The stress is over on moving to a new city, you're used to the university life now. The only difference is more work, more relaxed atmosphere, and more independence.

  • More work - Unfortunately first year was considered 'easy'. Now they put your brains to the test and pile on assignments after assignments after assignments. Be prepared for more hours in the library, less time for socialising, lecturers stressing over your studies and generally becoming a little more stressed in life.
  • BUT a more relaxed scene - You're used to this city now, you know your surroundings and you know your friends and lecturers. You can go to university knowing if anything goes wrong where to go and who to turn to. In terms of classwork, this can be a little more relaxed as you are used to certain assignments so no need to constantly be on the computer emailing your lecturer whether you are doing it right or not.
  • More independence - You start to know your university very well, you know where everything is, what each building is assigned to and who all your class mates are (unless there are about 200 students in your lectures - luckily there's only 15 in mine). The sense of independence kicks in after a few weeks of starting your second year. Also, most second year students will own a house which allows some flexibility in your routines. You don't have security constantly hanging around, you aren't stuck in a small-boxed room with neighbours either side and above or below, and you don't get woken up at 4am from your flat neighbours stumbling in after a night out.

 

Balance out your work and social life.

Second year means the workload increases so you tend to spend more time in the library, and less time going out and seeing friends. Create a strategy which ables you to balance out these two. For example, work in the library after lectures Monday to Friday for a few hours and then save the weekend for relaxing and hanging out with friends.

 

Stay organised to avoid stress.

I'm not going to lie, I got to that point, a few times actually, where everything was a mess and my stress levels reached the roof. It happens unfortunately but staying organised can relieve this stress. There is nothing more satisfying than completing all your assignments a few days before the deadline.

 

Take regular breaks. 

Go for a walk, watch some TV, listen to some music. Take some time away from the work zone to get a change of scenery. It's not good for your health to stay sat down and focused on work without a break now and then.

 

Make notes of all your deadlines.

Create a schedule of all your deadlines. This is what I did. Either buy a planner just to make note of your deadlines or just draw out a table to write your deadlines on for each month. Order them well, with your closest deadline first.

 

Pay attention to your university email.

My university/course is incredibly well connected with work/internship/volunteering opportunities and post regular emails stating what they are, how to apply and who is well suited for them. Your ideal placement/job may pop up at some point so make sure you stay alert with your emails.

 

Get a job for income.

This is actually against what I say because I get too much work to have time for a job and also my course has 19 hours of lectures a week which gives me little time for socialising. But if you want some income for this year or final year, I suggest you get a job in second year. Having a job in final year will add to the amount of work you will already have and will most likely increase you stress levels. It won't hurt to have a Saturday job if it means doing a few hours of work for good money, but if you want a job, second year is the perfect time to get one.

TIP: Remember bills, bills, and more bills. When booking accommodation for second or third year, be sure to ask whether the cost per week includes ALL bills. A lot of agencies can catch you out with this and the rent ends up being £5/£10 more than you expected to pay. That doesn't sound a lot but once you add up the grand total of the whole year, you definitely will regret not asking in the first place.

 

What tips do you have to help students survive university?