How to Prepare for Second Year

By Issy Goode - 16:13

Not too long ago I was asked a question over twitter about how best to prepare for your second year, and whilst these next few weeks seem all about the freshers, you lovely second years probably still have a few questions too. Whilst I've already told you about what to expect, how to prepare for the year ahead may be something that many of you are wondering too. So fear not, I shall help you prepare for a slightly tougher year than your last. Feel free to leave a comment below with your best advice for a soon to be second year!

Mainly, prepare in the same way you did for first year...

Choose your modules, get your books
Many of you will have already picked your modules, and it's always best to do it quick so you don't miss out on the modules you'd enjoy most. I always take a long time to pick these, as I want to select something I'll actually enjoy. Usually I also look at what we will be marked upon too and personally, a presentation that's worth 40% is a nope. If you're better at exams, and if you like the sound of the module then go for it and visa versa with essays too. Play to your strengths and to your interests when choosing modules. As for books, it's best to get as many as you can during summer, keep an eye on buy and sell Facebook pages, the freshers page and your course forum for people selling them cheap. If you're a lit student or have a long reading list, it's advisable to crack on with your reading...but most (including myself) won't spend their summer doing so!

Get to know your housemates
If you're moving in with a few people that you don't know, just as I recommended you did before moving into halls, try to get to know the people that you're going to be living with. Post on the freshers page to see who's moving off campus and will be your new house mate, and you'll be able to know them a little better than if you move in as total strangers.

Work out what went right and what went wrong in first year
Before you begin second year it's a good idea to recognise what your lecturers thought you did well on and what could be improved. Look back on the feedback from essays and make a note of the good and the bad points. If you have any questions about what you could do differently to help get your marks up in second year don't hesitate to send your lecturers an email.

Prepare for moving in
If like me you lost most of your crockery and cutlery to the fiends that are the thieving cleaners (or you or some one else left your pots/pans and plates dirty on the side), then it's probably advisable to restock your crockery cupboard. As well as that, get in a few essentials such as toilet roll, washing up liquid etc so you have plenty stocked up for when you move in. Also, it's a good idea to discuss with your housemates what they're planning on bringing. We have so so so many pans in our house because none of us discussed it before we arrived. It's a good idea to divide up what each of you will bring along, for example, one can bring a big frying pan, another a large saucepan. Not only does it save on cupboard space, but it'll mean the requirement of washing up will be more frequent, unlike in our house where we can go a week without washing up and still have a pan spare to's not a pleasant task washing it all up either. So the more crockery, cutlery, pots and pans = the larger pile of washing up, and the longer length of time for it to remain sitting dirty on the side.

Start signing up for societies
My biggest regret during my time at uni is not getting involved enough, so this year, despite all the work I'll have I plan to get as involved as possible and you should too. Societies and clubs are a great way to meet new people, learn something new or continue doing something you love, so get on over to the SU page if you're a Keele student and start adding those memberships to your basket, don't get to your third year like me and wish you had done more. 

Simply, enjoy your summer
I wouldn't advise spending your summer worrying about what your second year is going to be like - not that I expect any of you to be doing so! Just have fun before uni re-starts. Second year isn't that different from your first, other than the fact you have to put a little more effort in. Just like first year, it's what you make of it.

If you have any good advice for second years, leave a comment below! And I hope you're all having a lovely summer!


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  1. Great tips! I'm about to enter third year so advice I'd give to a second year is to do a lot more reading than you did in the first year because it will definitely help! I also regret not taking part in many societies like you, I'm going to try and do some this year though :)

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    1. Thank you! I'd totally agree with you, I barely read a thing in first and got away with it, but second year definitely requires more reading. I hope you get involved and find something you love!

      Ooh I'd love to!

  2. Lovely advice :) going into my second year and can't freaking wait to get back! My course is gonna be so much more interesting this year :') I'm lucky (in a way) that I already lived in a house so know what I'm doing, and am living with two of the same guys from last year and a girl on my course and they're the greatest :') oh I want to cry with excitement!!! x

    1. Thank you! Same, I'm so excited to get back, but gutted it's my final year :( Glad to hear it! It'll be an amazing year, and it's good you've already experienced living with the lads too! x

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  4. These are great tips! Not a lot of advice is given to those who aren't in their first year and this is really helpful. With not long before I go back for my second year of uni there are some things that I had completely forgot about, like buying more cutlery! I'm the same and slightly regret not having thought about joining a society last year, although I'm a bit worried that I won't already know people who have made friends in the group and I won't have time with extra work to do.


    1. Thank you! That's exactly what I thought - I had lots of questions at the start of second year and I don't think second years should be overlooked! I definitely need more cutlery, glad I reminded you! It is hard to get the balance, this will definitely be my busiest year yet, but I hope I'll be able to keep on top of it all!


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