Work, work, work, work, work

HAVING A JOB AT UNIVERSITY

  1. Each situation is different:
  • Getting a job works differently for everyone, but I found that having a permanent University job wasn’t for me. During my first year of University, I felt quite home sick, and the idea of having contracted hours during term, that could potentially prevent me from coming home as often, put me off. I also didn’t ‘need’ the job to survive at University, so I decided to focus on getting used to University, before getting a job.
  1. People that do have Jobs Term-Time:
  • Many of my friends had term-time jobs and absolutely loved it. Some situations rely on having a job to finance, some people need the extra little bit to make finances easier and others just like the structure of work and the extra money goes a long way.
  1. University Blogger:
  • Though I didn’t have a job during my first year, I did become a University of Warwick Blogger, which I shall be carrying on into my final year also. This meant I had to blog twice a month on the University Blogger Page, and I would receive £25.00 at the end of the month. This does not sound much, but it really helped me. Plus it looks good on a CV and is relevant to my future career.
  1. Having a Job out of University Terms:
  • This is something I highly recommend. During University, people go on so many awesome trips, but this requires £££.
  • Temporary Work: you can pick up seasonal work at Christmas, Easter and Summer, relatively easy. Places such as retail are often looking for temporary workers. Plus, once you’ve worked for them once, and hopefully made a good impression, they often ask for you back next time you’re between University terms.
  • When you can’t find a retail job: this happened to me last year, where I couldn’t find a job and I started to panic. But don’t.
  • Total Jobs: I used this to get the newest updates on jobs. A few examples of what pops up here are: hairdresser assistant, nursery assistant, administration based jobs, receptionists- different from retail, but none the less well paying and frequent work!
  1. Bonuses of having a Job:
  • The obvious thing is MONEY.
  • But putting that aside, employers love CV’s with jobs on, whether that during University or out of term, or even just summer. It shows commitment, work ethic, organisation and the capability of juggling a busy schedule.
  1. Suggestions: there are so many jobs students can apply for during University:
  • On campus: restaurants, coffee shops, admin, cleaning and tour guides.
  • At Warwick University we have the Welcome to Warwick Scheme, these are the people that wear bright yellow tops, carry out the tours, answer prospective student questions and show you what the University is all about. They work about 3 times a year and get paid over £10 an hour.

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  • Department representative: there are so many opportunities within the departments. You can be a researcher, an assistant, a representative and a blogger.
  • Blogging: I am not sure whether Blogging is more specific to Warwick University, but it is such a good opportunity. There are places such as Campus Society that offer platforms for students to share their blogs. Though you don’t get paid, there are excellent rewards offered, such as vouchers. If you want to give blogging a go, Campus is an excellent place to start.

 

My Favourite Study Spots on the University of Warwick Campus

The University of Warwick has plenty of places to study, but I have 5 top places I prefer, all for different reasons.

The Library

When I have looming deadlines and can feel the pressure, the library is usually where I head. Doing a History Degree, as with other courses, means that besides essays, I have seminar preparation, or pre-reading. This can vary from minimal reading to crazy amounts (of course, skim reading is a skill I picked up pretty quickly!). The library is ideal when I’ve got shed loads of work and need complete silence- the top three floors are silent areas. However, my friends and I often meet in the library on the first two floors, so we can get work done and have a natter while we’re at it. Also, the first two floors allow food and hot drinks, which I love. Another bonus of the library is the seating areas, despite being pretty busy, the library is full of sofas and tables depending on your preference, along with computer access and printing resources if you require them. Essentially, the library is where I get the most work done.

The Library Cafe

I am not one of those people that can work in a lot of noise, I find it very hard to focus if people are talking to me, or if I can hear conversations. But, the library café is potentially one of my favourite places to go. It’s loud enough to drown out specific conversations and there is almost always a table. Plus they do some pretty good coffee, and if you’re lucky crepes!

Curiositea

Curiositea is one of my favourite parts of campus, I am definitely more of a coffee shop girl than a clubber. I love being sat in a vintage tea room, surrounded by cake and studying, especially right at the start of the day, when it’s completely silent and I can nab one of the comfy chairs. Again, Curiositea is loud enough for the noise not to disrupt my train of thought. Its definitely my favourite place to go on Campus with my friends and after a big deadline we treat ourselves to a slice of cake- my favourite is the Red Velvet!

The Learning Grid

I always love the idea of going to the Learning Grid but I found it completely depends on what time of the day you head over, as to how likely you are to get a seat. Split into silent and non-silent, the Learning Grid is a pretty quiet and relaxed study space. It’s also right next to Costa Coffee- bonus! I often head over there if I intend to do work on my own or am on campus particularly early or particularly late. If you’re lucky you can get one of the sofas.

Fusion

Putting aside how much I adore the food at Fusion (especially the chilli beef with rice!), it’s actually a great place to get work done. When campus is buzzing and finding a space to study, where you aren’t squished against a complete stranger, is proving difficult, then Fusion is my go-to. Not very many people go to study there, but its relatively quiet and, when it’s not peak food time, I can get a lot of work done. Plus I don’t think I have ever studied there and not had an entire table to myself. If I’m having a rough day, a portion of fries helps with the studying.

I hope this was useful and maybe if you’re on campus you could check these spots out and see where you can see yourself studying. If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

My Article Got Published in a Magazine!

