Balancing it all out

Here we are again, the end of another semester, which just happened to coincide with the end of the America’s Cup, (I had to laugh, the commentators were constantly commenting on how the boats were under massive amounts of stress and strain – and I don’t think I have ever related to a boat so much in my entire life). The transition from having endless tests, assignments, and study, to having absolutely nothing, means that sewing projects and my saxophone have suddenly become my best friends in an attempt to keep the guilt of oh-my-gosh-I’m-not-studying-24/7 at bay.

Second year so far has been a huge learning curve, and although it may not be the most helpful in helping you choose your specialisation, I will give you the following tips in the hopes that they will help you embark on the most successful second year possible:

Get involved, but on’t over commit yourself. The uni has some awesome clubs that you can join, and I would definitely encourage it. But, I would also recommend waiting a few weeks, getting to know how heavy your workload is going to be, and knowing how much spare time you are going to have before you totally commit yourself to anything regular. Believe it or not, you actually need to keep some time free for sleep,

Trust your choice. Someone at the end of last year told us that if we chose the right specialisation, we would know. We would get into it, and look back and not be able to imagine ourselves doing anything else. At the time, I had three specialisations that I was trying to choose between, and I was really worried that I would choose the wrong one and end up feeling stuck in a specialisation that didn’t feel right. And although I definitely haven’t absolutely loved every single minute of this semester, I definitely can’t see myself doing anything else.

I know that this is one thing that everyone always says, but putting aside a few minutes a day to revise the days content and actually make sure everything makes sense can make a world of difference, especially with regards to your stress levels come exam time.

This sort of leads on from the last one, but don’t let yourself get behind. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a first year student who has had a taste of the engineering workload, so you’ll know how easy it is to get behind. Just a heads up, second year workload is a lot heavier, so deciding that one night of not revising for the days lectures is just the start of a downward spiral.

If you’re struggling with the content, don’t be afraid to email your lecturers. Most of them are actually really helpful, and if you approach them for help with difficult content, it’s quite likely that they can explain it in a different way that makes more sense!

Last of all, make sure you have some funEnjoy yourself. This isn’t something you’re being forced to do, so maybe if you really aren’t enjoying it, maybe its not what you want to be doing for the rest of your life.

Also, if you have any questions that we haven’t answered, don’t be afraid to ask us! We’ve all been in your position, so we know how daunting choosing the right specialisation for you can be, and we’re all just here to help you!

Until next time

Penelope

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