Things I wish I knew before second year

So second-year flew by and I'm now in my third and final year of my undergraduate degree. I had such an amazing year. I met new people, I thoroughly enjoyed my course, I experienced lots of exciting things and I am ready to face the mountain of assignments and exams that I know I have to complete this year. I don't think that it's fully registered with me that I'm in my final year, it feels strange. Anyway, this post is all about things that I wish I was told at the start and during my second year of university. Firstly, it is imperative to recognise that every student studies differently and each university expects different levels of work from students. So what I might have been told is different to the next student.

1. Time

– I wish I knew how quick the year would go. I had an idea based on first-year but to think that I finished the year in May is astonishing. Second-year will fly by, so if you want to do or try something new, do fuss about, just do it because you’ll be going into the third year before you know it. You might find in third year that the workload is far greater and you might not have time to do things you might want to do.

2. Goal Setting

– Set goals to meet and achieve during the year. This is something that will be fulfilling and rewarding by the end of the year to look back on. Some goals can be from achieving a certain grade during the year, meeting new people, joining a new society, deciding to get fit or anything else that you wish to pursue. My personal goal was to pick myself up from failing first year and try to get the best grade I can in second year. I managed to do this by achieving a first at the end of second year and it’s given me the confidence to go into third year with a focus.

3. Help and Assistance

– I wish I knew how much help was on offer to me. Obviously for me, joining a new university was always going to be challenging in terms of understanding how things work and are run. I honestly didn’t fully understand how much help was offered to me until the end of the year. Make the most of the facilities and help that is offered to you because just remember you are paying for the services available to you.

4. Options

– I wish I knew more about the optional modules I could take. Most students in first year don’t have much choice when it comes to optional modules, however, in second year there tends to be more freedom with module choices. I know some students pick a module because it might not entail any exams or it is possibly seen as an easier module, however, a module should be chosen because it is of interest to the student. Read all the information you can on each optional module, so you know exactly what you will cover in the year.

5. First year is in the past

– Second-year becomes considerably more serious, which makes you appreciate the relaxed nature of first year. There’s no doubt that second year is harder in terms of what is expected of you. There are higher standards to meet, noticeably more reading and the workload is heavier. Looking back at it, I wish I had put more effort and time into the whole of first year; from the work I had to complete on my course, to joining a society.

6. Networking

– Networking is key. Second-year is the perfect opportunity to network with potential employers because you will realise that third year is quite full on and you might not get the opportunity to connect with professionals. I wish I spent more time and effort with companies building relationships ready for the end of my third year. I was satisfied with the work I completed over the summer but I wish I had realised that I had a substantial amount of time to add vital industrial experience to my CV instead. I would highly recommend any second-year student to thoroughly consider summer placements and jobs that will add skills and experiences that would appeal to future employers.
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