It seems absolutely crazy to me that I’ve been at university for two years. I still feel a bit like a newbie every time I go back to Birmingham, and I’m definitely still figuring it all out.
But at the same time, I am so proud of myself for how hard I’ve worked and how well I’ve done. After taking a very impromptu year out before starting, I know a lot of people thought I wouldn’t do it, but I have and I still am!
Before summer really kicks in, I get wrapped up in planning for my year abroad and forget what being a second year student was like, I’m going to sum it up for you.
Second year, for me, was 10x better than first year. I was in a house with my friends, I was doing modules that I loved and I was so much more settled. I knew which nights out I liked, and which ones to not bother with, and I really feel like I made the most of what Birmingham had to offer.
That being said, I definitely noticed the huge step-up between what was expected of me in first year and what was expected of me this year, in terms of assignments.
Last year there were definitely weeks where I didn’t have much work to do, and could afford to spend some time doing not really anything at all. This year? Not so much.
I think a lot of that had to do with all the meetings for my year abroad, which I go on in September (as if I haven’t mentioned that enough already), but I also had a much bigger workload. Essays had higher word counts, there were more assessments and the topics I studied covered much broader spectrums than before.
Luckily, I love my course. Even more so now that I’ve done more of it. I can’t imagine that I would have gotten through this year if that wasn’t the case. Living with close friends definitely helped too, there’s nothing better than coming home after a long day to your housemates making pancakes, or just general mischief, in the kitchen!
I did better in my exams and essays this year, and I think that’s because I was just generally happier to be at university. I got used to spending time away from home and fending for myself. I’ve actually gotten pretty good at that, in my opinion.
To be honest, the only real negative of second year was how bad my IBS was. I was suffering almost every day and sometimes it felt like too much to handle. Hopefully, that’s all fixed now though with my gluten-intolerant diagnosis. Only time will tell!