Student Life | Second Year

By Issy Goode - 20:05

During the summer holidays before third year I began feeling pretty uninspired by my quiet life back in Cornwall, but I printed off a hefty amount of photos spanning over the fast two years I spent at university and began thinking about what advice I'd give to those who are leaving their fresher title behind...

Firstly, you won't believe how fast it goes. You're sandwiched in between your first year where everyone but the lecturers reminds you that it 'doesn't count' and in the case of a three year course, your daunting final year at university. To begin with you're still acting like a fresher, and to be honest you'll probably end the year still acting like a fresher too...Though, be warned, you may tire a little more easily. The 3+ nights out per week you experienced throughout first year aren't all that easy on your head nor your stomach any more, and you can't get away with missing out on lectures and seminars quite so much.

You'll begin to realise the importance of being at university to get a degree. Your social life at university is always up high in your priorities with alcohol, food and sleep. In first year it was almost okay to sweep your education onto the side lines, because of course all you had to do was pass...however, in your second year you'll find 3rds will begin to disappoint you, rather than have you cheering about the fact that the essay you wrote entirely intoxicated at 4am still managed to blag you a pass. You'll hear of people deciding to retake their second year within the first semester after failing so many essays and then people doing retakes, upon retakes, upon even more retakes. Not knuckling down a bit this year will just stress you out. My advice is to recognise that your degree needs more attention now, this year really does count.

Whilst it is important to knuckle down this year, don't let your degree become your life. The university years are cracking, and you don't want to look back on graduation day disappointed that you didn't get more involved, or don't have some hilarious memories and stories to share. Put aside time for societies and social events at the university, gigs and house parties, nights out and nights in. Your degree is important and so is that final grade, but make sure along the way you're still having fun.

I can't see the girls appreciating this one


And with all that fun, comes, in most cases, the requirement of spending money. You'll find that if you were useless with money in first year, you're probably not going to improve much this year. In my case, I was in fact a lot worse, spending about 80% of the year eating and drinking from my overdraft. It's hard to get a handle of your finances, especially with monthly payments of rent and bills that are often forgotten about, but try keep track of what's going out and in very rare cases, what's coming in to your bank account, or else you'll go from living like royalty to living like a peasant in a matter of weeks. From experience I can tell you that losing the label of fresher doesn't mean you become any wiser with your finances, so all you can do is remember the bills, remember the rent, and remember money for food and alcohol...yeah, that should see you through the year. If not that, extend that overdraft (just not by too much)...and don't let money worries bother you too much. Money will stress you out so much in the future when you don't have a no interest overdraft to rely upon, so if you need to let yourself go a little, do so, because you're still young, and your future self will appreciate the memories - perhaps not the overdraft you will eventually have pay off, but you had a laugh...and that's the main thing! 

My final piece of advice is concerning living arrangements. Now, halls may have not been a breeze (hygiene wise) but the community of it was great, the cleanliness not so much, but at least in most cases a cleaner popped round sometime during the week and did a half arsed job at attempting to clean up after students (it ain't easy). If you're living in a house this time around prepare for mess. Gatherings = mess, pre drinks = oh so much mess, parties = what were you even thinking mess, post drinks = jesus christ let's just pretend this isn't here and sleep for a few days. You get my drift. The most important piece of advice I can give you is to not let mess and stealing of food, bills and late night noise cause too much friction between you and the people you live with, and if you're the one doing all that, just try and be a bit considerate, they're paying the rent too. It will get annoying if people aren't pulling their weight around the house or keep you up late at night, or are the ones telling you off for being noisy, but if you all moved in as friends then constant arguing can really cause you to drift apart. You will of course realise who you're closest too during your second year, but to enjoy your year I think it's important to have housemates you can still get a long with, just every once in a while give them a nudge to clean up or pay their part of the bills and always try and be considerate of them too. At the end of the day, you've got to live with them whether they're the messy ones or you are, just try to respect each other because having housemates that don't get along can really create an atmosphere. 

Finally, and most importantly, enjoy it. It really will fly by just as first year did. Make the most of it, socialise, work hard and have another amazing year. And good luck with it!

But first, enjoy your summer!
MissIsGoode

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12 comments

  1. Love the way this is written! You're so right about how quickly a year goes by. I can't believe my first year is done. Have to admit I'm a little nervous about second year. I stressed out about my work this year and it's only going to get worse haha!

    Hannah xo

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    1. Thank you! It does absolutely fly by, but I think you forget how much you've crammed in due to alcohol haha. You'll be absolutely fine! Try not to stress out too much about it, it's important but unneeded stress is just no fun to have! xx

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  2. Great post! I've finished my first year and I'm so scared of how fast second year will go :( want to do first year all over again! But I guess I just have so much more to look forward to :) I worked pretty hard this year as I felt i had to prove myself, I know that I can work hard and that I'm good at what I do so I'm not too worried about failing (yet!)

    Ahh bless all the first years who got halls the little sods. I didn't get halls so had a mad two week panic trying to find a house and people to live with! Moved in with two guys and another girl, total strangers! They're now my three bestest friends! I know that rarely happens so I'm super lucky! And I'm living with the two guys again next year cos we get on living together so well :) honestly living in a house was so much better than if i'd been in halls!

    Bring on 2nd year! :'D xo

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    1. Thank you! I'd love to do my first and second year over again tbh! They were amazing and it's so upsetting that I'll be going into my final year :( You do have loads to look forward too, second year is just as fun, if not even more fun! That's good :) means you don't have to get used to pushing yourself having already done it! :) I'm sure you won't fail!

      Haha! So lucky you got a place where you were all friends, I know some people who moved in as friends and left barely speaking, which is so unfortunate. That's so good! :) I've heard people say that before too!

      Being on 3rd :P Good luck! xx

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  3. Picture memories are the best. After finishing my first year this year, I felt really nostalgic looking through all the photos from day and nights out. It wasn't the best of years for me either, but I had some good friends.

    -A
    Fresh And Fearless

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    1. Definitely, I'm planning on making it all into a scrap book :) when I find the time and motivation to anyway haha! I always love looking through them, amazing how much a year can change you and your friends. Yeah it's been up and down for me definitely, financially and emotionally mostly! That's good :)

      x

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  4. Great post!! I am beginning my second year in University :D You are definitely right, most people will retake the semester because now is the time when teachers want you to really focus. But like you said, it´s all about having a balance between career, social time and learning to live with other people :)
    Love,
    Dany

    http://danyszelsky.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Ahh you're going to love! Make the most of it :) People struggle to settle into the hard work aspect I think, it's weird getting used to having to try a bit harder and you know it's going towards your final grade so anything less than your best can really begin to drag you down! Exactly :)

      Issy
      xxx

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  5. Even though it's been a year since I finished uni I have to say this post is spot on and so true! It deffo reminded me of my second year lol!

    Love your blog - glad i found it :)

    Gabby @ What She Buys

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad I got it right :) Definitely a good year but settling into the change was hard work.

      Thank you :)

      xxx

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  6. I have just finished second year and reading this in hindsight is so accurate!! Any advice on my final year?! Apart from running and hiding, which is what my instinct is telling me to do! x

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    1. Thanks for reading! I'd just say not to stress yourself out too much! And definitely give yourself plenty of time, if you're doing a final year project, start prepping over summer and it'll make a huge difference. Haha no no, don't run and hide, you'll do fine :) x

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