If you’re settling into Warwick as a second year this term, there’s so much to discover. There’s new experiences and skills to learn along the way. Emily shares her advice to make second year your best one yet!
Whilst I built my university foundation in first year, the second year of university was when I truly started to bloom – both socially and academically. I found that my first year of university was all about finding my feet, living independently, and exploring the societies and clubs I wanted to spend the most time with whilst at Warwick.
If you’re arriving at Warwick for your second year, then I really think you have a great year ahead. Personally, it was my favourite year, but that doesn’t mean it was always easy.
Here are my tips to make your year as best it can be…
There’s a big jump to make
Speaking as a Maths and Statistics student, the biggest academic jump of my degree was from first to second year. I think you should expect this jump university wide, whatever the degree. Warwick welcomes students from all across the globe, which means everyone will have different backgrounds and qualifications. Essentially, a lot of first year is designed to do the groundwork and make sure everyone is on the same page for the rest of the degree. In second year, it’s time to build on that material and at a faster rate than you perhaps experienced in first year – you’ll find that now your degree has really begun.
This is not to say that you should struggle or be left behind by your modules. Throughout my degree, some modules and assignments were tough, but I was always reassured that Warwick offered the place to me. I was offered my place at Warwick because they knew I could handle the course. You should remember that too when you feel that your studying is taken up a notch.
I would really recommend you begin the term as you mean to go on – attend your lectures and seminars in person, start assignments early and keep track of them! If you put studying first, you’ll find that you will have so much more time for a social life than if you were to begin pulling all-nighters in the library.
My social life was never better than in second year
You’d think that with the jump from first year that my social calendar would be punished but the opposite was true! In second year, I became a social sec, so it’s safe to say most evenings of the week I was organising or participating in socials. The key to staying motivated in second year for me was balance – play as hard as you work.
Socialising gave me the motivation and time pressure I needed to keep studying. I would study for much of the day and free up my evening from 5pm to enjoy campus and my friends. This mixture of study and socialising felt really purposeful for me, it kept me busy and gave me time to unwind and time away from my studies.
Become a Fresher again
In first year, I devoted most of my time to one society and became a member of their executive committee. When it came to second year, I cast my net wider and started joining new societies I was too nervous to join when I first arrived at Warwick.
When you come to Warwick for your second year, think of it as a fresh start. There are so many people I know who joined societies in their second year – don’t feel like you’re past it! If you didn’t find any societies for you in first year, then make a point of going to societies fair again and give other clubs a go. I really think that finding a society or club you love is the key to feeling like you belong at university. If you didn’t feel like that in first year, or you want to build new friends or try out new sports then take advantage of the events societies run in Freshers week and beyond.
They’ll be good days and bad
Whilst now I recognise my second year as my favourite year at university, that doesn’t mean that it was every day. There were days I would check with my friends that they also didn’t understand lectures or that some assignments were as hard as I thought it was. Remember to take care of yourself and don’t compare your second year experience with anyone else’s. You can stay resilient and determined but still have days when things feel tough.
Put yourself first and take time off when you need it, that’s a piece of advice you should always remember!
If you’re keen to step up your studying game, we have a whole load of articles which will help you through in our Study Hacks section. What are your plans for second year? Let us know by tweeting us @warwicklibrary or messaging us on Instagram @warwicklibrary.