April 11, 2017

How to Survive Second Year of University

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?

15 responses to “How to Survive Second Year of University”

  1. Lauren Hodgson says:

    I don't even like first year of Uni so I am dreading second year haha! However, I did really enjoy this post and it has made me more excited for the rest of my time at Uni! Lauren | http://www.thelifeofastudentblogger.blog

    • Abigail West says:

      Aw noo how come? I actually preferred second year to first year because you tend to make closer friends and I got a lot closer with my course friends too. Abs x

  2. Kirsty Hebdon says:

    I'm just finishing the end of my second year at uni and I've loved it so much more than my first, workload has def increased but I feel so much more confident in my city, my friendship group and more inspired to look for great opportunities! Best of luck with the rest of your university studies xxKirsty | The Monday Project | themondayproject.co.uk

    • Abigail West says:

      I completely agree! I made smaller but closer friendship groups, made more effort with knowing my city and became more connected with university. Thank you, you too! Abs x

  3. Emma Pearson says:

    I never went to Uni, but I still enjoy posts like these to find out about different experiences!

    • Abigail West says:

      I love finding university-related posts, so I can pick up tips and also find out about their experiences too 🙂 Abs x

  4. Corinne & Kirsty says:

    My second year was my first year living by myself and tbh, I was really lucky when I got my studio flat coz it was in the city center, 2 minutes away from the tube station, 15 from the university and was not that expensive. I'd say don't spend too much money on food coz you'll regret it and turn th light off when you leave. Energy is expensive. xx Corinne

    • Abigail West says:

      This is such a helpful tip because I am living by myself in my final year. I cannot wait to have my own little flat! I'll definitely keep those two tips in mind! Abs x

  5. Rebecca Gibbs says:

    This is SO helpful considering i'm still a first year at the minute in uni so i'll def be bookmarking this post!Rebecca xx | Rxbxcca.blogspot.com

    • Abigail West says:

      I wish I had these tips before going into my second year but I'm glad to now give people the advice I would have wanted. Abs x

  6. Claire Gordon says:

    This is so helpful! I'm about to go back to finish my 4th year but these tips are so so useful! 100% will back up the staying organised tip, it gets so much more hectic in third and fourth year so it's best to manage your time early on! Claire xo

    • Abigail West says:

      I would be a mess if I wasn't organised! I'm not looking forward to my final year at all, 3rd year is already too much haha! Abs x

  7. Fatima says:

    I just finished my final year of uni and know EXACTLY how you feel!! Completely agree with all of these points…I've actually got a bunch of posts up about uni so if you fancy some tips to get you through your final year, pop by :)Fatima x http://www.fatimawrites.co.uk

  8. Alys Daniels-Creasey says:

    This is a great post. I'm currently doing distance learning uni, so some of these aren't so relevant haha! Enjoyed the read anyway 🙂

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