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What's it like at Warwick Uni? Charlotte Hammond, Politics and Sociology

Charlotte Hammond, Politics and Sociology

Published August 2014

What’s it like to study Politics and Sociology at the University of Warwick? Third year student Charlotte Hammond shares her tips for handling newfound independence, taking the opportunity to explore career options and enjoying campus.

PAIS bake saleName: Charlotte Hammond. People usually call me Charlotte but someone once called me the Chazinator which I actually kind of liked
Blog: Charlotte's blog
Degree: Politics and Sociology (joint degree)
Home town: Bedford
A-levels studied: History, English Literature and Sociology

Where were you before you came to Warwick?

Sharnbrook Upper School, it’s a state school in the countryside.

How long have you been at Warwick?

Three years. I’ve just finished forever!

How did you apply to Warwick?

I applied through UCAS after coming to an open day. I decided to make it my first choice the moment I got my offer, I loved it right from the start!

What’s it like to study at Warwick?

It was a lot of fun. I loved being able focus on what I was interested in and to be more independent. It was exciting to live on campus with a group of people my own age. It was totally different from my lifestyle before so it took a bit of getting used to but it has been totally worth it and I have come out of it different (hopefully in a good way!).

It’s important to fill your spare time with constructive things like clubs, part-time work or volunteering. This helps you get more out of your time at university and has the added benefit of helping you to make more friends!

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

It was very hard at first. You have to do a lot of your own reading and no one is checking up on you and making sure that you do your work! There are also a lot less lessons (for us they are called lectures and seminars) so at first I didn’t know what to do with my time! You get used to it though. A degree is harder than A-levels but more interesting because you can choose to focus on what you enjoy a lot more.

Why Warwick?

Although another university had a course which looked slightly better, when I visited Warwick at an open day it felt like the right place for me. I think that’s important because you have to live there for three years. I also made sure that the course was for me and, of course, Warwick’s good reputation was a big contributing factor.

What have you found most challenging?

The lack of structure in my day because we don’t get many contact hours. I’ve found that it’s important to fill your day with constructive things like clubs, part-time work or volunteering. This helps you get more out of your time at university as well and has the added benefit of helping you to make more friends!

 

What were your favourite memories of the past year?

Through the university, I was paid to run some sessions with some year 10s; teaching them about their options after school. I really enjoyed this opportunity and it has helped me to decide to become a teacher! The highlight for me was receiving their responses to a survey at the end which said they had all had a great time.

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

That there are some schools in England where the kids don’t have to go to any lessons unless they want to and can spend all day doing whatever they want!

I didn’t go overseas but I have regretted that and would encourage other people to go. I did go on a trip to Copenhagen with the Sociology Department which was a lot of fun!

Any low points?

It’s hard when you’re at university and something happens at home. This happened to me in my first year. I resolved it by making sure I used the support of my family and friends, both those at university and those at home. I also used it as motivation to get involved in some voluntary work which I am so glad I’ve done.

Did you study overseas as part of your degree?

I didn’t go overseas but I have regretted that and would encourage other people to go. I have had friends go to Italy, America and Australia and they seemed to have an amazing time. I did, however, go on a trip to Copenhagen with the Sociology Department which was a lot of fun and have gone travelling during the long summer holidays with friends.

What’s next?

I’ve got a place with Teach First for 2015. It’s a fast track into teaching (if you’ve seen Tough Young Teachers, that’s what I’ll be doing!). I’m travelling around Europe this summer and then I’m hoping to get a job as a teaching assistant or tutor for this year.

What do you do when you’re not studying?

I have enjoyed doing different voluntary stuff with kids but I also love going to social events with friends in the University and local towns.

Who have you met whilst you’re here?

I have made some incredible friends for life while I’ve been at university. A fair few of them are the people I met on my very first day here! I have also met some really kind academics too!

What’s your favourite spot on campus?

The piazza is always fun. There’s usually something going on there whether it’s a performance, something showing on the big screen or a big barbeque! Curiositea, our vintage teashop, is also lovely. My favourite spot, however, is around Whitefields because I had such a fantastic first year living there and it brings back such good memories.