As I come to the end of my second year, I am halfway through my university career and feeling much wiser than I was this time last year. Moving out of halls and into a flat means I pay bills and cook food and I’m now a proper grown-up, able to dispense proper grown-up advice. So here is a list of things I’ve learnt from my second year at Edinburgh Uni…
1. How to be Cold
Scotland is a cruel, cold place and heating ain’t cheap. Long gone is the blissful comfort of a warm life in halls. Writing an essay in bed whilst wearing five jumpers is inevitable and an electric blanket might just save your life.
2. Mice are the enemy
And they’re everywhere. All of those years of Minnie Mouse lulling me into a false sense of security and now I have to put up with this shit (literally). To be told by pest control that mice have been shitting in your toaster is definitely a low point in life. The true transition to the grim world of adulthood may have started that fateful day.
3. 50% is so much more than ok
You don’t have to be amazing just yet. It’s not honours right now so enjoy the shoddy marks whilst you can. Whilst the drop in grades from school to Uni seemed disappointing in first year, in second year I’ve fully realised that being average is just fine. 50% is all you need to get on to honours and a sleepy-eyed essay written at 3am can probably do that, right?
4. There are more than 3 floors to the Library..
This is particularly exciting because it has opened up a whole new 2 levels of pensive, social science boys with indie haircuts. Although the higher in the building you go, the more serious and quiet you must be and I don’t think I’ve quite reached that stage of adulthood just yet, so i’ll stick to the first few floors with my earl grey and chocolate bars for the time being.
It’s also worth noting that in second year you become much more knowledgeable about how the library works. I can almost find a book in there thanks to the five identical lectures on Library Databases that we were given at the start of each semester..
5. Whatever your degree was in first year it was probably a bad idea
Second year is the year of changed degrees! If you were doing economics, you’re now doing french, if you were doing Chinese, you’re now doing history (ahem), if you were doing medicine.. God help you.
You’ve either changed your degree to something slightly more enjoyable, or you hate your degree with a passion. Lucky you if you fit into neither of those categories- you’re like a state school student in Chancellors court. (Oh the irony of being common and uncommon all at once)
6. You are running out of time to join a society
If, like me, you haven’t really joined a society by now, you should probably get on it. Everyone is making friends for life and getting fit and going on hill walking holidays to remote Scottish places that you’ve never heard of- sort it out! And just going to the socials doesn’t count.. alcohol has very little to do with Wakeboarding. Your best friend spent the whole of last year putting effort into a society and next year they’re president. You’re a failure.
7. Turns out bins don’t take themselves out..
Bins smell and when they are full you can’t put any more things into them.. they have to go out. Bin days become a reality and household responsibilities are now all too apparent.
8. On that note.. Sharing with friends is tough.
You loved them when they lived downstairs in first year but now they; leave their frying pans unwashed for days, wake you up by breaking a shower curtain when they come in drunk at 6am, cook haddock with the windows shut and stink out the flat for a week (ok, that was me..) and at these points you would gladly shoot them. (with a BB gun or something, nothing sinister)
9. You should probably go to Thailand or somewhere this summer
All the cool kids took a gap year. In first year it was kind of fun to hear about how your friends built toilets in Uganda or rode elephants in Cambodia but now you’ve had enough. Especially when you hear how they spent the summer after first year saving Turtles in Mexico whilst you were working in a coat hanger factory. You have your overdraft- go! Next year you will have to worry about internships and beyond that Summer isn’t even a real thing anymore.
10. Measuring your money in alcohol is an effective money-saver
“Ahh I best not get that dress, that’s at least five vodka mixers..”
This economic tool is a miracle that I have perfected in second year and it will always help you to make better choices.. for your wallet and not your liver.
11. Living in your overdraft is totally fine.
You’re in debt already! Embrace it. Living in your overdraft is something that you are coming to accept. Stop feeling guilty and just enjoy it..
12. In the first week of your first year of uni, as a keen little fresher, you went straight to Blackwells and picked up the required books for your course- those days are gone.
Maybe, just maybe, if you missed too many lectures throughout the year you might try and get one or two of them on Amazon just in time for the end of year exam, but even this is unlikely. In second year you are, of course, clever enough to know what you’re talking about without really knowing what you’re talking about.
13. Your friends from home have forgotten about you.
THEY DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE. well, they might do.. but they’re living a double life away at Uni too and the occasional Facebook conversation gets less and less as second year develops. You learn who your home friends really are and the ones that stay in touch become that much more special to you.
14. Everyone has gained weight
Everybody has gained a little bit of chub. Those alcohol and take-away bellies become more prominent in second year and it’s time to hit the gym for beach season.. The student lifestyle is a dangerous one when it comes to calories and you can either run with it or sit and cry at your skinny photos from freshers week.
Of course if you’re one of those sporty society people with the life friends and the wednesday activity sessions then you don’t have to worry about this do you?! piss off you guys.
15. University will probably be the best years of your life
As you consider your future career plans and becoming a serious, real, adult human, you begin to fully appreciate the situation that you are currently in.
You have no real responsibilities, money (that albeit isn’t yours and you will have to pay back someday) and you live with your friends.
Enjoy every minute of it because it won’t last forever. Drink, eat crap food and get involved! ..and i suppose you should probably study at some point too.