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Top Tips: preparing for second year

By RAMariyam 13 May 2019

So, the new academic year will soon be upon us. While the freshers stumble about getting lost on campus and third-year students panic about how soon they’ll be graduating, what should the second years be doing? Ah! I'm glad you asked. Well, the second year at university is a crucial time, no longer will you have the time to party, every. single. night. No longer will you be able to leave assignments till the night before it's due (guilty).

Instead, you need to be prepared for a few changes. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect…

1. Time to get serious

While many universities don’t count the first year marks you earn towards your overall degree, how well you do in your second year will make a big difference. Usually, second year accounts for 25% of a three year degree, however this may be different for your individual course. Knowing the percentage contribution will help you stay motivated and focused, meaning if you work hard during the second year, you’ll struggle less when it comes to third year.

2. Lectures vs. Partying

Seriously, it's time to let go of HotMess Wednesdays and become a hot mess everyday. Nobody is saying you can’t have a good time in your second year, but you know all those mornings when you skipped a lecture because you’d had too much fun the night before? Well, you can no longer do that. Attending lectures and seminars is more important than ever in your second year, since you’ll miss out on vital information and discussion if you don’t make it along. And this will mean you have more work to do when it comes to revision and assignments.

3. Priorities

It’s not just the partying you might have to cut loose in your second year. If your workload increases, you might also have to take a look at the societies and other commitments such as work/volunteering. It’s not that extracurricular activities aren’t important (quite the opposite), it’s just that they shouldn’t come at the expense of your work! 

4. Flatmate Agreements

Remember having your RAs conduct those essential holy contracts between you and your flatmates? Well while you probably lived on campus during your first year, most second years live off campus with friends. You know what this means? A whole new bunch of challenges...

As well as making sure you have a fair system in place for sharing bills and chores, try to be considerate of your housemates (and, likewise, stand up for yourself if you think a housemate is being inconsiderate towards you). It’s finally time to adult my friends. Embrace it with open arms!

5. Look at the bigger picture!

It might only be the second year, but this is a great time to start thinking about your future after university. If you research what your options are for after graduation early on, whether it be work, travel or further studies, it can save a lot of stress during the third year!

I have personally found that the earlier you start researching about your career plans the better position you'll be in. Make use of all the career events across campus, the employability and placements fair and use the CV drop in at the Career Hub, located in the Business Building.

Overall, just because you're in your second year does not mean you have to sacrifice all the fun, you just have to prioritise and take it one step at a time. 

As always, if you ever want some advice or just somebody to talk to, you can pop in to the RA daily drop-in between 6pm-7pm in your hall reception.

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