As with the gap between any level of education – GCSEs to A-Levels, A-Levels to university -the bridge from first year to second year of uni can be difficult to navigate.
While it is definitely an attitude you shouldn’t have, a lot of people develop the attitude of “oh it’s okay we only need 40% to pass this year” in first year and this makes going into second year even more daunting.
It is comforting that first year marks don’t count because first year is about settling in, finding out which modules are your strengths and which are your weaknesses so you can choose next year’s wisely (if your course allows you the choice).
However, the comfort should not be taken for granted! If you work your hardest in first year it makes the fact that second year counts towards your degree seem okay.
This doesn’t mean that it didn’t take me a while to adjust to being in my second year, though.
I worked hard in first year because I’m a constant worrier and I can’t bear to think that I might not have tried my hardest or done myself proud.
Yet, on the first day of second year everyone who might have sailed through first year by giving the minimum effort needed to pass was suddenly saying, “I’m going to try so much harder this year. I definitely need to knuckle down and do more.”
I started to worry – should I work harder? Was it possible?
Everyone else was talking about various new methods of studying that I had never used in first year.
Should I start studying this way?
I forgot that I had already been working hard and tried to push myself even harder which only gave me a huge amount of unnecessary stress.
My advice to anyone worried about the step up from first year to second is to know your limits.
Your first year marks should show you whether you need to work harder or not and you will probably know already if you did your best.