On Campus, Opinion

23rd November 2023

The second year shift: let’s talk

From feral fresher to sophisticated second year?

Second year has only just begun, but suddenly we’re eight weeks in and the differences from first year are definitely beginning to surface for some. Not being able to pull the card of being a ‘silly fresher’ for one. Only joking, I’m actually here to address the elephant in the room which is if you’re someone who feels overwhelmed, underwhelmed even, or just slightly disorientated- you’re not the only one who feels this way and some reassurance that others feel the same is all you need. 

Debut trip to The Raz as a second year…

After the chaos and excitement of first year, coming back to uni after the summer is like going back on holiday with all your best pals to Costa del Smithdown. But, for many of you the realities of what second year would entail may have differed to your expectations. You’re probably living in a house with presumably some of your closest friends, and although uni is always heightened to be ‘the best years of your life’ don’t let it stress you if it doesn’t always feel this way. Because it wont. 

No one’s meant to be thriving all year round every year, that’s just unrealistic. The darker nights and wintry weather also doesn’t help, as even I’m in serious need of a Sefton sunbathe.

Blacking out vs Wholesome night in

But anyways, If you’re someone who never missed a night off in in first year and always found yourself in the crevices of hatch downing a quad vod shoved against weird wednesday costumes, or shivering every monday in the Raz queue at 10pm before blacking out to The Sugababes – I am here to reassure you that if you haven’t found yourself mirroring your past antics that’s okay. Maybe you’ve decided blacking out was a bit too far, and the daily hangxiety was never worth it. Maybe you prefer a more wholesome night in with your housemates snuggled up with a sweet treat. Or maybe you’re just burnt out with juggling more than you had to last year- which is equally valid. 

Academics and placement

For many students, the sudden realisation that second year is slightly more academically important than last year can also be an added stressor; trying harder than you did in first year may have become a reality you’ve slowly had to accept. Not only this, but the pressure for many second years to find placements, internships and applications for third years abroad can also be stressful if you’re constantly being rejected. The other sudden realisation that you may not be spending your last year of university with a best pal due to them being on placement is another sad reality.

But no reminders of this till summer please, for my own sanity. 

Death to the apps: Love and Dating

The ‘feralness’ of first year regarding your love life may have also slightly halted, as you’ve realised necking on in Mccooleys isn’t quite as exciting as it used to be. As sophisticated second years, a date and being wined and dined is much more welcomed. But best of luck trying to find this on Hinge or tinder. Death to those apps. The contrast from wanting to be single and free in first year to suddenly everyone wanting to settle down may make you question where you’re at yourself, but don’t let this take away from your university experience. It’s really not worth it. Go to the Christmas markets with your friends for goodness sake!

Living in a house over halls also is also completely different; you may miss friends who lived in your flat or halls who you might not see as often anymore, but second year discovers new friendships and closer relationships in itself. And I do not miss awkward kitchen encounters and circuit laundry thank you very much. Living in a house is much more superior, but why did no one warn me of the reality of student landlords? Oh, and how house parties will never compare to those of year 10 and 11- they were truly something else. 

Make the most of Second Year!

We’re only half way through, and these are the moments of growth you will look back on when life is a lot more predictable and routined in years to come. A lot will have changed, and will continue to change. Make sure you’re prioritising your own needs and looking after yourself most importantly, and everything else will fall into place.

You’ll be writing your dissertation and planning your graduation insta post before you know it, which is why you shouldn’t focus too much on the past or future. Second year is both strange but brilliant, and placing too much pressure on yourself is only going to ruin it.

To read more On Campus click here https://www.liverpoolguildstudentmedia.co.uk/category/on-campus/