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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase “second book syndrome” it refers to when the second book in a series doesn’t live up to the hype of the first book. The second book in a series can get a bad reputation because some view it as just setting the scene for the third book, or final book, in a series where all the action really happens.   

This is what my second year of university felt like at times. As the semester winds down and the academic year as a whole wraps up, I can look back on this year and see a lot of growth and self-improvement, but when I was in the thick of second year it was far more difficult to acknowledge my achievements. Frequently it felt like I was just waiting around for the next plot point to happen and this build-up often caused me to feel like I had a lack of direction. 

The feeling of waiting or anticipation can occur for many reasons. On a purely logistical or academic reason, second year is the time for a lot of pre-requirements that are necessary, but not always the most exciting or enjoyable classes ever. On a personal note college has probably lost that sensation of feeling shiny and new so what was once exciting has become mundane and routine. When I was a first year student everything was new and the expectations were lower because I had no frame of reference to compare college life to. 

Things improved drastically by the second semester of this school year especially and I realized there are many benefits to being a second year. There’s a comfort in college feeling familiar, in knowing how to get to your favorite restaurants by heart, in having the schedule of your favorite libraries memorized, in being able to help someone when they need directions at school. 

Now I feel the second book can be tragically underappreciated. Sure page by page (or day by day in my case) it feels like the story is going nowhere, but at the end, when you realize you’re pretty desperate to get to the next novel, you’ll see the second book really wasn’t all that bad. 

Hey I'm Erin, a third year at UVA who can be found under a pile of books hiding from my responsibilities or asking my friends to watch old movies with me so we can debate over whether they have truly aged well or not.