The difference between first and second year

Lottie Hutton, BA Hons English Student

When you’re doing a 3-year course, each year will have its own feel and qualities to it. Well the change from first and second year is no different – so here are the differences you’ll notice from freshers to second year…

1) Workload

In first year you try a little bit of everything – you’ll study Victorian novels and poetry, and also contemporary movies and media. From the Bronte sisters to Aladdin, you’ll cover it all. It’s about finding what you like (or don’t like) and seeing what you’d like to learn more about. Not everyone will have a taste for the Romantic Poets but you may discover your true calling through the medium of William Wordsworth… or then again maybe not. Second year becomes much more focused on ‘the end goal’ aka, dissertations and entering the world of adulthood (which is as terrifying as it sounds!) Just enjoy studying Aladdin while it lasts…

2) Social Life:

It is arguably better in first year! Not only do you have less work but, you’ll most likely live in student accommodation which means your friends are 30 seconds away and you won’t have Doris the neighbour telling you to keep it quiet at 6:30pm on a Tuesday. Everyone also goes full out for Halloween and Christmas meaning your walk to uni is accompanied by flashing lights and blow-up skeletons which is way more interesting than seeing people buy apples from Sainsbury’s at 10 in the morning…

3) Responsibilities:

The further into your degree you’ll get, the more responsibilities you’ll gain – and the more you’ll have to think about your future. It’s scary and daunting and I’m still questioning myself whether I feel old enough to be doing a dissertation soon, but it’s necessary. You’ll learn how to work to deadlines and how to handle stress waay better than you did in first year. In first year you’ll learn how to write a degree level essay and how to reference properly, in second year you’ve got to take those skills and run with them.

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