second year

Being a second year student: getting back to business!

Everything in second year counts, and missing a grade because of partying could mean a lower degree when you graduate. Now you definitely don’t want that!

It’s why second year takes a bit more organisation. I’m not trying to say your social life has to be flushed down the toilet (that comes in 3rd year); it just won’t be your highest priority anymore.

With a bit of clever thinking, you can still go out with friends and get a brilliant degree at the same time. Double win, no? But how do you go about doing this?

1) Get a calendar or a diary – this is the simplest way of organising, and if you have a phone with a decent calendar system, you can sync it with your computer and receive alerts. A hand-written diary can also be good for University assignments, it allows you to make hard notes that won’t be lost by the temperamental entity that is technology.

2) Note down all of your University assignments and classes so you can keep on top of them. Set reminders for deadlines with enough time to do them well. Don’t leave them to the last minute! Some tutors recommend at least three weeks per piece of coursework – why not take four?

3) If you have a part-time job, note down your shifts each week and make sure they fit around your timetable. This will leave you with some time to do University work.

4) You may have been able to get away with a night of partying followed by a 9am lecture in 1st year, but believe me it’s not so easy in your 2nd year! check your diary before agreeing to anything, then write it down! You don’t want to agree to things and then realise you have something more important going on, like an interview or major exam. This is also a good way of getting out of engagements you didn’t really want to go to in the first place: “Where were you last night?” “You weren’t in the diary – sorry!”

5) Make sure you have a bit of ‘me time’! You don’t have to schedule this in your diary/calendar, but when you’re organising things, make sure there are a couple of free spaces so you can chill – it will be a difficult year, so don’t allow yourself to become stressed!

6) You know the drill by now. You know that you need to be in lectures and seminars on time. You know you need to get your work done, and you know not to leave everything to the last minute. You’ve already done this once. Now you have to do it again, and yes – everything will be a little bit harder. You’ll still have all the support you need, but you won’t have the same nurturing that you did in first year, because you’ll be expected to have learned it all already. It’s now completely all up to you.

Ps: I don’t say any of this to scare you! I promise. Unfortunately you’re no longer a CU Fresher, but good times can still happen if you stick to these tips and remember when to say ‘no, I’m busy revising!’

– Alex