Moving to study at university is a shock to the system for many. It’s often someone’s first time away from home, and even if they’ve had the chance to travel before starting their studies it’s the first time they’ve been responsible for their own time and work. It’s a change that can sink many: if you’re not used to the responsibility of ensuring you get your work done without encouragement between setting and deadline, you might come seriously adrift!

While this is the biggest change you’re likely to come across before you leave university, moving from your first year to your second is no less considerable a development in your life. Today we’re going over a few of the biggest differences to help you meet the changes successfully.


If you’ve been living in halls of residence in your first year, you’ll most likely find yourself forced to move out as your second year approaches. Some are able to remain, due to extreme circumstances, or indeed due to getting a job as a hall warden, but most have to seek external housing. Always look for specific recommendations for the area you’re in. If you’re looking for student accommodation, Huddersfield is very different to Southampton so be guided by your student union: they will able to advise about fair rents for the area, and provide a list of reliable, approved landlords.

You’ll need people to live with: be warned that your best, most fun friends are not always the best option. Friendships often flourish with a little distance, giving you the chance to present each other with your best selves. You need to find people you can live with: those who will reliably do the washing up, and do their fair share of the cleaning. Go for reliability and you’ll have a happier time.

Academic Responsibilities

Courses differ, but you will mostly find that in your second year things begin to get serious. Most first years of a degree are simple pass or fail affairs, with a low bar for passing. This is to ensure that those who make it through to their second year are really suited to the strictures and rigours of university study.

From the second year, your results begin to be counted towards your degree. You’ll have to take careful note of how the weighting falls for each unit and make sure you are concentrating your efforts where you’ll see the most reward. It’s no good spending days and weeks slaving away over an essay that will contribute only a few percent towards your final mark while neglecting one that will be responsible for 10 percent or more!

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