What is it like going into second year? One student blogger tells us his experiences...

Let me be one of the first to welcome you to your university career, or if you’re returning for a later year then welcome back, I hope you had prosperous and enjoyable summer. Around this time of year we see an abundance of articles on the internet and on student websites about what to do when you move into your first year halls, the kind of flatmates you may or may not have; the best way to scrimp and save every last penny so that on a Friday night you can still have that cool pint at the SU. We see articles pointing the finger at third years saying okay, stop fooling around. Think about getting a job. Think about your dissertation title. But what about those wonderful students who are in the middle, kind of like the middle child, second year? Fresh off a long, long summer trying to adjust to living back with your parents but never succeeding, having your own habits that your folks were not impressed with such as, waking up at 1pm and staying in your onesie all day watching repeats of How I Met Your Mother while snapchatting first year friends saying how much you miss them and how when you get the money, you’ll visit each other. Oh wait; you actually want me to be a functioning member of society today?! No thanks. You are eager to get back to university, to see your friends again but just like how Mufasa was cruelly torn away from Simba,(well brutally murdered) we are torn away from our friends by being placed in new groups  with new people which teachers call an opportunity to network and make new friends when frankly, I just want to respond with…

It works on so many levels.

For those who are on lecture based courses, this is a problem you do not have to deal with as much so lucky you! But for those who are doing more creative courses, if you’re placed in a group with people you don’t know and are forced to work with them, dying on the inside is appropriate. So you come back to what you believe is the idea of heaven, living with all the people you got on so well with in first year in a house that actually has a front and/or back garden so come summertime.... BBQ parties, am I right? But this time around, you have bills to pay, instead of it being in one big sum that your halls provided, you have to work out how much you’re using and cut down (if needs be) and let us not forget the convenience that halls provided you with, security, safety from locals, free transport right from your flat’s front door but now, you may be miles from uni and it takes a long time to get there, you may even have to now pay for a bus instead of flashing your student card at the driver. Plus, you now have neighbours that are actually bothered about how much noise you’re making and there is no chance that they will turn up at your door asking to join the party…

What has been the hardest for me personally is the workload, it has been a struggle adjusting back to the idea of having school type homework to do, and it has been four months remember. A pattern I have noticed among 2nd years is that it’s the sudden surprise of workload that you have to take on, while first year felt like boot-camp (as my lecturers put it) 2nd year is a whole new board game, I was expecting a couple of extra lectures and essays here and there but now we’re expected to be taking on 5 days of 9-5 lectures, with essays and assignments all inclusive.

It is a weird time for us but what we have to remember is, we have the joy of knowing that we still have a year to sort ourselves out, unlike 3rd years. We don’t have to fear about not fitting in or worrying about whether we’ll enjoy the course or not, unlike 1st years. We have the time to go abroad and study, we can enjoy our module choices, experience parts of our study area we only dreamed of.

This is a call out to those who are struggling, your second year is a time to experiment, find something new to pursue, for example I am soon to be placed on my University’s student radio and hopefully get to go to Ohio and work in the theatre department. But use this time well, don’t waste it, although there is more work and greater pressure to do well and be a better person, you can still find the joy through the options you have chosen, you can find excitement in the activities and societies you could become part of. Don’t stress. Pour a beverage and remember that there are students who have it worse than us; most third years are graduating in eight months...

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