This time last year I had finished the first year (foundation year) of my degree and now I have finished the second year. I am officially halfway through my degree and amazed that I have even made it this far! Also, it’s very important to note that my second year has been incredibly better than the first and even though this time there isn’t anything that I want to write about specific to my second year, I still want to document the year anyway as a kind of memory log.
I wrote a blog about my first year which ended up being a place where I wrote about my thoughts and experiences in that year. For me first year was a bit of a roller coaster ride – I won’t go into detail here but if you find the blog and give it a read I’m sure you’ll realise what I mean shameless self promotion. I’m continuing on from the theme in my first blog and I’m going to thank my friends who, without them, I’m certain I wouldn’t have had the amazing year that I did. Last year, leaving Suffolk Terrace and saying goodbye to all my flatmates, some of whom I had become so close to, was incredibly sad and I wish someone had prepared me for that. However this year it is again my lovely friends who have made leaving uni for the summer difficult, because it’s four months of not being able to see them pretty much every day. So a lot of this blog about my second year will probably be very friend-orientated because it is these people who have made my second year memorable (yes, yes cringe if you will). I started second year moving into a house, off campus with friends I had made in first year and it was all so exciting, I was returning to a familiar place with some of my favourite people and this is where the adventure of second year begins!
As well as my lovely housemates, I also have my amazing friends from quidditch to thank! Obviously I continued with Quidditch this year too, a sport that I feel so proud to be a part of and have no regrets joining in Freshers week of my first year. So what made Quidditch so memorable for me in second year? It could be the fact that I ran for a committee position at our AGM this year and it turns out I’m going to be part of the Quidditch committee next year as PRESIDENT FOR THE NORWICH NIFFLERS! I can’t begin to explain how much this means to me, this team made me feel absolutely welcome in my first year and I made so many lovely friends who have also been part of the many memories that I will think about in years to come. So not only am I going to be president but I have a feeling I’m going to be a very proud president, considering how well our team has performed this year, despite constant issues with low turnouts to tournaments and most practices. Also, we only went and bloody won a game which we haven’t been able to do since 2015. It was a moment indeed. Getting involved in this society has seriously been one of the best decisions that I’ve made since being at university. So just a warning for everyone that knows me, now that I’m president for the next year I will be forcing most people I know to join our society and hopefully help represent our team and I’m so excited about it!
Speaking of friends, I’m not going to individually thank each one but I feel like addressing certain memories instead would be far more efficient as I’ve definitely had my fair share of experiencing new things this year and amongst them there have been very memorable moments. There was the night out where I have ended up being disgustingly drunk and managed to get kicked out of loft, although spectacularly I wasn’t the worst one on this night (I won’t name and shame but I’d love to!). The nights where it took twice as long, or longer, to walk home because of very drunk individuals (again I won’t name and shame!). I turned 20 in the LCR – of all places! Our Quidditch team won a game at a tournament and I managed to score a goal in the exact same game (I won’t stop talking about this!). As a house we decided to buy a hamster and had only ‘mild’ regrets in the months that followed. I saw The Fratellis and Busted live at the LCR. I played in my first ever game of Dungeons and Dragons, loved it and really want to play it again. All in all, this year has been fantastic! Thank you all!
So after the foundation year which didn’t actually involve much of the kind of reading I was expecting, finally getting onto the English Literature course and having to read many books, poems, plays and various extracts was such a relief. Even though I didn’t particularly like many of the texts I had to read, apart from Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, I still enjoyed the majority of the year! My grades haven’t been awful but they haven’t been amazing either but I know why this is the case. I’m not one of those lucky people who can leave an essay until a few days before the deadline, whip it out within a day and still manage to get a decent grade for it. Not for me. If I leave an essay until even a few days before the deadline to write, I’ll be very lucky to get a 2:1 in it, so considering all 6 essays I had to write throughout the year were left to be written within a week of their prospective deadlines… you can kind of see where I’m going with this! At least now I know that next year, I need to leave myself enough time to actually write the essays so they can only be submitted once I’m entirely happy with them. Considering I’m a hard to please perfectionist, whenever I have a distinct lack of time, managing to write something just half good therefore becomes difficult. However, I am very much looking forward to next year because there should be less reading and more creative writing which I’ve never really had as an option before.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration when people say you meet friends for life at university, I feel like I have struck gold with the friends I have made at UEA. I’ve also met the most amazing people this year too, all of who I hope will also be around for the next few years too. This post is a much more happier – and positive one than the last but I feel like it very accurately represents the difference between these two years I’ve spent at university. The only bad thing about being so happy at uni, is that now I have to spend 4 months at home for the summer which means I’m going to miss all my crazy pals so much and I’m already counting down the days when we’ll either be reunited or back in good ol’ Norwich.
Here’s to the next two years at university, let’s see what the future brings!