Second year is over!

Summer Ball giggles at the end of second year
It seems mad, and rather scary, that we are in June already - that's half of 2016 done and dusted but it only feels like yesterday that we were welcoming in the new year. With it being June, that means another year of university is over and my summer holidays have begun, now I just need some sunshine!

My second year at university has definitely been vastly different to my first. For a start I have been living with my friends in a house rather than with strangers in halls. Living in halls will definitely be a fond memory I will always treasure yet somehow living in a house felt so much more grown up and relaxed. From having cheese night and taking it in turns with a mini Come Dine With Me, to the endless nights out; unlike freshers we were almost like a little family rather than 'flatmates'.

The year started with Freshers, much like first year, only this time we weren't restricted by organised nights out, we picked the clubs and nights we wanted and avoided those dead nights at a club with about 6 people in doing the limbo. I had also signed up to be a Freshers Angel, aiding the new freshers move in and helping on nights out (when I say 'helping' I mean sitting at a table by the bar handing out I Love Consent wristbands and applying temporary matching tattoos onto anyone willing to have such a hideous stamp on them!) It was all very fun though and it definitely got second year off to a great start!

Cause everyone's always wanted to be in the Spice Girls
To begin with, second year seemed far more relaxed in terms of workload than first year - perhaps it was that I had got into the routine of things and had made friends on my course that eased the pressure. But as I entered spring term I realised that it was a lot harder than first year and the worry that this year actually counted began to settle in. If I could go back I probably would have made a few more notes in lectures, listened a little more closely to the tutors, and perhaps have done that extra reading that wasn't essential but definitely would have helped! In spring term I was also undertaking a two week placement at the offices of a shopping center back home. This meant lots of travelling too and from Reading back to Hertfordshire, as well as being somewhat of a blow to my bank balance with train tickets being bought weekly. Despite it having its disadvantages I thoroughly enjoyed my time on placement, everyone in the offices were so lovely and I felt that it really helped me develop my writing and research skills. With a placement also comes a placement report (which was timed nicely to collide with the beginning of exams/revision). Juggling my time between report writing and revision was tedious and stressful but the incentive of summer being not too far away made things a little easier!
5th birthday party? I think so!

Despite the hard work second year was so much fun! We went on a house trip to watch a recording of Take Me Out, had a road trip down to Somerset for a party as well as several themed birthday nights out which were a great laugh! I think it is easy to see university as an extra three/four years in education when you could be out earning money but it is so much more than that. I have made so many new friends and have had some incredible experiences as a result of choosing to go to university that I wouldn't change for the world. It is a lot of hard work, and the deadlines and essays can be tough to meet but if you're even contemplating university I'd say to give it a shot!