Second Year Shock

“OK go on my count…


3… GO”


This here, is how second year starts.

You’ve heard all the stories about how much harder second year is than first year, and just to clarify, they’re all true. I think we must all accept the unquestionable fact that the second year is significantly harder than first. You’ll have deadlines, assessments, and presentations creep up on you faster than you can say UNPREPARED. But it’s okay, because although you will never feel prepared enough, everybody is in the same boat as you, and the world isn’t ending. Yet.

But anyhow, here’s how I tackled the second year shock.


Ah yes the readings, so many readings, so little time. No really, SO MANY READINGS, take a look. When term started and our readings were released for our modules this is what we were met with (look at the no. of items – over 270!)

Enough readings to last us a year (and that is just one module). But where the second year differs from the first is, you actually have to do those readings, because EVERYTHING COUNTS. Looking through these lists, my first thought (after dropping out) was to week-by-week, pick out the most important readings to conquer. From there it was easy to decide which ones I was going to read first, without a doubt, the ones with an online resource. As a 2nd year you don’t live on campus, which makes going to the library very time consuming. As much as I love a physical book, a very busy schedule means having online access to your readings, feels like a blessing. Because when you finally get a free moment, you have everything you need.

Doing The Reading

The approach I like to take with the readings we are assigned is to take regular breaks. Most readings can be very dense to its often good to give yourself a moment to let everything sink in for a moment, so you actually understand what you’ve just read.

Readings like this cultural geography book by Mike Crang often try to help you break up dense blocks of text with helpful summary boxes like the one below. These can also be really useful if you have no idea what you have just read, which can happen when you’re on your 7th reading for the day.

So in a very short summary.

Second year, intense (as we expected). Readings, dense (also as we expected).

This has been Andre.

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