From First Year to Second Year

Hi guys! It’s me, Diana!

How is life? And are you getting used to the cold weather? Make sure to keep warm and don’t catch a cold!

I have been very busy lately with my coursework and part-time jobs. I have just submitted my stats assignment today and I have got 2 more reports and 1 presentation to hand it before Christmas. Second year is a lot harder than I imagined! If first year is all about settling in and making new friends, second year is basically that plus more coursework and responsibilities. I am not saying that I don’t enjoy it, but I do find it pretty hard to cope with sometimes. From my experience, I have noticed a few changes that will happen in second year:

  1. Workload. You will find yourself constantly going to the library or even staying over just to get your coursework done. On top of all the readings (and if you have time for “extra reading”), you have to prepare for essays, lab reports and exams etc. And that can be a little overwhelming.
  2. Your circle of friends. Because you are spending more time in the library doing your coursework, you may find yourself spending less time with your housemates or the people you met in first year or you are now spending more time with your coursemates and people you met at the library. But that’s okay, don’t feel strange about it, university is about meeting new people and stepping out of your comfort zone. Just make sure you are still having time for yourself and your friends.
  3. Yourself. You will perhaps notice that you are changing as well, you start to take second year more seriously, you are spending more time studying, you go out less or you joined a new sports club/ society. Maybe you have committed to more things (e.g. part-time jobs or societies) and you start finding yourself rushing to a meeting after a lecture or spending the whole weekend in the library. Do you know that study has found students feel generally less satisfied with their uni experience in their second year compared to first year? The Guardian suggested that the feeling of “Second Year Blues” is common among many university students in the UK.

So here are some tips from me (and my experience) to how to cope with the transition between first year and second year:

  1. Priorities and Responsibilities. Making a list of what you “have to do”, “need to do” and ” to do” and then ranking them according to how urgent and important they are. And start with the first item on your list! Example:
  2. Learn to say no! Learn how to say no to your friends is not easy. Saying no to a night out is more difficult. Say no doesn’t mean saying goodbye to your social life, it just means that you are prioritising your course. But you might find it more fun and rewarding on a night out knowing that you have done everything on the list and you have already finished your essay.



3. Stay healthy! Try not to neglect your body and health a bit too much. They need caring too! Make sure you take some time out from studying for exercises and proper food shop (not frozen pizza and microwave meals). Eating healthy and exercising will give you the nutrients and energy you need to study!


That is it from me today! See you next time. 🙂