If I had to describe what second year has been like so far in a nutshell, I would say ‘chaotic but fun’. As first-years, we were all warned that things would change in our second year, and that the pace would accelerate. Still, coming back to university this October, I felt quite ready to tackle second year. After all, I had made it through one year of Law, so there was no reason this one should be any different right? But, I have definitely noticed the difference, and it has taken a bit of getting used to.
The past few months have been quite overwhelming, but I’ve also enjoyed them so much! Second year so far has been all about multi-tasking and time-management. In first year, I didn’t have much to worry about besides keeping up with seminars and coursework. This year, I’ve been tackling new modules while researching firms, applying for vacation schemes, holding drop-in sessions for other law students and also getting used to living off-campus! It’s been quite a lot to take in at once, but it’s also really made me realize how essential it is not to get sucked in by all of this, and to still set time aside for myself to enjoy university life. This is especially important because time goes by so quickly in second year, and it’s very easy to jump from one deadline to the next, without ever resting much in between. This truly hit me during Reading Week because I had been letting myself get quite overwhelmed and I realized that I was exhausting myself very quickly and not taking enough breaks to de-stress.
Something that has helped me so much in dealing with this is just planning things to do with my friends when I can, whether it’s a shopping trip to IKEA, going to the movies, or just chatting in Curiositea in between seminars. As students, it’s so easy to feel guilty the moment we aren’t working when deadlines are looming over us, but in the long run, taking breaks will help you be more productive and avoid a burnout! 🙂
In an earlier blog, I also talked about how university made me realize how important it was to build up a new support network, and it could not be more true this year. Whether it’s friends, course-mates, tutors, careers advisors or more, I’m very thankful for all of the support I have received to get used to this year. A tip for all university students- there is always someone you can ask for help on campus. Whether it’s academic or personal, the university has so many services available to support you.
I also really wanted to give a shout-out to the Oculus Drop-in sessions which run every Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 14:00 because they have been lifesavers for my applications this term! A lot of students don’t know about this, but you can drop-by in the Oculus for short 20-30 minutes slots (no appointment needed!) if you need some help with application forms, or with perfecting your CV. I always feel a lot more confident after seeing them, and they make the whole process much less daunting.
This was just a quick overview of term so far, but I hope it’ll give you a good idea of what second-year is like!
Please message me if you have any other questions though! 🙂