Looking back on first year, only positives come to my mind. Whether I have blocked out the bad memories of the stress of trying to get into law, late night assignments or homesickness or the fun of living within a few metres of all my friends in a new city as a fresh 18-year-old have just overpowered this, I’m not sure. However, what I do know is that I hoped my second year would bring the same fond memories. Has it? Once again, I don’t know as only time will tell, but there have definitely been differences.

Academic

First semester last year I felt was the time to get into the swing of things and work out what was actually required from you at university, as a result my grades could have been better, but I was still learning. Second semester, you know what is expected from you and your results begin to reflect that. I was unsure going into this year if I would need that establishment time like in first year and I think I did as more is required of you. It doesn’t feel like a huge jump, but the content can require a bit more attention and word counts have gone up as more analysis is required.

Social

It is not uncommon for a first year to go out multiple nights of the week. My friends and I promised that we wouldn’t get boring this year and continue to go out at least once a week because that’s what we felt uni students did. We started off strong doing this however as the year has progressed the amount we go out has decreased. It’s not because we don’t want to but it’s because we aren’t all in the same place as we were in first year halls. Due to this, it makes it a whole lot harder to round people up so you kind of just don’t. Plus, I have found there is only so much of Auckland Clubs that I can tolerate now. Our idea of our social life has also evolved where it is more fun to go out and have cocktails or do activities like holey moley. 

Friendships

First year halls are the easiest place to establish friendships. You are literally put on a floor with over 25 other people your age, all wanting to meet people and have a good time. You are within a few meters of each other and you share bathrooms and food schedules. Therefore, it makes it very easy. However, as you go into second year and beyond and begin to spread out, it can make you realise that some of your best friendships are as a result of convenience. There is nothing wrong with that as it is what you need at the time, but just be prepared that friendships may change between first and second year.

Finances

I had many years to save for my first year of uni once I got a job at high school. That meant that first year I didn’t have to get a job and I was not at all good at budgeting. Unfortunately, that money ran out and finances in second year is a different story. I now have a job, sacrifice going home for the break so I can stay and work and have to try and limit my spending. It sucks not being cared for by your parents anymore but as a second year, there isn’t a reason why you can’t start fending for yourself. It may suck that you have to think about a job, but the independence and time management skills are a bonus that you may not have had in first year.

This year has been different to what I expected but it hasn’t been bad at all. Overall, I’ve learnt a few things, changed up my life a little and become a whole lot more independent. It’s lucky I still have another 4 years at uni to keep to learning!!

 – Amy

P.S once again the best thing I ever did in first year was download one second a day to document my year. Above is a lil snippet of a month or two but I did it for 6 months and I still regularly look back on it x

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Amy Gibson

Just a Law/BA Conjoint student trying to ace her degree, stop spending, and live her best life in a new city!

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