a personal reflection on my second year of university.
The Disgusting In-Between
I think that most people on a 3-year course can say that when they approached second year the growing pressure to start thinking about your career after university was more evident than ever. At my university everyone from all different degrees either hit the ground running or tripped and fell into the numerous chore of lengthy applications. There were people who had prepared had been practising aptitude tests throughout the summer and had a calculated list of firms to apply for. Or there were most of the other people who began frantically trying to apply to as many different firms as possible in a range of different industries in the hope of finding one summer internship to help them on their path. For me I was the latter, and wasted a lot of stress and time applying for jobs that weren’t suited for me.
During this process, it was clear. Soon, I was no longer going to be a teenager and would have to start accepting my responsibilities as an independent adult. Thinking about the future and my career was a MUST and the more I put off this inevitability the harder I would be making it for myself in the future.
When I moved out of Halls of Residence and into a flat, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to maintain all the friendships that I had made in First Year. The friendships that I had made out of convenience and proximity were all put to the test. Although I knew that this was bound to happen and that maintaining friendships was hard, on both sides, it was sad to watch the friendships that I thought were so secure, crumble.
However, when I broke away from all the disillusionment of First Year friendships were quickly put to the test. Ultimately I wasn’t who they wanted me to be and I crawled further and further into myself.
I was lucky enough to also make some new friends. My second year of university made me really value friendship, and make me determined to try and be as good a friend as possible to the people who mean the most to me. I still have a long way to go but I’m trying 🙂 I don’t necessarily need to have hundreds of friends, I just need to have friends who I can support and who can also support me when I need it.
The Sudden Work Load
So everyone I knew was hit with a surge of work in second year. Possibly we had the same workload in first year but this time round every mark counted more and each assignment was worth more. For me, my first year of university didn’t count towards my final grade. I really took this for granted and in second year I struggled from the beginning all the way through to the end to keep my head above water.
Alone or Lonely?
When you first go to university, most likely is that you won’t truly be independent in your first year of university. Most people live in Halls of Residence with cleaners, in close proximity to university, surrounded by a mass of other students who may or may not be your friends. In second year I spent a lot of time alone.
In my first year of university I was always with friends. In second year, I became lazy and generally didn’t want to go out as much. I wanted to stay at home in the evenings, preferring to eat out with friends in the evening or go to the arcade. I’m the sort of person who doesn’t find it easy to hang out with a huge group of people for long periods of time. I like spending time by myself. It’s a strange paradox: I like to be alone, but I also hate being alone. The more time I spent alone, the more I wanted to stay alone but it didn’t always mean I was happy.
When second year came to an end I was glad to see it go. Although I didn’t enjoy the majority of this year, in London there’s a bigger responsibility on yourself to make the year count, to not get swallowed up by the city. Next year I’ll try harder.