We are only in week 5 and I can already feel the big difference between my first year and the second year. I ideally wanted to wait until the end of the year to post this blog, but I personally don’t think that it is going to make any difference.
Here are 6 things that I did not expect in my second year;
- CRAZY WORKLOAD!!
Lectures expect you to do the reading before your lectures. I must say that in the first two weeks I did not even open a book. But then I quickly realised that it was very important as the seminars are always based on the readings. As I felt that I was already falling behind, I aim to read before my lectures. This also meant that I went to library almost every day, which I barely did in the first year.
When summer holidays began there are many people who I did not make effort with, and there were many who did not make effort with me. This is when you that they were your ”campus friends.” Many people who I considered as friends in my first year have now become strangers. However, the people who I never spoke to in class last year have now become my friends. This happens with a lot of friendship groups and there is nothing to be sad about, its life and it happens.
- Second year counts
Every work you submit will COUNT! I have become overly conscious of the fact that essays I submit will affect my overall degree grade (no pressure).
I found myself to be more involved with activities such as being participating in volunteering projects, blogging for I am Essex, peer mentoring, attending to Learning & Skills training sessions, workshops and events, careers fair.. (HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU GET INVOLVED) and doing many campus jobs such as being a Student Ambassador, going to at least one Just Play session a week, Karaoke nights ( when there is time) with my friends. I barely did any of these things as I had other priorities and did not see the importance of participating in all the activities provided by the university and student union, but it is important as it looks good on your CVs.
Doing a lot of activities has also helped me to become more settled at uni, and I find it easier to socialise and engage with other students and staff at the university.
- Nights out
Going out has become so boring to me. I used to spend all my money on cab, drinks and entry fees at raves. This has all changed this year, I really don’t mind if I have missed a night out. It has become repetitive for me, as I hear same music and see the same people and it is very money consuming. The only night out I make effort in are for my close friends birthdays.
- Saving money
I use to spend a lot of money last year on campus restaurants such as Fusion, Happy Days and the store. I was not able to save up for stuff I liked and for emergency expenses. This year I have found a solution for saving money and one of them is meal prepping for the week. Every Sunday, I will spend time cooking for the week and take whatever I have made for lunch.
I also set up a mini budget for the week. This is only so I can see how much I am spending and what I am spending on. This very important as student loans are not really enough. I also do a lot of bargain shopping, for instance, I go to Aldi for my big shopping instead of Tesco.
My experience so far in my second year has been very fun as well as a little challenging. But the key motto is to remain calm, stay organised, motivated and just have lots of fun.