Wednesday, 15 July 2015

My Second Year of University

 Hello there! I cannot believe it, but as of last Friday I can now officially say that I have passed second year, and will be moving onto my third in September. I did a little round up of my first semester in a blogpost, and you may remember that I did two posts last year on the year leading up to University, and starting my first year. This will be in a similar format, where I discuss my own experience of second year (obviously everyone's is different!). I can tell that this will be another long post, so grab a cuppa and make yourself comfortable. 

Living in a house
 I touched on this briefly after my completing my first semester, but now after living in a shared house for a year I think I can go into more detail! Depending on what set up you had during your first year, living in a shared house may be completely different, or quite similar. In my first year I lived in a flat of 6 girls, where we had our own bedroom/bathroom, but shared the kitchen/lounge area. For me this year was different as I live in a house of 5, and I'm the only girl! I know that when I tell this to some people they're really shocked and ask how on earth I live like that, but honestly, there's no real difference to living with girls, as they're still all some of my best friends! I think if you find a group of people that are like-minded then it doesn't really matter who you live with. We're a house of humanities (2 doing Geography, 2 doing History and then me doing English), and because of our timetables, if you're working from home then you can pretty much guarantee that someone else will be in the house. 
 Compared to last year where we spent most of our time together in the kitchen, being in a house we've used our lounge area a lot more. Instead of having our own bathroom like last year, we do share one between the 5 of us, but this hasn't really caused any problems as people get up at different times/want to shower at different times of the day, so it's worked out well. 
 The biggest change at the beginning of the year, was having to sort out our bills etc, as this was all included in our rent for halls. We've found that it works out better if this isn't covered by just one person, e.g I sorted out our electric/gas, Adam sorted out the internet and Ross sorted out the water. We had a few issues with things like the shower leaking etc at the start of the year, but the landlords were great and sorted these out really quickly. 
 We've worked well as a house dynamic, and we are staying in the same house for our last year, which is lovely as it means we don't have to move! A lot of people I know have been in the process of moving recently, but it's such a relief to just be able to leave all of our stuff out and to not worry about packing up and leaving/sorting out bills for a different house! 
 I do miss some things about halls, but more in a nostalgic way rather than actually wanting to go back to living there. The thing with halls was that you knew most of your friends were only a 5 minute walk away, and that you would always have someone to walk with on your way to/back from uni. However after finishing first year moving seemed like the right thing to do and I haven't looked back since!

 Moving into second year meant that all assessments and marks counted towards our overall degree. I think I can safely say, and speak for a lot of people I know when I say this, that second is on a whole other level to first year. Having come to the end of my second year, I really can see how the first year is about settling in and developing the skills that you have, and that come second year it will get a lot harder.
 As I study English Literature, there is obviously a lot of reading, but when I say a lot I mean a lot. The thing about University is that it's nice to think that all of your modules are counting towards the same thing, because when I did my A levels I sometimes found it hard to juggle different subjects at the same time. However, there's a lot to do per module, and so you still need the ability to juggle your work and to not let it overwhelm you. For anyone about to start their second year, my one piece of advice would be to get the reading lists as soon as you can from the module convenors, and read. There's no better feeling when everyone else is stressing to read a book for a certain week, and you can just relax as you've already read it. I'm not going to lie, I didn't always stick to this very well, but for my third year I'm definitely trying to stick to this idea.
 Depending on the course there may be modules that you have to take and that you simply don't really have an interest for. I've found that the optional modules for this year (and for third) are not so broad, and so focus upon a set topic more. For example in my first year one of my optional modules was Critical Contexts, which gave an overview to theorist's work and how their theories could be applied to texts. As a topic this was quite broad, compared to the Representing the Holocaust module that I took this year. Still broad in the sense that there was a range of texts and media (books/films), it seemed a lot more focus and so I enjoyed being able to look at different things in a detail that just wasn't available in first year.
 I'm still loving and really enjoying my course, and I can't wait for next semester as I get to study Romantic and Victorian Poetry and Prose and the fact that you have to take these modules is one of the reasons that I decided to go to Sheffield. I've started reading for the module already (well done to me for keeping to my own advice!) and it doesn't feel like work, as I love reading texts from this era. (Which you would have noticed from my Top 5 Classics post as the majority of these were Victorian!) 

Growing up/looking to the future
 I don't know if it was the fact of turning 20 last October, or that I moved into the latter half of my degree, but I've definitely felt like I've grown up a lot over the last year. At the beginning this did freak me out a bit, but I've now accepted that I must leave Uni and get a job, and that at the start of next year Tom and I will need to start looking for a house, and that I'll no longer be able to receive student discount (okay I still haven't really accepted that last one). I did a post on not letting fear hold you back in January, and I stand by this. Sure it may be scary to think that this time next year I'll have moved out of my shared house, and that I'll be 'in the real world', but that's okay. It's going to happen one way or another, so just let go and enjoy the journey.
 One of the major things that has stuck out for me this year, is the amount of opportunities that I have gone for, and how much it's paid off. Do as much as you can, while you can! Whether this be trying new things, or applying for a job that you don't think you'll ever get, just do it. If you don't, you could live to regret it! I look back upon the last year, and think, wow I have actually done and achieved a lot. Not only have I done a lot of things in respects of my course, or jobs, but I feel as if I've really got to know Sheffield, and where all of my favourite places to go are.

I've been to the theatre a lot more this year and I love it!

Even in the rain I still love walking through the park

Who could forget the mass of snow in January/February?

I finally went to Itchy Feet and had such a good time!

I also went to the ice hockey for the first time and weirdly enjoyed it!

I miss Tilly loads but manage to make cat friends on my walks into uni!

I don't think I'll be forgetting this for a while...

I really hope they do another puppy day next time exams come around!

One of the highlights of my year!

 I know I keep saying it, but I really cannot believe that I have now been at University and living in Sheffield for 2 years. On another note overnight I exceeded 10,000 views of my blog, and I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone for reading my ramblings! I started this blog as a means to record what I get up to (as I am terrible at keeping a diary) and it means so much that other people take time out of there to see what kind of things I have been up to.

Love Jess xxx


  1. Hello amore, okay?
    I like your blog has great content ..
    nice post

    Kisses, is with God, Success


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