What Second Year Taught Me

As I wrap up my second year, I took some time out to reflect on the fact that half of my university journey is over and what I have learnt during this time. Throughout my second year, I definitely smartened up and got my act together, and this is what I learnt through one of the hardest years of my life.

  1. 1. Balance is key 

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that during my first year I did nothing. I didn’t get involved on campus, I got below-average grades, and I didn’t even have a job until the winter semester. However, when second-year came around, I took out the time during syllabus week to plan my semester and organize myself. I made sure to block out the time I needed for assignments and tests and even some extra time in case I procrastinated. With my main priority planned out, I moved down the list and looked for a job that would give the flexibility I needed to be able to balance my job with school. When I had planned out my school and my job, I realized how much time I had for all my other aspects in life. I was then able to get involved in many things on campus, go out with my friends and boyfriend when I wanted to, have some me-time, and still achieve the grades I wanted. I gave the social, academic, and health aspects of my life the attention they deserved, but made sure to remember the goals I had.

  2. 2. School is important 

    Second-year was more academically challenging for me compared to first-year, but because I cared more and used the resources available to me, I succeeded in second year. I made sure to attend all my classes even if that meant I had to drag myself out of bed because surprise surprise, that actually helps. It made me build a relationship with all my professors so that later on in the semester if I was struggling they knew I was trying my best. I stuck to a schedule all year long to make sure when I came home from classes I wasn’t wasting time and then I could relax or go out when I knew I completed what I had to for the day. Second-year was also the year that I was made aware of all the different resources that Laurier makes available for students to succeed. I reached out to my academic advisor way too many times during my second year even if it was just to chat and make sure if I am on the right track. I also made sure to continue to meet with my professors, not only to make sure I had a complete understanding of the course material but got their advice on assignments and tests as well.

  3. 3. I am important 

    This is one of the biggest lessons I learnt in second year, that I am important and in fact, the most important person in my life. I went through high school and my first year of university thinking I owed people everything because they allowed me to be friends with them. After being stepped over, used and several trips to a therapist, I realized this was wrong and changed the way I was acting around my so-called “friends” immediately. I stopped planning my life around their schedules and started planning it around mine which made me “unavailable” when they needed me and showed them that I’m not just going to drop everything to run after them. I realized that before this revelation of mine, I would stop doing my own work to edit or help my friend’s on theirs which put me behind and caused me to put more effort into work that wasn’t even mine. It is not like I stopped helping them completely; I wanted my friends to succeed but I knew that I needed to succeed as well, so as soon as I had free time I would offer them upfront to look over their work for them. One of the biggest ways I showed my friends that I was important was learning the word “No” and then using it. This gave me time to focus on my schedule because I would say “no” to a party or club night if I honestly was not feeling it or especially if I knew I had more productive things I could be doing. The best thing that came from this attitude change of mine was the way that my “friends” changed their attitudes as well. Some were positive and began to understand that I was not their stepping stool anymore and some were negative and found other people to use instead. It truly made me realize who was in my life to help and who was in my life to hurt.

Overall, second-year was one of the hardest years of my life and I fought battles every single day to make sure I finished strong. Even with COVID-19 cutting the year short, I still think I was able to grasp every learning experience to use throughout the rest of my time at Laurier Brantford. As second year comes to a close, so does my time as a writer for Her Campus for the 2019-2020 year. It has been the most fun for me to be able to voice my thoughts and opinions on a platform as amazing as Her Campus and I can’t wait to return next year. See you in September!