|Happy Freshers (pic from gtuardian.co.uk)|
I write to you today with an important message from the oh-so-wiser-than-thou position of being a few weeks into my second year of uni. It's probably one you've heard before, but maybe you never really thought much of it, or ever bothered to change your ways as a result, so I'm going to take the liberty of reiterating the point: MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR FIRST YEAR!
Every time you move up a level in the world of education, those who've been there and done that will tell you "Oh, it's a lot harder now. The work will really step up" etc, but to be honest with you, I've found it all pretty manageable thus far. From GCSEs to A-Levels, and then AS to A2, sure it got a little harder each time, but it's meant to, isn't it? I never felt "Woah! OMG! Ahh! Suddenly so much work that is so difficult!" *Cries into beautifully organised, colour-coded folders*
However, unfortunately this time - going from first to second year of uni - the people who warned us actually had some truth to their cautionary tales. And yes, there has indeed been some crying into my work. German, natürlich, because it's a stupidly difficult language, but that's by the by.
Last year, I thought I worked pretty hard, compared to most freshers anyway, because despite only having to pass my first year and it not counting towards my final degree, I wanted to do well, and I didn't want to have a huge shock to the system when I moved into second year. That said, I rarely worked past 9.30pm at night. Not because I was off out clubbing and being a crazy Fresher, but because I had Glee/Gossip Girl/90210 to catch up on, obvs. This year I've been going to bed later and later purely in order to get my work done... Oh, to have time to watch all the TV I'd like to this year! Woe is me, I know.
The thing is, I genuinely would have time to watch plenty of TV this year if I didn't do so many other jobs and extra-curricular stuff. I know, I bring the stress upon myself, so shouldn't complain. And I don't (not too much) as I do love being busy.
Last year, I thought I was busy. I was. But compared to this year, I barely knew what busy was. And I imagine if there are any final year students or graduates reading this you'll all be thinking "Pah! Second year! What do you know about work and being busy!? Just you wait till final year..." And yes, perhaps when I'm in their position I'll blog again explaining that realistically I didn't know what I was on about when I wrote this. Meh.
So, my advice to freshers isn't actually what you might usually hear - recommending you don't bother trying with your uni work when it doesn't count, and going out partying the year away (do it if you want. Whatevs.) Instead, I want to encourage all first year students to make the most of having the time to get involved with uni life. Start a student radio show, audition for a production, play for an intramural sports team, join the Scottish dancing society... There is SO much going on at uni, and it's unlikely that we'll have so many great organised activities at our fingertips at any other point in our lives.
Don't regret not getting involved. First year is the time to try out all these new things, because now as a second year student, it really pains me that I don't have time to do them all again. I'm really glad I auditioned for and performed in the musical last year, as I don't think I'll be able to do another one unfortunately (which wasn't something I even thought about at the time.) Unless I stop doing all my other jobs, but realistically we all know I can't say no to work. What a weirdo, I know.
So, go forth and get involved with everything while you still can.
As for me, I really shouldn't have written this blog post (have you noticed an unfortunate decline in blogging from me since coming back to uni? Sad times) as I have far too much work, but hey.
Lots of second year love,