when we started to do assessments, gaining similar marks to these people made me realise I had earned my place at Warwick.
Will you be studying overseas as part of your degree?
I hope to do a year abroad but that’s if I apply and get a place. I would want to go to America/Canada and would absolutely love to study overseas. I love travelling and going somewhere completely different and meeting new people excites me.
What do you plan to do once you’ve completed your degree?
I am keeping my options open, but I have always wanted to be a teacher so that seems the most likely career. Apart from this, either journalism, law, or something in politics.
What do you do when you’re not studying?
I am a section Editor for Warwick Tab and have joined many societies whilst at Warwick. I’d advise anyone coming to Warwick to enjoy every moment of it, to join as many societies as you possibly can do, get involved in everything and anything. Make sure you do everything you have always wanted to do at university, then you will feel like you have made the most out of your first year.
Who have you met whilst you’re here?
Friends, academics, speakers from different universities.
What’s your favourite spot on campus?
I love the piazza. I think that it’s such a good idea to have that where central campus is because it’s so nice to sit in the sunshine with friends and just chat for hours. It’s also so nice when events are on such as the World Cup, where hundreds of people are there and the atmosphere is amazing.