First Year vs. Second Year
I’ve taken my last exam and submitted my last assignment…I’ve officially completed my second year at Warwick!
Before I started second year I’d heard that it would be a big step up from first year which sounded really daunting. Whilst I agree that second year has been more challenging, I’ve also found it more rewarding and there are lots of aspects that I’ve enjoyed more. In this post I want to write about some of the differences I’ve found between first and second year to give you an insight into what lies ahead!
The biggest difference between my first and second year has been moving off campus. Although I don’t live far away (and actually live closer to my seminar rooms than I did last year!), it does feel very different and has a big affect on day-to-day life.
Living on campus is ideal as a first year; it’s easier to meet new people and get used to your new surroundings in an environment which feels secure and supported. This said, living off campus has allowed me to distinguish more clearly between ‘work’ and ‘home’ which has been really helpful in terms of achieving a work-life balance. It’s also been great to build our house into home – as a group we’ve been able to add personal touches which have made it feel more cosy and special.
There are certainly new challenges that come with living in a house that you don’t encounter living in the university’s accommodation. Managing bills and fixing maintenance issues can be stressful especially when your workload has increased, but this is something that you and your housemates will overcome and adapt to together.
My course has also been quite different in second year. Last year, everyone on the Theatre course took the same four core modules whereas this year, we were free to choose all of our modules. This really gave me the freedom to explore the areas I was interested in and I’ve covered a huge range of topics from mental health to dramaturgy. I also branched out and took a module in the English department and spent three weeks working with a professional youth theatre company as part of the Placement module which was a really valuable experience!
Although I’ve loved studying so many different topics, choosing lots of smaller modules has meant that I’ve had a lot of deadlines to contend with. Keeping up with my assignments has been a struggle at times but I’ve had great support from my family and friends as well as the Theatre staff which has made it possible to keep on top of things and has helped me produce work that I’m really proud of. I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress academically over the course of the year and feel more confident in what I can achieve.
After not joining many societies in my first year, I was keen to get more involved this year. I’ve written for the Boar, performed in a Shakespeare Society show, volunteered with Mind Aware, taken up salsa classes and attended some Christian Union events, all of which have given me the chance to meet new people and learn something new! Living off campus makes travelling to events and societies on central campus more effort so it’s been great to find societies that are relaxed and flexible in terms of commitment. It’s never too late to get involved with societies so if you feel like you’ve missed out this year, there’s definitely time for you to explore a new hobby next year!
Second year has certainly been tough work-wise, but it’s been an amazing opportunity to develop my interests and I feel a lot more settled into uni life. I’m really looking forward to studying my third year modules and I’m excited to see what comes next!