A Lookback on my Second Year at University

I wrote a post like this after I finished my first year at university, reflecting on everything that I had learned from a personal perspective rather than an educational one. I had a wee read of it the other day now that I’m finished my second year and I thought it would be nice for me to write a similar post because I’m a rather sentimental person.

When I started university I was 17 and terrified about moving away from my parents for the first time. I’m now 19, a little more experienced in the world of independent living and unfortunately starting to feel more and more like an adult. Having to repeatedly call your letting agent because they still haven’t fixed problems that you made them aware of months ago wasn’t something I was used to doing until recently.

This week I finally received my exam results from my second semester, confirming that I have passed both of my foundation years and can now progress into honours. I seemed to find a bit of rhythm in the second semester as I attended more classes, completed numerous assignments and settled on what I hope are achievable goals for the future. It turns out I’m pretty good at maths in relation to music technology and received 96% on my exam, meaning that I made the right decision to focus on the physics and maths side of my degree next year.

I’m also exceptionally proud of the fact that I achieved an A in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship exam despite getting a text from my (now ex) boyfriend that he wanted to break up two hours before it started. It really gave me the reminder that I needed that I can be successful on my own and for myself. It’s been six weeks since the break up and I really feel like I’m starting to move on.

Compared to first year, I feel like my personal life has been a lot more over the place. From breakups and pneumonia to significant progress on my blog and a new job I’ve had a mixture of highs and lows. If you read my “Week of Hell to the Summer of Me,” blog post, you’ll understand that I’m really looking forward to the next couple of months where I can sort my life out in preparation for third and fourth year, when the real work begins.

The most exciting development is my new job. It’s been almost three months since I started and I absolutely love it. I feel like I’ve properly settled in as I feel a lot more comfortable and I’m getting to properly know our regular customers. I work at one of my favourite coffee shops in Edinburgh as it’s dog friendly and has the best cake selection I’ve ever seen. I really enjoy making coffees and chatting to everyone especially the rest of the staff because they’re all so lovely.

After first year I really wanted to get better at my time management so that I wouldn’t be submitting essays at 2:30am, just hours before they are due. Whilst this continued to happen throughout second year too, I feel like the quality of work I have produced has improved so perhaps the late nights are worth it. The essays I’ve written have involved me doing actual research on topics I’m interested in and whilst the marker hasn’t always agreed with said essays, it was still something that I was proud of which is a start.

I do plan on becoming a “better” student for my honours years. Now that my grades count towards the overall result that I will receive at the end of my degree, I really need to work hard if I’m going to come close to achieving a first. If summer goes the way I intend it to, I will be going to the gym regularly, eating healthier and posting on my blog twice a week by the time that university starts again. It will put me in the better mindset for studying, especially if it helps me get my mental health under some sort of control.

One thing that I’ve loved about second year is my flat. I felt very isolated in my university halls because I didn’t have any close friends in my accommodation and therefore spent a lot of time in my room alone. Now that I live in a regular HMO flat with some of my best friends, I know there is always someone there when I need. I mentioned last year that I had to take care of myself when I was really ill and I struggled with it. In January, when I had pneumonia my friends were amazing at helping me with whatever I needed, even volunteering to help me wash my hair because I couldn’t move my arms without being in horrendous pain. We all hang out together in the living room, mainly watching Friends. Being in this kind of environment has seriously helped me through a lot of my mental health problems because I’m never lonely.

It sounds strange but I do still feel like I’m adjusting to being at university. It’s so bizarre to think that I’m halfway through my degree and that in two years time I could be graduating. I’m quite glad that I decided not to switch degrees because I feel like I can adapt Music Technology to my strengths. I still have no idea what I want to do after I’ve finished university but I’m glad that I still have a bit of time to figure it out. I’m still plodding through university just fine and my recent results have given me the boost that I needed and a realisation that I do have the capability to do well if I try.

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