Second Year So Far
Coming back to university in September I didn’t quite know what to expect from this year. First year had been good, despite the complications of things like online learning or the many other challenges COVID gave us. But this year I knew that all of my lectures should be in person, where I would get to see my friends again as well.
Due to the small size of the Classics department, as well as the limits on teaching group sizes for modules, we were allowed to have our lectures in person, as long as social distancing, mask wearing and many other precautions were in place and maintained to protect all of us. It’s clear that the department work hard to make sure this was possible for us, and being back in person together has made so much more of a difference than we thought it would. Now, instead of trying to get to know people over a teams call, we get to chat in person. After lectures you no longer have to leave the call. Instead, my friends and I now often go to study together, or to get some food from one of the many cafes on campus which are now back open as well. This has really helped us deal with all the changes this year. We can share sources, or things we found particularly useful. Plus, when the new Faculty of Arts building opened, we went to explore together, which was a great way to relax (as shown in the photo above)!
Something else that changed with second year is that it’s no longer just our year in our modules or lectures. To allow for a greater selection of topics to be offered, the Classics department combines second and third year students for modules. This may sound intimidating, but I promise it’s not! Truthfully the blend of the year groups works really nicely. Things like societies, the Classics play and being a student ambassador mean quite a few of us know each other from outside of lectures anyway, which made the merge easier as well. I know coming into second year this did really worry me, but everything just happened so naturally, there haven’t been any issues.
This year especially, I’ve had more time to spend with my course mates, which I’ve really enjoyed. Plus, societies have come back this year with more events together on campus. I was part of one society last year which I loved and continued this year, as well as starting some new societies this year. Sure, it does take up a lot of my time now, but with some careful scheduling, and being clear about my priorities from the start, I’ve been able to make it work. I’ve been able to balance teaching for a society with being a social secretary, being involved in a play and learning a completely new skill, all while keeping up my studies. Sure, there are times it feels a little crazy, but I’m thankful for the opportunity, and I know there’s plenty of support available if I want it.