Learning Services Support

The transition from first to second year: what to expect

Going into second year may seem a little daunting, but as long as you’re prepared for what’s ahead there’s no reason why you can’t succeed. Take a look at what to expect during your transition from first to second year:

You’re more settled

After a full year at university, you’re now a lot more settled in your surroundings and your routine, which is a great feeling. You’re also a lot more familiar with the city, and the juggling act between studying, taking care of yourself, staying in touch with family, and spending time with friends. But, if you’re lacking motivation at the start of this academic year, see these top tips on how to get motivated.

But things are still changing!

You might now be settled in, but that doesn’t mean to say things are always going to be the same.  One of the great things about university is that there’s always new opportunities around every corner. And with new opportunities comes a chance to meet new people. It’s great if you’ve made friends for life in your first year, but still embrace getting to know other people throughout your university experience. You may have seen a lot of Manchester in your first year too, but the campus and the city are always changing so never stop exploring!

It counts!

Things are getting serious now! You’ll have probably heard in your first year that it doesn’t count – it’s a “practice run” if you like. But second year definitely does count, so the pressure naturally increases slightly. It’s important that, if you haven’t already, you create good study habits. Put an end to the last-minute submissions and the all-nighters, and start attending your lectures and seminars and making use of the academic support available to you. Looking after yourself and staying organised is the best way to get through second year.

It’s time to look to the future…

Second year is the time when most students need to start thinking about placements or internships. You’ll notice as well that the emphasis on careers steps up, and you’ll be expected to start doing some proper research into what you’d like to do after being an undergraduate. Be sure to get yourself on LinkedIn and make use of the Careers Service for help with your CV and applications and interview preparation.

If you’re doing a dissertation or similar research project in your final year, it’s always a good idea to get a head start when thinking about which topic to base this on. Start to think about what subject areas you enjoy, what you’re passionate about, and what your strengths are. It’ll save a last-minute panic when you start third year and have no ideas to work with!

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