January 23, 2018

Term 1 : It's a wrap!

Upon hindsight, it’s unbelievable how much has happened over my first term in Warwick. In the first few weeks, the University held a Welcome Reception for its scholars. There, I had the opportunity of listening to the guest speaker, Zeena Islam give a talk - she is a Warwick alumni who graduated with a law degree and is currently an exceedingly successful barrister and she was sharing about her experiences as an ex Warwick student and the reality of the industry. As a woman from a minority race with a really strong and powerful character going down the career path I aspire to be in, she was highly inspirational and reminded me to keep my goals in clear view and work towards it with fervour.

Another event that I attended as part of the University’s scholar programme was a pantomime of Cinderella performed in the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Even though I have an immense interest in theatre, I have never attended a pantomime before and was completely taken by the novel experience. It was an immersive and wildly engaging performance and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. (Cues the pantomime chant: *No you didn’t! Oh yes, you did!*).

The efforts of the university in coming up with events for scholars is indicative of their commitment in making sure their student are constantly engaged. One of my favourite things that Warwick has to offer all of its students is the portal called ‘myAdvantage’, where free events and workshops centred around self-improvement are constantly being held. One of the events that I attended was an inspirational talk by Dr Gillian Mara – a world class athlete. She sustained life-threatening injuries from falling off a cliff and spent the night, heavily wounded, in the valleys of a mountain whilst suffering from severe hypothermia. Although she was told that she would never recover enough to continue competing as an athlete, she took that as a challenge instead of a limitation and persevered forward with her recovery. Since then, she has represented Europe in multiple national competitions and even recently completed an expedition where they set a new record and became the first women’s crew to row the North Atlantic from west to east. From the talk she gave, she thoroughly blew me away with her dedication and ‘never say die’ attitude, and further inspired me to make the best of any situation and always to see things in a positive light. Aside from that talk, I also attended numerous beneficial workshops via myAdvantage – all of which were hosted by professionals sharing tips ranging from how to ace interviews and also how to improve on time management in being as productive as possible. Making time to improve on these skills are a priority for me, and I am so glad Warwick has a portal in making it easy and accessible for its students to sign up for such classes.

One of the things that I have been immensely enjoying is the accessibility of interaction with current practitioners from the law industry. Employers are constantly on campus giving insightful career talks. Aside from that, I also attended the Warwick law fair where there were representatives from every major law firm in the country, and most of the representatives were Warwick alumni's themselves. Hence they were able to provide highly tailored advice to me as a current student. Even on a day to day basis, I get to interact with highly qualified practitioners – for example one of my seminar tutor sits as a judge in London whilst juggling being a professor in Warwick. Having the opportunity to learn from him and listening to his personal experiences makes for a really rich learning opportunity and I constantly count my blessings for being able to learn from some of the best in the industry. One of the things that I also signed up for and am looking forward to this coming term is a Crown Court visit in Leamington Spa, where I will get to experience a full day of trials and I feel that this experience will be essential in contextualising all the theoretical knowledge I have been learning. While the academic learning curve has been steep over the past term, the experience has been wholly stimulating and engaging and I am looking forward to learning about the law in greater depth.

Beyond the academic front, one of the main highlights of the past term and the Christmas break were the travelling opportunities available to me. Since arriving in Warwick, I have been to Netherlands, Spain and Morocco. I visited Netherlands during the Dutch Design Week to visit a friend who is currently studying product design there and it was such a whimsical, fun and interactive experience. The highlight of that trip had to be one of the Design Week experiences, where we got to take a free canal tour down the famed Amsterdam canals. The floor of the boat was completely covered with a deep layer of coloured plastic balls – creating a ball pit within a boat and the objective being to recreate something akin to a playground for adults. It was so creative and I had an absolute blast, ending the last night of my trip on a great note.

Pretty view of the famed Amsterdam canals

The next destination was Spain, which is currently in a relatively volatile political state. Yet when I visited Barcelona, I never felt like I was in danger - instead, it is an interesting period to be there as I got to see from afar some of the protests that were taking place and I got to experience how invested the locals were in the county’s political exploits. Spain has so much to offer –historical sights, the expansive natural views, majestic architectural feats but my favourite part of Spain was of course, the best seafood dishes in the world.

Beautiful view of the architecture in Madrid

The striking sunset in Madrid

Waves crashing into the coast of Barcelona

Where Spain was a relaxing and comfortable destination, Morocco was a completely adventurous and culturally immersive ride. The main spoken languages are French and Arabic, of which neither of us could speak so even getting through everyday situations such as navigating a map, or reading a menu was a challenge. However, that did not prevent us from experiencing the best of what Morocco had to offer between Rabat, Fez and Marrakech. The highlight of my trip had to be night trekking in the Saharan desert on a camel in pitch black darkness, and the only source of light being the most extensive blanket of stars I have ever laid my eyes on. That view was absolutely magical and unforgettable, and I was completely mesmerized. Some of the other highlights of the Moroccan trip includes marvelling at the intricate designs of the country, getting lost whilst exploring the veins of Morocco – the narrow alleyways of the old medinas, and haggling in the souks.

The Hassan Tower in Rabat

Intricate Moroccan tiles

Bounty of the Moroccan souks

Berber looking out into the Saharan Desert

Trekking into the sunset on camel-back

After the hectic period of travelling, I spent some downtime over Christmas with my cousin, her husband and his family in Durham which is where he is from. It was my first time celebrating Christmas, and I definitely got the full experience. I went for a Cathedral visit where I go to listen to Christmas carols, I opened presents in the morning of Christmas, had a full roast dinner and I even sat through the Boxing day shenanigans - all whilst looking out at the blanket of snow and frost outside. It was a lovely and comforting way to wrap up the wildly exciting year that I have experienced thus far, especially in the embrace of family.

My cousin and I in our family

After spending a full Christmas break away from the University, coming back felt oddly warm and comforting. The university has truly become my home away from home, and while the new term has picked up its pace and things are getting hectic on the academic front, it’s useful to look back and realise no matter how stressed I may be during the term, I will eventually pull through and come out having developed even more as a person. I hope the new term brings about more challenges and experiences, and I can’t wait to immerse myself fully in them.

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  • Looks like you're having a great time, I must say that photo from law ball is exceptional! by Seneba on this entry
  • It is good to see that you are having fun! xo by Alicja Lysik on this entry

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