Second Year in Retrospect | Three Things

secondyMy second year of university has been an absolute rollercoaster

As I’m now coming to the end of the summer term, and Paris is looming ever closer, I thought I’d share with you a few things that I’ve learnt this year.

1 | Second year is quite a lot harder than first

This one might sound obvious, as the progression of time surely dictates the intensity of study… But OH MY GOODNESS this year has been really damn hard. Five exams that actually count towards my degree, seven summative essays in one eight-week term, and a series of other essays, presentations and events that don’t even matter – and that’s just the academic side of university life. My modules have also developed from the classic ‘catching everyone up’ topics that I’ve mostly studied before to some really complex awful stuff and basically, academically, I had an absolute nightmare year.

That said, I loved every second of it and all of my module choices. Some I’d done before; some were brand spanking new – all of them were interesting and useful to my future studies. Wouldn’t change them for the world.

2 | You don’t have to be friends with everyone

This is something I wish I’d been told in freshers week. Sometimes you just don’t want to be friends with people. Maybe for no reason, maybe for a series of really good reasons, either way you just don’t have to. University is full of people. Thousands of people doing hundreds of things and most of them are really excited if you get involved. If you don’t get on with one particular person there’s no point forcing it – find new, better friends! Don’t feel like you have to be loyal to people who aren’t loyal to you and don’t limit yourself to the people immediately around you. You are worth far more than that and you deserve the best, most loving and caring friends in the world.

I’ve come to learn a lot about myself through becoming a little more picky with friends: I can’t stand the whole ‘my friend said to your friend that you…’ 12 year old girl rubbish, I have no time for people who don’t respect that I cannot always be there to entertain them, and I do not understand the great lack of respect shown by people for the needs of others. I am lucky enough to be in a position to choose my friends and I am so grateful for the fact that I have a great many wonderful people to choose from.

3 | You don’t have to drink to have fun

This academic year I can honestly say I have been drunk four times, each time has been pretty fun but also a massive anti-climax and a bit rubbish. I’ve been dipping in and out of the t-total club since the beginning of university and I think, finally, I’m ready to jump in once and for all. I really bloody hate alcohol – not just the hangovers. I don’t like the taste. I don’t like the gross sicky bloated feeling. I don’t like that it takes up half of people’s student loans, and I don’t like that I have to lie about my feelings for it almost every day. (A post that really got me motivated to come out as anti-alcohol was that of the wonderful Amy over at Like myself, Amy just isn’t bothered by the whole ‘student’ thing and I adored reading her thoughts on the matter.)

I enjoy nights out the same amount with or without alcohol (fyi the amount is ‘not much’) and to be honest I just don’t need the empty calories and empty bottles in my life. Truth be told, I even quite like going to 9am lectures – don’t tell my Theology friends that…



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