Spent more time in 'Spoons than you did in the library during first year? Fear not - second year is yours for the taking.

 

Freshers' was lit. You made amazing friends, you got to know the uni and everything it has to offer and they assure you that the nights out were amazing, which is very helpful because you can’t remember any of them. Best of all, you revised as hard as you could and it all paid off with that sweet, sweet first-class mark. That sounds like your year, right? Well, if it does then stop scrolling now because you clearly don’t need this article. Go enjoy your perfectly balanced life you multitasking anomaly.

If, like the majority of us, first year didn’t meet up to every expectation that you had, or if you know you didn’t spend your time as wisely as you should have then listen up: this one’s for you.

Gym teacher shouting listen up

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Where did I go wrong?

In many cases the answer to this question is 'Spoons. Too many nights out with dirt cheap drinks and too many hangovers robbing us of our next morning 9ams. If you spent all your time getting down and dirty with every pub and club on offer ‘because that’s what first year is for’ then you might want to think about limiting your nightlife to the weekends come second year. In most cases, the second year of a course steps us the workload either in volume or expected quality. That means you can’t afford to half-ass that essay in one afternoon anymore. It’s time to pull your socks up. Second year marks count towards your actual degree so you need to start treating your assignments with a little respect.

Woman saying she doesn't want to do her homework

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The other side of the coin

There is another side to this story that is equally important. Some people are overwhelmed by the experience of university and find, to their dismay, that they shrink back into themselves. There’s always two or three freshers on every course spending their life in the library, as though they’re blissfully unaware their first-year marks don’t actually achieve anything but a sense of pride. If you stuck your head into the silent library sand or were too shy to actually attend any of the clubs and societies you signed up to at the fair, go and do it in second year. It’s so important to take advantage of everything uni has to offer. Once you graduate and enter the real world of work it becomes a whole lot harder to make a yoga class at 2pm on a Tuesday. Apparently, yoga breaks haven’t gained the credibility of smoking breaks quite yet.

Obama saying your country needs you

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Pick a human, any human

If your friendship group didn’t ever materialise, or you made friends and then grew apart, then fear not. If you’re struggling on your course and need someone breezing through it to talk to, don’t worry. Just pick a suitable human and make it your challenge to talk to them. Everyone at university is out to make friends so the great thing for anyone particularly anxious about approaching people is that you are very unlikely to get turned down.

Dog patting another dog on the head

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Challenge yourself

Find something that you particularly struggle with, be it a particular module you can’t quite grasp or simply remembering to stick your pants in the wash every week. Identify some area where you’re not winning any Nobel prizes and give it 110%. Start with something smaller (maybe the pants) and then once you’ve conquered that, allow yourself to be lifted to the next level by the physical force of your own smugness. You deserve this. Those pants are spotless. Okay, this one seems kind of redundant since surely making the most of second year means giving it all 110%? Not quite. Remember that you are still a human, and while numbers might not be my forte, even I can tell you that trying to give everything you have to everything you do will burn you out. Pick your battles: start small and work your way up to robotic perfection… Or the healthy human equivalent.

Leonardo Dicaprio saying try your best

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Don’t be afraid to fail

Yeah I know, take me outside and shoot me with the other clichés. While you may have heard it one thousand times over, how many times have you actually listened to it? Failure can be the greatest catalyst for success if we learn from our mistakes. As our wise green friend Yoda tells us “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” He seemed to do pretty well for himself for a 2-foot dude living in a swamp, right? Anyway, the point is, you’ll never know how well things could go if you’re too afraid of failing to try.

Yoda dancing  

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So, now you’re all set to conquer second year. Get yourself a swanky new set of friends to hit the books and the town with. The balance doesn’t have to be perfect, and some days work or play will take priority. Getting the most out of university depends on what you want to get out of it. So, find out what it is that makes you tick and get chasing the best experience you can have.

Toy Story - Woody saying you'll be fine

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