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LecturesSecond yearStudent LifeStudying

Making the Jump from First Year to Second Year

1 October 2020

Making that often anxiously anticipated jump from a fresher to a second year is a fairly big moment in any student’s life. However, despite it being the first time that your work fully counts towards your final degree grade, it is not something to lose sleep over! Here are some of the main differences between first and second year level work:

The work counts

As mentioned, this is the year when your essay and exam results really will count – but don’t let this worry you. By now you will have a whole year of practice up your sleeve in which you have mastered the art of the academic essay, and got your revision ritual down to a tee. Although it counts, you will be supported by your lecturers more than ever before so really make the most of organising 1-1 sessions with them to confirm that you are on the right track with your work.

Modules may go into greater depth

The complexity of the topics you are studying don’t particularly skyrocket in level, but you may find yourself delving deeper into various areas of your course to give you even greater understanding.

You can choose your modules

Having the flexibility to choose the topics that interest you most is one of the best parts about second and third year. During the summer before you will be emailed a module handbook with a breakdown of all the options you can choose from. Have a proper read through and take note of the way they are assessed and what each lecture will cover.  

Semester abroad

If you opt to undertake a semester overseas then second year will be the time when you embark on this epic adventure. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience university life at a different institution, whether that be in Europe, America, Australia, and many more.

Moving into private rental houses

Second year means you will now be calling Cathays home. Life in halls is history, and you now have an entire place to call your own. You can control your heating, have your own communal TV, and most importantly, not have to worry about being fined by the cleaning lady every week.

You will have likely established a solid group of friends

Despite the increased work load, it is important not to look at second year as if it is all doom and gloom. There are many benefits to being one year older in the university realm and having a nice group of friends is just one of them. Gone are the days of feeling alone in a big new city, you now have a circle of pals who you can depend on for a good night out, and a cosy night in.

You know the ropes

Last but not least, it is safe to say that by now you know where everything is. You know your favourite library, your favourite café, and your favourite study time. Although second year is a bit of jump, you’ve got it under control and are ready to take whatever awaits in your stride.