Two down; two more to go! I hope you are holding up well against this tide of revision, examination and television! I have to mention TV because I swear everything I watch are coming back at the same time i.e. now.
As mentioned above, I managed to get through my first two examinations and I am diligently preparing for the final two. Although it does edge closer every day, I have to say that I am already feel far calmer for these last two. Maybe it’s because the first exams are always the hardest? It is especially strange as a third year because there were no January exams, so just getting back into the mindset of sitting and writing for three hours was surprisingly challenging.
This week’s post is not going to be about exams, as that’s on my mind plenty already, and instead it will be about experiences I had as a second year. I think I have talked plenty about being a first year and third year, so I thought it would be useful giving a little insight into life as a second year because the transition was definitely noticeable.
So, being a second year, I became aware of three glaring distinctions from the previous year: 1. Not living in Halls 2. Having less people in lectures 3. Sitting full-essay exams.
Living in halls was a fun experience. I have fond memories of being in Oadby and I would strongly recommend it to anyone. As a second year, I moved out and ended up living with my friends in private accommodation closer to university. This certainly has its perks. Although I don’t roll out of bed fifteen minutes before a lecture and still make it on time like others, I still have extra time to sleep compared to if I’d remained at halls and took the bus every morning. I also really enjoy walking. Not sure if I’ve just tolerated it, but weather-permitting, it is a nice way to start a full day at uni and definitely wakes you up!
Downsides? Making your own food if you aren’t an enthusiastic cook like myself.
Secondly, having less people in lectures. From memory, being a first year was like living in a lecture theatre. There were back-to-back lectures, with different modules happening in one day, and sometimes, they literally hosted lectures in the same place so you were sitting for two hours straight. Looking back, a lot of why I remember it fondly was because I was sat with friends the entire time – and that’s certainly a plus. First year is a shared stream so you get to sit with your cohort for most of the year, and that’s something I miss now. During second year, the timetable becomes tailored to your degree, so there is less of the large cohort, but there are definitely instances that you meet up with friends from other degrees because people begin to pick and choose their modules!
I really enjoyed being in large lecture theatres, so that is something I miss about being a fresher. However, they can get stuffy and loud, and it is definitely not great when half the year group is down with the flu – so I see the perks!
Lastly, exams! I promised I wouldn’t talk about exams so I will keep it brief. In my first year, most of my exams were multiple-choice and short question, so imagine my fear when I found out that the majority of my assessments would be essay based. My main advice for this is to prepare for the essays – don’t treat it like you have treated other essay-based examinations as it is different. The standard is higher than what is expected of a first year so you will need to understand the content a lot more comprehensively. So, invest in that, get the basics right, and practice writing! It is a pain but most modules do have tutorials and some incorporate essay writing/essay practice so take on all the feedback you get from these sessions. At the same time, don’t panic! Learn the lecture content as you would any exam and you will be putting yourself in a good place.
So it is back to revision for me. Have a great week everyone! Study hard and sleep lots!