Friday, 22 June 2018

Let's Reflect: Second Year of University


Today's post is a little reflection post on my Second Year of University! I did one after finishing First Year which you can read here if you fancy it!

Second Year has been a whole new adventure, a whirlwind of emotions (and water in my uni house's case). The main difference between First Year and Second Year is definitely the fact that I felt so much more settled this year than last year. During First Year, I realise I did feel very lost and disorientated in terms of where I belonged.

In my accommodation, the main person I connected with was my flatmate who was a Masters student and therefore I spent a lot of time socialising with her and the friends I made through her, but as they were masters students, majority of them did not return when I started Second Year in September. As I was a first year student and they were masters, I did feel a little out of place sometimes even though they were absolutely lovely and looked after me well. My anxiety was very bad and I was adjusting to everything, meaning I didn't socialise much with others and probably missed out on the friendship making part of first year. Looking back now, I can see that a lot of my first year was spent seeing everyone else's experiences going so well and fun (and the year before when I was on my gap year.

Therefore, prior to beginning my second year of university, I was extremely motivated and extremely ready to make the most of my time and do more.
And Second Year actually made me feel a little more comfortable in my surroundings. I made new friends and new housemates and even though living in our student house hasn't been the easiest, I can look back and cherish the memories. I think that's been the key and happiest part of Second Year and it's definitely something I'm grateful for. They say some people come into your life for a reason, and I feel like my housemate definitely did.

The first half of the year was probably the best part, as I do love that time of the year anyway, but I got to spend Halloween with my best friend who came to visit and my housemates as we had a Halloween party which was very enjoyable! Halloween was probably one of my best Halloweens I've ever had as I actually got to celebrate it not once but twice.
I also somehow managed to visit Chester to visit my best friend at uni and also met the SacconeJolys that weekend! I'm still really, really, proud of how I did that weekend as I've mentioned that travelling is not the easiest for me but I honestly had a fabulous time and managed well.

Futhermore, I also got to go to the Christmas markets and see the Christmas lights turned on with my boyfriend which was a lovely memory, as Christmas is probably my favourite time of year! It's something I'd like to do this year too!

Socialising can be a hit and miss for me generally but I'd say I managed better at the start of 2nd Year to be more sociable and did enjoy a fair few social events!

However, towards the end of the year I have definitely lost myself a little. I was full of enthusiasm and optimism in the first semester and gradually things did slide a little.
I'm not sure if it was losing my Gran around the Christmas season and attending her funeral in January, but I've mentioned losing her was very difficult but I believe there's more than one reason.
Generally, I've always put a  lot of pressure on myself to socialise more and do more and make myself happy, but the pressure didn't always pay off and it just came to me feeling unsatisfied.
I attempted to blog about it but couldn't quite get the confidence to publish it.
Dealing with different things at one time can be overwhelming.
I'm a very emotional person and it just overtakes me sometimes which I need to work on. I also worry so much about other people which can further exhaust me!

February did have more events though, me spending my first ever Valentine's Day with my boyfriend and also my best friend visiting and staying the night in my uni house. It was a very busy yet fun week for me!
Another thing which hindered my actual socialising for roughly about a month, was I was struck down with scarlet fever during February/March. This was hard for me as I'd had loads of plans which I'd been excited for and one by one they disappeared and it was pretty disheartening. I was ill for a couple of weeks before getting my antibiotics but I couldn't drink on them so it was pretty annoying!

In terms of grades, mine have slipped a little this year, but my main aim was to get a First in at least one module per year as I got a First last year in one of my projects, luckily I managed to get a First in one of my modules which I was grateful for. Fingers crossed I can get a First somewhere in 3rd year too! In two of my essays, I felt like I had a lot more points to talk about which I need to remember for 3rd year, to have a good think about multiple points before choosing an essay topic!

I even managed to survive a flooding!

Despite all that, I managed to attend a second Final Fling, which is my university's end of year celebration event, which although wasn't as warm as last year, was pretty epic! I decided to go all out with the sequins and glitter this year and wore a blue sequin crop top from Pretty Little Thing. I also wore glitter on my face and eyeshadow. I loved how it looked and I literally am so glad I finally found that top from PLT, as I'd been looking for a while to find something I'd want to wear! I really enjoyed the day and got to see the Vengaboys, Tinchy Stryder, Kelli-Leigh, Sigala.

Moving onwards, I really don't want the uni experience to end as I have definitely grown so, so, much since I started in September 2016. Knowing in September I'll be going into 3rd year, genuinely terrifies me, but I hope that I can keep my life under control and make more positive memories! I recently got in contact with Mind and am in touch and hopefully working on my mental health so hopefully this helps me achieve this! Definitely need to try and get the stressful situations out of my way as it's definitely had a negative effect on my health, hopefully I can learn ways to help myself!

I'd love more than anything to get on top of things, make the most of everything and have loads more happy memories.

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

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