This is a little reflection of my time at university and how second year has been unexpectedly different to first year already…
First year for me was all about going out with my block mates and socialising whilst studying was largely put in second place. Looking back I know that I did not put 100% effort into my work and this was probably because I was constantly told that I just need to enjoy my first year. Besides, the words ‘40% is all you need to pass’ were always at the back of my mind telling me that first year doesn’t actually count towards your end degree, making it very difficult to stay 100% motivated all of the time. But I am glad that I spent first year the way I did. Perhaps I could have got a better grade but if I went out less, but if I did this I wouldn’t have made the friends that I have today.
Because of the great time I had had throughout first year I became pessimistic about going into second year when the year was coming to an end. I loved the experience of university halls and knew that living in a house would mean moving away from community of students. I knew that second year would bring hard work and less socialising and I felt like I would find it really difficult and stressful. But now I’m here I realise I was wrong to be so pessimistic because I am still having such a good time, it’s just been a different experience.
I am still living with the same people as last year so I still get up to same crazy antics with them (with the addition of nerf wars after having bought each other a nerf gun each for our birthdays…), but we have all developed as individuals. We have joined so many more societies this year, I have joined the Environmental, Raising and Giving and Curry societies, and this has caused us to become friends with even more people. I have become a student ambassador, student blogger and been accepted on the Leicester Award scheme. I am so busy but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I am gaining fantastic experiences, constantly meeting new people and boosting up my CV. Also, I seem to be really motivated in my studies this year too, I am actually enjoying writing my essays and I’m really passionate about what I’m learning in the modules (especially classical sociological theory!). There is definitely more of a focus on work this year (which is understandable given that my grades now count towards my final grade) but it is certainly not the case of studying 24/7 and I don’t think it ever will be. So don’t stress yourself out about second year, it’s a scary thought but it’s not so scary in practice.