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What's it like at Warwick Uni? English and Italian Literature

Samantha Pearce, English and Italian Literature

Published August 2014

What’s it like to study at Warwick? Fourth year student Samantha Pearce shares some of her favourite moments including making great friends, studying abroad and completing a dissertation.

Literature socName: Samantha Pearce
Blog: Samantha's blog
Degree: Joint honours degree in English and Italian Literature
Home town: Pinner
A-levels studied: English Literature, Fine Art and Italian

Where were you before you came to Warwick?

Haydon School in Pinner

How long have you been at Warwick?

This year was my fourth and final year.

How did you apply to Warwick?

I applied to Warwick via UCAS and decided to make it my first choice in the March after I’d received all my offers.

What’s it like to study at Warwick?

I have thoroughly enjoyed studying at Warwick. I love how independent university study is in general and being part of a small department meant that we got to know our lecturers very well. The classes were mostly very informal and relaxed and the facilities on campus are really great. Having known friends at other universities I feel very lucky to have been studying somewhere so good!

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

It was a bit daunting at first; you suddenly become very independent and are expected to do a lot more on your own (although there is a lot of support if you need it). I thrived in this environment and really enjoyed being more in control of my own learning.

Why Warwick?

There were a few deciding factors, I was choosing between Warwick and one other university and, in the end, it came down to the fact that Warwick held a better position in the league tables and was closer to home for me. I also got a slightly better vibe from the Warwick campus.

I thrived in Warwick's learning environment and really enjoyed being more in control

What have you found most challenging?

For me, the most challenging aspect of university life has been living between two places (especially when I did my year abroad in Italy). I love the independence I have gained from coming to university but it has been frustrating at times living in one place for half the year and another for the other half, especially when you leave half your wardrobe in one of the said places!

What were your favourite memories of the past year?

It’s been my final year so my favourite memories have been the big events that I have been to; the Literature and Languages Ball, the Graduation Ball and the Summer Party. It was really fantastic to celebrate the end of university with all my close friends and I felt like I made the most out of the time that I had left at Warwick.

I did a dissertation this year, exploring the conflict between tradition and modernity within English and Italian fairy tale novels (Peter Pan and Pinocchio). This was such a fantastic learning experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed doing my own research.

Any low points?

Homesickness is always a bit of a low point for me (this was particularly difficult when I was living in Italy). The best thing to do when you miss home is, if it is feasible, to go home. No one will judge you for it; you don’t have to stay at uni for a whole term without visiting home once! Or, if you can’t afford to or don’t have the time to go home, get out of the house/halls and meet up with friends so that you don’t feel lonely.

Did you study overseas as part of your degree?

I did a year abroad, in Italy, as a compulsory part of my degree. I lived in Siena in Tuscany for about 10 months in my second year. It was the hardest but best year of my university experience!

What do you plan to do next?

I’m starting a PGCE (teacher training) in Secondary English in September.

What do you do when you’re not studying?

In my first year I did cheerleading which was really fun. This year I was co-president of Warwick’s English Literature Society. I also have various part-time jobs as a student ambassador, blogger and, for one term of this year, I worked as a student caller.

Who have you met whilst you’re here?

I suppose that the most significant people I’ve met at Warwick have been my friends from both halls in first year and my course mates; I have definitely made some friends for life! Working as a student ambassador has also meant that I have had the opportunity to meet lots of people that share my love for Warwick; it’s a fantastic community to be a part of!

What’s your favourite spot on campus?

That’s a tricky one! Probably the little garden in the centre of the humanities building, there were lots of ducklings hatching there this year, which was really cute. Warwick is well known for its duck population, it’s one of the cool, quirky things about campus.