This is the start of my very university orientated September posts. I know that a large amount of my followers (79% of my followers on my blog and 82% on my Instagram to be exact) are between the ages of 16-24, and I can guarantee that a large proportion of them will either be at university, or moving to university very soon. I thought to dedicate September to writing a lot of university related posts, and hopefully it will help a lot of students that are reading this. I thought to start off with something for current students and talking about how I am getting organised for second year at university, and then next week all of the freshers posts will begin.
For a bit of a backstory: I am 19 and currently starting my second year at the university of Leeds, studying PPE. I am aiming these tips and tricks at students that are getting organised for second year at university, but I do think that these tips are applicable for lots of different years of education.
- Storing old folders and work.
With the nature of university, you don’t *technically* need any of the information that you have learnt in previous years, and its not like A levels where the 2 years almost roll into one. A lot of people just throw their old work away, but whilst getting organised for second year I have filed and stored my first year work away, and I would recommend doing the same. Don’t keep everything, but keeping as much as you can in case you need to refer back to it at some-point in future years will definitely be helpful. If you are struggling with something or have forgotten a process, it would be so much easier to refer back to old notes rather than having to research it again. Plus one of the biggest differences in work at university is the referencing process, so having lots of relevant work in folders will definitely help your future essay writing self when looking for further reading. Future self with thank you!
- Work on your module choices in advance.
I know this doesn’t apply to everyone as a lot of people have fixed second year module choices, but one of my biggest ways of getting organised for second year at university was to think about these as early as possible… and actually think about them. After a year at university you will know how you work best and whether you are more of an assignment or exam type of person, and then you can work from there. Another thing to consider is how many credits you are loading into each semester. The advised split is 60/60, so bear that in mind if you are trying to cram all of your modules into one semester. Just make sure to fully research the modules before you sign up to them, as if you are doing things you enjoy it will make your year the easiest it can be.
- Make life easy for yourself.
I have done this since I was about seven I think, but the same concept applies when you are getting organised for second year at university. Make sure you have bought everything that you need (extra stationary, books etc) and are fully prepared to go back in October. Theres nothing worse than remembering something that you need when it is too late, and the nature of uni means you can’t just borrow it from your parents. Whilst you have got some time in the summer, make sure you are organised and have everything you need before the stress hits.
- Further reading over summer
This is by no means compulsory, but when getting organised for second year at university you might want to consider ordering your module books and having a look at them before you go back. I don’t mean read them cover to cover, but becoming familiar with the texts will help you down the line and save you having even more things to do during the semester. Most modules will have a reading list available during summer, so I would definitely recommend at least ordering them so you have everything you need in the first week of semester. I have been working through my economics textbook because I know that economics is going to be a lot harder this year, and I do think it has made me feel better about going back in October.
- Make sure your living arrangements are what you are genuinely happy with.
This is a big one, and although it isn’t really about getting organised for second year at university, it does still heavily link to how you will reach your full potential this year. University, more often than not, involves living with people and that always isn’t the best way that you work. You might want to consider going to the library more, or even going home more often so that you can focus. I’m living at home next year, although thats a story for next week’s blog post! At the end of the day, second year counts towards your degree, and you need to find something that works well for you. That might not be socialising with your friends 24/7 like first year! Making your room feel like home will help, but if you genuinely aren’t happy in your living situation, you aren’t going to work to the best of your ability anyway.
I think that if you go through these steps over summer, they will help when getting organised for second year. Obviously, I am following these tips myself and these are just what I am doing (I am not writing this with experience) so let me know if you have any tips that I have forgotten. First year has absolutely flown by, and I can’t believe that next year counts towards my degree. Its going to be a stressful year! Thank you so much for reading this, and I hope that you enjoy all of my student orientated posts that are coming over September, I have been working really hard on them!