This past year has been so crazy, there is no denying that. Everything seems to be going so fast – I start my placement in 3 months and life seems to be going at a million miles an hour. How am I over halfway through my degree…??
I know that I haven’t even finished second year yet but there is no harm in making a list of what I have learnt / what to expect if you are going into second year in September!
1. – This year counts
Second year actually counts. I strolled into second year expecting it to be similar to first year. Expecting to continue to live the ‘fresher life’, go out just as much and live the high life again for a year. Unfortunately, being a fresher is only for one year and I got hit with quite a big shock. You can’t stay in bed for your 9 am’s or ‘just skip that one lecture’ anymore. Obviously, as students, our social life is top on our priorities list but grades do matter. Not knuckling down will stress you out, especially with the amount of workload. Second year has called for me to be more organised. The projects alongside placement searches have taught me to get ahead early and plan, plan, plan! Some weeks there were daily trips to the library with me spending hours on end sat at my laptop but it does pay off in the end!! Oh, and everyone is in the same boat. If you are sat in your room in total despair comfort eating chocolate, the likelihood is that somebody else will be too.
2. – Prioritisation
As I said, our social life is often top of our priority list but even then sometimes we do get into a ‘studying bubble’. I have found myself time after time locking myself away from the world attempting to get my essay done. I’ve realised this year that it is really important to set time aside to chill out and socialise. It is so easy to get engrossed in a journal article and essay writing but realistically, everyone deserves a break. Especially when you know that staying in on a Friday night to do work will actually result in you spending the evening scrolling through Facebook. I’ve learnt to take the time to out to spend with friends. You will feel better and more refreshed when you get back to the work. You would only have been on social media or watching your new series on Netflix anyway.
3. – Mess & the money issue
If you can guarantee anything to stay the same in second-year, it will be the mess and the money issue.
We all picture our second-year houses with clean surfaces, no washing up and for it all to be perfect. But come on now, we are students. Prepare for mess. Spending a whole summer living at home like royalty with a cleaning and food service becomes normal. So moving back to uni and the land of independence can come as a big shock. Just try not to initiate any science experiments in mugs….you’ll regret not washing it up.
And the thing is, if you were useless with money in first year, you probably will be in second year let’s face it. I’ve always been good with money but some people still struggle to budget in second year. Just remember, you’ve got to pay off that overdraft..! And in second year you are graced with the adult task of bills….it’s pretty important to get those right!
4. – Who am I?
I can’t say that this is what everyone thinks, but second year has helped me to learn what I am passionate about. Reading this you may be asking yourself ‘what on earth am I interested in?!’. Trust me, I was there at one point in first year. This year has helped me to realise what I enjoy and which parts of the industry interest me. It’s made me realise where I want to be. I didn’t realise this until I had to convince somebody I wanted a job. I’ve discovered a passion for writing my weekly thoughts on here. I do get regular writer’s block, but then again who doesn’t?! This blog has driven my passion.
Second year has helped me to discover who I am as a person.
5. – Opportunities
This is always an interesting one. As students, it is so easy to pass up that guest lecture or other opportunities in replace of sitting in bed, eating chocolate and binge watching your favourite TV series. I only took a handful of opportunities last year but they were amazing. These led to amazing experiences from work experience to this blog, interviewing with Apple and L’Oreal to getting a placement with L’Oreal. Take opportunities, you don’t know where they may lead. That Netflix series will always be there for afterwards anyway.
6. – Take time to enjoy it
It is so easy to read this and hear about others experiences to then think ‘oh dear, second year is going to be awful’. But at the end of the day, it is what you make it. University is all about experiences. I just have turned those into things to help with my future. But really, take time for yourself and have fun whilst remembering that second-year matters.
With my placement approaching, I’ve become quite reflective about it all. Our futures are out there and we can achieve them. Be yourself and who knows where you can go.
What has everyone else learnt about second year so far?