About a month ago, I entered a competition to have my work published in a Warwick University Law Magazine: Obiter Dicta, in their lifestyle section: ‘Chill Zone’. It has now been published in the Winter Edition and I will have more opportunities to publish my work. I am pretty excited! Here is my work 🙂

University Realities – What you weren’t told about before coming to Warwick

University life isn’t always what we expect it to be, and some things can only be learned by experiencing them first-hand. Here a few Warwick uni experiences to be warned about for unsuspecting freshers and tips to help you make the most of your time in the Bubble.

‘Adult-ing isn’t easy’

One of my favourite quotes is that being at ‘University is like losing your Mum in a supermarket for three years’- and this is so true. It’s undeniable that University is one of the biggest learning curves. Before I started at Warwick, I knew nothing about bills, washing machines or even how expensive it is to buy fruit. But it’s certainly a giggle figuring these things out- once you’ve put a red sock in the white wash, you probably won’t do it again. But hey, pink is the new white. Likewise, with the buses you only put a ten pound note into the money-sucker once before realising they don’t give change.

‘Who took my milk?’

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to set up hidden cameras in University kitchens, I really do think it would be like Big Brother. Living with a group of people, from a range of backgrounds, with a variety of personalities, can be unbelievably fun, but equally challenging. Being a student is very much like being a detective- who took my milk? Who left the kitchen unlocked? Who’s that sleeping on our kitchen table?

‘I like going home and picking up a tea towel, knowing I won’t catch a disease’

One of my top tips to any Fresher is to befriend the cleaner. Nagging your flat to keep the kitchen tidy, in fear of a fine, is the bane of any Fresher’s life. Last year I had a friend over to visit, had just cooked a typical University meal (probably potato waffles) and was starting the washing up. After a few weeks at University you adapt to the environment, for example you never lean on a kitchen surface, unless you, personally, have cleaned it. Less than 5 minutes prior. My friend, with good intentions of course, picked up a random tea towel from the side and started drying my plates. I don’t like to think what was being smeared over my undeserving tableware. Another University hack is never to venture out your room without some form of shoe or slipper- it’s not worth the risk.

‘Student Union + Sticky Floors = Trainers’

In my first year I went shopping for the perfect Freshers outfits and the best shoes. By term two, I was wearing trainers to go clubbing. The Copper Rooms are perfect for singing to cheesy music, being dragged into mosh pits, making friends in toilets and ultimately getting your footwear covered in some sort of sticky substance that eternally swamps the floor. In a way, it’s a beautiful thing- no need to worry about blisters from 5 inch heels, people jumping on your feet is blooming irritating, but not excruciating, plus there is no need to take your shoes off on the walk home.

‘University Food Favourites’

Cooking for one is pretty limiting and, having come to University with several Cook Books I hoped to use, it is quite easy to fall into eating unhealthy and convenient foods. During my first year, I found a few ways to make maintaining a healthy lifestyle easier. One thing that surprised me was the expense of fruit and vegetables, which is an immediate deterrent to eating healthier- but persevere, there are ways around this!

Firstly, I found that cooking a decent meal for one is difficult and time consuming when you have deadlines and general university pressures. I found that making food in bulk is a good idea, which means you need loads of Tupperware. Examples of foods to make in bulk include; spaghetti, chilli con carne and breakfast muffins. Breakfast muffins are a particular favourite of mine, once they have all cooled out of the oven, put them into plastic bags individually and put them in the freezer. Then, when you are rushing to get out the door, put one in the microwave for a minute and eat it on the go. Top tip- careful, berries can explode if they’re microwaved for too long!

Secondly, after a long day, I just want to eat. I’m not fussed with faffing around. So I love the weight watchers meals, they take a maximum of 8 minutes in the microwave and are truly delicious. There are lots of variations such as; Thai green curry, sweet and sour with rice, risotto, carbonara, tikka masala and salmon with potato wedges.

I have never been a breakfast-lover, and at University, there is so much temptation to skip the meal, but it really isn’t worth the embarrassment of a tummy rumble in a lecture theatre. So, I make sure I buy the pots of fruit from the Supermarket, often there is an offer and they are so convenient to make porridge or Weetabix that bit more exciting. Likewise, I had never tried avocado either. Now, I would have half an avocado on toast for breakfast every day if I could. I even have them as a snack (they’re even better with Nandos piri-piri salt on top). It is just about what is best for you and your diet.

Finally, I absolutely love the phone app Life Sum: I never particularly liked calorie counting but nothing was working and it is hard to keep up a diet when you’re at University and on a budget. With this, I try to avoid lactose and gluten, which makes the diets even more difficult to follow. So LifeSum really does make me feel more in control of my diet, and is really flexible with the foods I can and can’t eat- I eat what suits me, unlike strict diets that give you recipes for each day. I don’t feel like I am constantly thinking about what I am eating, but I feel like I have a plan that is sustainable.

Uni Mistakes

Sometimes students do stupid things, we’re forgetful, under pressure and trying to succeed at being an adult. These are some of the things I do on a regular basis and ALWAYS regret!

  1. Leaving coffee mugs, breakfast bowls and food in my room… for extended periods of time. (Honestly, the cleaning up after it is so not worth it).
  2. Clubbing the night before a 9am.
  3. Putting the washing machine on at 8pm but forgetting to select “quick cycle”- 3 hours later it still sounds like someone is trying to break in.
  4. Picking up someone else’s tea towel (probably covered in all sorts of diseases).
  5. Leaving pre-reading to the night before.
  6. Walking into the kitchen bare foot.
  7. Getting changed without the curtains shut… and realising the old man across the road is staring.
  8. Not taking the bins out.
  9. Skipping breakfast.
  10. Going clubbing in heels.