Having now finished my second year of university, I've had some time to reflect about how it went overall, and I've come up with six things that I've learnt over the last year.
1) Your grades actually matter now
One of the nice things about first year was that ultimately, it didn't matter what grades you got as long as you passed, because your grades in first year don't count towards your overall degree grade. However, in second year your grades count, and therefore there is more pressure to not just pass, but actually do well. You might have gotten away with avoiding the library in your first year, but no longer!
2) Lecturers will be less lenient
You're in second year now, you're not the newbies anymore, and as a result of that, your lecturers will stop letting you off with not prepping for your seminar. There will be no excuses for not doing the reading, and thinking on your feet will become second nature.
3) You learn how to keep yourself busy outside of campus
Chances are, you won't be living on campus anymore, and therefore you have to learn to entertain yourself in the local area. Having only 8 hours of lectures a week means a lot of free time outside of studying, and hence I started volunteering in order to keep myself busy.
4) You learn how to get around town
On a similar note, second year is probably when you'll become very familiar with the town/city that you live in. You'll learn where everything is, what buses to take and which shortcuts are the best. Essentially, you'll become a lot more comfortable in the community.
5) Lecturers care about how well you do
Depending on the size of your university, it's very easy to feel like a face lost in the crowd, that your lecturers wouldn't even notice if you did attend the lecture. But during second year, you learn that they do actually care about how well you do. They will be happy to meet with you to discuss issues, and they want to help you get the best grades possible.
6) Your housemates will become your family
Having chosen your housemates for second year, chances are you'll be having a great time living with them. However, this doesn't always mean that you'll get on with them all the time. You'll be spending more time with them than anyone else, you'll probably fight like siblings, and nag each other like parents.
Personally, I found that second year was more stressful than first year, but also more interesting. I became more comfortable with university life and I have really settled into the university routine.
How did you find the second year of university?