From first year fresher to second year student

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Congratulations, you’ve finished your first year at university! It may have been a breeze, or a challenge, but you’ve now had a year’s worth of university experience and you’re no longer a ‘fresher’.

With the approach of second year, the year that your marks count towards your degree, it’s understandable that you may be feeling a bit nervous. To help put you at ease, here are some things that you can expect in second year, and what you can do to ensure it’s a successful year!

Personalise your new student home with your housemates

Rent and Responsibility

After first year, many students move out of their halls of residence and rent houses with friends. It can be a very exciting experience! If you’re moving into a student house, an Ikea trip may be a fun idea so that you and your housemates can personalise your living space. However, renting a house in second year does come with responsibilities. Ensuring that you pay your bills, keep your house clean, and the noise level down is a significant part of living outside of halls. As long as you’re responsible and organised, this shouldn’t be too difficult!

Get more involved!

Beginning your second year of university, you’re probably familiar with the campus, the people, and the local sights. If you haven’t already, second year is the perfect time to step outside of your comfort zone, get more involved in societies, and try something new! During my second year, I became a student mentor and regularly contributed articles to Quench Magazine and Gair Rhydd.

You could also look into becoming a student mentor. This is a great opportunity to help and share your knowledge with new students, as well as helping to develop your organisational and communication skills.

Get more invovled with the Uni and SU!

One of the best things you can do in your second year is become more involved. Not only is it rewarding but it can be the highlight of your second year experience.

No matter how you get more involved whether that be by contributing to student media, becoming more active in societies, volunteering or something else, you won’t regret putting yourself out there.

The Serious Academic Things

Something that I found daunting about second year was that it counted. That’s definitely not to say first year doesn’t matter! However, your grade at the end of second year counts towards your final degree classification. Try not to feel too overwhelmed by this! For some courses, second year means that there are less compulsory modules so that you can personalise your degree to show off your strengths. Also, second year will require you to be familiar with how you learn most successfully. Figuring out where, when (hopefully not last minute!) and how you study best, will be key to make sure that second year life isn’t too stressful. It’s also very helpful to communicate more with your lecturers and personal tutors, especially if something is concerning you.

Remember to talk to your lecturers and personal tutors

While second year can be a little more challenging, it can also be a fantastic time if you manage to strike a balance between work and fun. If you’re about to start your second year, I hope it’s a great year for you!

Katie Waits | Third Year | Journalism, Media, and English Literature
Twitter - @KatieWaits71
Instagram - @katierhiannawaits


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