If you’re struggling in first year, hang in there…
I remember all too well the difficulties many face in first year. So, if you feel like university isn’t quite what you thought it would be, I’m going to tell you a bit about how much has changed for me in second year, and why I’m now loving uni more than ever.
Forming close friendships can be really tricky in first year, and I remember at times feeling like I had to pretend to be someone that I wasn’t just to fit in and be likeable. However, as time has progressed, I’ve learnt to be true to myself and know my own values, and if people don’t accept that, then I’m probably better off not being friends with them! I’ve been able to maintain the friendships that are really important to me, knowing that it’s ok to not stay close with everyone I met in freshers week. In second year, I can confidently say that I have a secure, great group of friends. Some of these friendships were not properly formed until the end of first year, and some have only recently formed in second year, so don’t panic!
– My course
In my opinion, second year has allowed me to engage more with my course. While first year consisted of many introductory modules, second year has really allowed me to delve into specific areas, as well as to consider where my interests lie. Of course, every degree will differ, but if you feel like your course isn’t quite as challenging or as engaging as you expected, keep going because chances are, second year will present more of a challenge- take that as you will! Also, I feel like I’ve managed to grasp assignments and exams, having done a year of them- so don’t worry if you feel like you haven’t fully worked out techniques for these, it will come with time and practice!
First year did wonders for my confidence, however, I have only realised this through being in second year. This year, I have had the courage to try new things such as volunteering and new societies. While I was too shy at the start of first year, I knew I wanted to do these things but just didn’t have the confidence. However, first year, without me realising, has hugely developed my confidence, as when starting second year, I almost immediately signed up for new things! Try and note down some things you want to do in second year in the summer break!
– I feel like I’m actually living in a home
Halls are brilliant, what with affordable options, proximity to campus, no bills to worry about (and just the general fun of being surrounded by so many people), however, I am also loving living in a house. There’s something about coming home from a long day and being able to -wait for it- sit on a sofa and watch -wait for it- actual TV, as opposed to sitting on my bed poised in front of a laptop! There are other great things about living in a student house. Most people will downsize from the number of people in their on-campus accommodation. This means that generally you’ll be living in a more relaxed, slightly cleaner environment, which is always nice! Being away from campus is also very helpful in developing the work-life balance, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs. (See my blog on achieving a work-life balance for more)