So I actually made it to the end of my second year of university! This year has been incredible but also really hard for a whole host of reasons, so it seemed fitting for my first blog post to be all about what this year has taught me- aside from a whole load of chemistry!

1. Living off campus is amazing, but takes time to get used to!

Second year is very different from first year, most obviously because you’re no longer living in on campus accommodation. I’ve loved living in Leamington this year, but moving from an accommodation block of 50+ students to a house of 6 took a bit of adjustment! Not only that, but the buses from Leamington to campus can add up to an hour or so onto your travel time when the traffic is at its worst. Living off campus takes some getting used to, but now I’m living back in Cryfield over the summer I miss it already. Leam is a beautiful place to live and being off campus gives you extra independence. Just don’t try and get a bus home at 5 o’clock!

Leam is worth exploring- this was taken in Newbold Comyn

2. Societies make your university experience

Yes your degree is important, but societies add so much to uni life. Throughout my time at Warwick I’ve aimed to try as many societies as I can, from tap dancing, to volunteering to the northern society! This year I got involved with the university student paper The Boar (make sure you pick up a copy next term!) and it’s been so much fun. I can safely say it helped me get through my exams- having something that you’re proud to be working on aside from your degree works wonders.

3. Don’t underestimate yourself

Warwick is such an amazing uni, and is full of talented people. While it’s great to be among so many passionate students, in a high-pressure environment it’s easy to compare yourself to others and become intimidated. I’ve found this year really tough and there have been moments that I just didn’t think I was cut out for my degree. But in the end, I managed to prove myself wrong! Confidence is still a work in progress for me, but if this year has taught me anything it’s that I’m capable of more than I thought.

4. Surround yourself with your favourite people

Following on from the last point, one of the things I realised this year was how many amazing friends I’ve have at Warwick. If you’re having a hard time at uni (most of us will at some point or another) it’s so important to get support from those around you if you think it will help. As cliché as it sounds, I’ve made friends for life here, and this year I’ve definitely learnt not to take them for granted.

5. Make sure you take time out

With deadlines approaching, uni work can take over- especially during exam season! However, I think it’s necessary to balance your work with something to help you relax and keep things in perspective. This year (after years of making it a New Year’s resolution that never quite took off) I joined the campus gym, and found that exercise really helps to clear my head. But saying that, just taking time in the evening to watch Netflix has worked too!