The jump from first to second year of university  

By Sophie Orchard, 2nd year Psychology NTU student 

The jump from sixth form to year 1 of university is one of the most talked about subjects before you come to university and during. However, I don’t think I was quite prepared for the jump from year 1 to year 2 of university.  

To me it always seemed like I had experienced the ‘big jump’, I had made the change from sixth form to university, but it quickly became apparent that for me, the ‘big jump’ was from year 1 to year 2. This jump should be talked about more for students, like myself, to better prepare themselves for what is to come after a long summer away from university. 

At the start of second year, I will admit I went into it thinking I knew how the year was going to go. For my psychology degree, I was aware that the grade importance increased from first year and that the workload would likely increase. I said to myself that I was going to be on top of all my lectures, I was going to be able to do all the extra reading ahead of time. I quickly realised it was not the case. I realised that being ahead isn’t really what it is cracked up to be. To be ahead was not working for me, I was putting more stress onto myself than I needed to, and I just wasn’t letting myself enjoy my course anymore.  

As soon as I realised this, I was able to make the change. I resorted back to to-do lists and giving myself a break every now and then, not working every night until 3/4am. I saw a big change in not just my mental health, but also my academic performance. I finally was able to fully take in what I was being taught and improve my assignments, rather than just rush to make sure they were done. I finally found my passion for psychology again. 

I realised that I needed to take care of myself to do well in my degree. For me this was spending quality time with family and friends, and not stressing that I was not doing work when I should be. I stopped saying no to going out and stopped feeling bad that I wasn’t ahead.  

I’m not saying being ahead is bad, being ahead can be good for some people. What I want to emphasise is that it is important to find YOUR balance, what works for some people may not work for you.  

Remember it is ok to struggle. Remember it is ok to ask for help from your family and friends, reach out to your tutors and lecturers, and let them know you may need some support. Most importantly remember that you have got this, and you can do it.  

For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.

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