Looking back on second year, and looking forward to my third

Second year at University is a bit of a strange, limbo phase. Everyone freaks out that their work now counts toward their final degree classification, meanwhile third years look back on second year fondly, seemingly proving that the worst is yet to come.

Nonetheless, here’s a look back at what I’ve learnt during my second year and what I hope to achieve in my third year:

Sorry first years, but in terms of the academic side of University life, the bar has definitely been raised this year. Though the change isn’t monumental, I find tutors are a lot less forgiving this year and it’s that little bit harder to get a first than it was last year – this also means the days of late night, last minute hand ins are long gone. I guess this is to be expected though really; after all, by the time you get to second year you’ve had a year to get to grips with the expectations that come with academic writing.

I’ve definitely got more involved this year, even by writing this blog and becoming a member of the Student Communications Ambassador team I guess I’ve immersed myself in University life more. I’ve really enjoyed getting to express my thoughts about Uni and Sheffield more generally in a more informal way this year, it’s definitely a new style of writing for me!

Joining the University Trampolining Club has been another high point of this year – I’ve competed for the first time in years, improved a lot from when I first started and made lots of new friends. I would really encourage students of all year groups to join the club next academic year. It’s one of the most inclusive and friendly sports clubs at the Uni with people of all abilities welcome. Joining is super simple, you just need to turn up! If you’d like more information however, be sure to check out the Facebook page.

Going forward into the dreaded third year I’m definitely keen to stay involved with everything I’ve done this year, including being a member of the Student Staff Committee for the department of Politics. I’m looking forward to being a Sheffield Mentor for the first time next year too. Getting involved with just some of the schemes that the University runs has given me soft skills I wouldn’t otherwise have, and I’m sure I can use them going forward post-graduation.

I’m expecting the work load in third year to rocket, but I’ve got myself into a great routine of getting to the library for 8am everyday during this exam season. I started doing this in order to guarantee myself a prime seat, but I’m optimistic that if I carry on I can secure a high 2.1 overall and hopefully attain my wider goal of getting onto a graduate scheme.

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