The second year of University can be a time to re-invent yourself. Shake off last year’s drunken Venue memories and commit to meeting your deadlines. Now if you are one of those rare people (like my housemate) who are able to do all this, then you deserve an award. However if you, like Nitemi Arowobusoye writes, find yourself making empty promises and unrealistic goals come second year – then this is the article for you.

Packed and ready for second year of university. Photo by Nitemi Arowobusoye

Work life:

Expectation – You start second year, and this time focus on work and not Vensday, due to not being able to rely on the fact that this year ‘doesn’t count’. This means going out less, and spending more time in the recently refurbished library taking full advantage of the various floors, which allow for more space.

Reality – Find yourself spending more time chatting on the social floor and being shushed out of the silent floor than actually learning anything. Personally I somehow find myself in the library café, but am I really to blame? It is positioned near the entrance of the library, after all.


Expectation – After the generous layer around your belly you gained from takeaways and increased visits to Essentials last year, this time round (and we’ve all been there) you decide the gym is going to be your new best friend. Smoothies will be part of your everyday life, and cycling to university – up steep hills and carrying it up flights of stairs – will be easy peasy.

Reality – You realise that your hometown is extremely flat compared to the Tyler Hill and Eliot mountains and that “one time you rode to school” hasn’t prepared you for this. Maybe it’s not too late to get a Unirider pass?

Photo by Nitemi Arowobusoye

University life:

Expectation Many of us have made the goal of getting more involved in second year. Typically this is by joining a society or team – basically just doing something that shows you have somehow contributed towards life whilst being at University.

Reality  Farah (a second year law student) put it best when she said the following: “I decided to join a lot of different societies in second year, and signed up for lots of new things at Freshers Fayre, but in reality I didn’t show up [to them] “. Surprisingly, when your Kent email starts to be bombarded with messages from the various obscure societies you joined on a whim – you question whether or not Korfball really is for you.

Love life:

Expectation Okay so first year is over. You aren’t constantly bumping into someone new everyday in your halls and the clock is well and truly ticking; so Universe, I’m ready for my soul mate! Though of course, in second year, you will probably bump into them in Sainsbury’s, or share a cab home after a night out (because that’s what happens in the movies).

Reality – Somehow everyone you know seems to be coupled up – including that girl/guy that vehemently said “I WILL NEVER BE IN A UNIVERSITY RELATIONSHIP!” – except you. Luckily for you, the increased workload of second year fills up most of your time, and you don’t need a partner to fulfill you anyway… that’s what Pizza Hut is for.

Home life:

Expectation – Personally, despite losing contact with many of my uni friends over the summer, I expected things to pick back up once we resumed and plans were made for things like BBQs and a uni version of ‘Come Dine With Me’.

Reality – Once University resumed I quickly realised that living in your own house instead of halls meant that a lot more effort would be required this year to maintain friendships. As a result, after the house parties, fights, tears and tantrums you will go through with the people you live with, you will find yourself realising that despite all your failures to meet your many goals of the year, you are closer than ever to your housemates.

Photo by Nitemi Arowobusoye