So here I am, almost exactly half-way through my university career (if you don’t include third term and to be honest why would you) and I’m trying not to think about it. If you asked me a year ago what I thought I would be like at this point of my second year I would have tried to picture a sportier, funnier version of myself who didn’t still get lost walking around campus. I am certainly not going to tell my mum that some days I sleep in until lunchtime because I forgot to buy supplies for breakfast.
we now have the novelty of a washing machine that doesn’t charge you £3.90 every time you want to wash your clothes
First year in catered halls was more like living in a hotel than stepping out on your own for the first time; we were fed regular meals and our rooms were cleaned every week (Sue, if you’re reading this, I miss you). Your only worries as a fresher were which nights out you should make it to and whether you should splash out on lunch. Now that we’re living in a house on our own, those of us who were in catered halls now have the novelty of a kitchen and a living room, complete with rubbish daytime TV and a washing machine that doesn’t charge you £3.90 every time you want to wash your clothes.
Not to mention the fact that this degree which is going to plunge me into suffocating debt (unless I manage to marry rich– still hoping) is actually serious this year, and this time the assignments are for real. If I don’t make it to a seminar I won’t get that 10% in participation and failing a paper would be ill-advised at this point. You suddenly realise that you are here for a reason: in a year and a bit I want to be walking out of here with a degree and whether I like it or not, the work I do now is going to affect the grade that’s on it.
The people I have known since last year feel like family
One of the amazing things about second year is the fact that having been here for a year I really feel like Exeter is home. I genuinely missed it when I was away over summer with its glorious sunsets and picturesque autumns (and summers, springs and winters). The people I have known since last year feel like family and the best thing about being at university is that you’re always meeting new people and able to make new friends.
But this doesn’t take away from the fact that this time next year it will all nearly be over. When I was desperately trying to scrape the grades to get here at secondary school, university felt like the endgame, but here I am applying for internships and thinking about a life after Exeter. Has everything become so university-based that I can’t imagine a life where I eat way too much Pret and go to TP in ridiculous outfits on a Wednesday? But, since there is no point in dwelling on the things you can’t change, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and if I’m that desperate to stay I’ll just apply for a master’s.