Wow, I really cannot believe that I am done with second year. It did end with an exam of a module I struggled most, but I was mostly thankful that I survived. Here are some things that I have personally learnt as a second year student.
1. Second year counts, but university life is not all about the grades.
We’ve all heard this. During my internship last summer, a Warwick University alumni told me to work really hard this year, so that it gets better in third year. In first term, I admit, my priority wasn’t fully focused on my course, but rather on extra-curricular activities and I let something traumatising affect my learning experience that term. But I’ve learnt to fix that and started focusing more on Term 2. I attended this workshop by Warwick Careers and Skills called "Managing Exam Revision" and it introduced me to techniques on how to use my long-term memory and how to make better revision notes in Term 2. When the exam schedule was released and my exams were earlier than expected, I was truly shocked but I think in a way, it drove me to study a lot more efficiently and because my Term 2 notes are a lot better and it’s fresher in my head, I only had to re-do my notes for Term 1, hence saving a lot of time especially since exam was earlier than expected.
I know I am just a student trying to save my degree, but the more I think about it, the more I realised that it isn’t all about the grades. Yes, grades do get you to places, but it’s only a ticket. In order to secure your place in a good job, is your experience. What you’ve learnt outside of university. However, you must also still do your best to work really hard for your degree. And when all you’ve exhaust all your efforts, and the exams are done and dusted, that’s when you can tell yourself, "hey, I survived this."
2. The best decision I’ve made this year is to start utilising the opportunities given by Warwick University.
In second year, I wanted to do something fulfilling, and I started reading the newsletter by the university more often. This allowed me to be aware of the paid opportunities provided by Warwick University. One of which is the Student Ambassador for the Warwick Welcome Service. If you went to our Open Day yesterday, we are the people wearing the bright yellow t-shirts, yes, the ones you can see scattered all around campus. I know that I am a vain and narcissistic person, and instead of using it as a weakness, I started to put it to good use and apply for the Student Ambassador and also student blogger for the Economics Department. I love talking about my life and writing is a way for me to destress. Getting paid is a plus point but getting paid to do what I love? Sign me up! I’ve learnt so much this past year thanks to this university.
I’ve also applied to be an intern under the Warwick Summer Internship (WSI) Scheme. Although I did not get the internship, the company was still interested in hiring me as a freelance writer.
I feel like I can also plan my life and manage my anxiety a lot more this year, mainly thanks to the Sprint Programme. I cannot emphasise more on how much this programme has helped me to be more aware of my self-development and to be resilient; to be accepting that I make mistakes but I bounce back every time.
Thanks to the Economics Department, I am also now a student blogger and I am able to talk more about my life in university. The Economics Department is also planning on working something pioneering next year and I can be a part of it hence I am truly excited for this as well.
3. Unexpected things may happen during your time as a student, and you will have to cope with that.
My first post as a blogger was about dealing with a robbery. To be honest, I was very scared weeks after the robbery, but in time, I was able to be a lot more calm because I spent more time with my family and friends. I set up a camera in my house so that reduced the anxiety I had when staying in the house. But throughout that process, it deterred me a bit from my studies, but it is okay. To take it one step at a time. Things like these happen and these experience allowed me to be more resilient and the next time it happens (hopefully it won’t), I know to cope better. I also know that help is available when needed i.e. The Warwick Wellbeing Support Services, nightline, Counselling Service and others.
4. Peer pressure can be good, or bad. It’s how you make out of it.
Being in Warwick University, you will feel the pressure especially in exam season when other peers have studied more than you, or if they ask questions to you and you can’t answer so you panic and the rollercoaster of emotions begin.
Believe me when I say, everyone has different studying methods, some may use notes and flash cards, whereas some just recaps their Lecture Capture and understand the whole content. Whereas some people understand better if they spend time understanding the content with their lecturer during office hours. Just because they do it, doesn’t mean you have to. You can try, if you think that whatever method you are doing is not working out. But don’t feel pressured to do so.
Some people may understand one topic better than you, but you understand a different topic better. So this is when you can discuss altogether few days before an exam. Days leading up to my Macroeconomics exam, I understood syllabus learnt in Term 1 in more depth whereas my friend understood Term 2 a lot better, so we kept on discussing so that we can understand content from both Term 1 and Term 2.
Peer pressure will exist, and will be heightened especially in exam season, but put it to good use.
5. I became a better cook
That’s it. That’s the post.
Ha, got you there. When I learnt that I got into Warwick, I was quite reluctant to the fact that I have to be in self-catered halls. I couldn’t even use a potato peeler when I came to university and this year, I have successfully become the main chef for my house party where I cooked for 30 people. And I realised that there is a reason why I am in Warwick, it allowed me to learn how to truly be independent. Cooking was a chore for me in first year but in second year, I look forward to my cooking sessions. I can’t wait to cook a lot more back at home and spend a productive summer.
This marks the end of the post. I truly believe that second year is the best year yet. It was intense, but I know I’ve done my best for my exams and I can’t do anything about it now and can only hope for the best. I hope you will have a productive summer ahead!