Person walking up stairs

Transitioning from first year to second year

So you’ve got a house to live in next year and you’re moving out of student halls – your emotions may be mixed about this but it is going to be good, trust me. No more fire alarms at 2am and (hopefully) no more loud parties down the corridor when you’re trying to sleep.

Living in a house for the first time is where I think you become the most grown up – if there’s a problem in the house you either have to fix it yourself or ring someone up to come and sort it, you have to remember to put the bins out, take parcels in, clean the communal areas and lock the doors at night. It will feel so much more homely and like a step into the real world of having your own home.

In your first year, you are thrown together with a bunch of strangers who you’re just expected to get on with it and become friends – this might happen for some, even most people, but for others, it might not and that is okay too. Second year means you can choose who you’re going to live with which is so good, and I know that some of the people I have lived with I will stay in contact with forever – which is such a happy feeling!

One of my other favourite things about living in a house is feeling more put together and settled. I feel more like a ‘real person’ not just a student. This means my meals seem to be more like what I would eat at home and not pasta every evening. Also, feeling more together made me want to make my desk a better place to work and it is so important to make sure you organise yourself with everything you need to do your work and do it ASAP. The grades count towards your final mark now, so you need to work as hard as you can.

Second year is also a good time to start thinking about what you want to do with your life. Placement years may need applying for before Christmas this year and volunteering alongside your studies is a great way to enhance your cv/personal statement. For example, UCAS closes for med/vet applications in the October, after your summer between second and third year so you’ll need to get your experience sorted in second year to enable you to apply.

JOIN A SOCIETY!! It is so important to have something else going for you other than just your work and it is something to do when you’re getting stressed out or bored with your assignments. In Fresher’s week go to the fayres again and sign up for everything if you don’t already have a society to go to – trial out everything and hopefully one of them will be the perfect thing to do in your spare time. Once a week I do cheerleading and once a week I go to the fashion and design society – just those 4 hours out each week really helps to de-stress and focus my attention on something completely different, let alone meeting with all the amazing people!

Finally, have fun! Second year can seem super stressful at times but it doesn’t have to be the be all and end all of your grades, there’s always third year to bump up your marks and remember, if you don’t get a 1st it’s not the end of the world.

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