Why Second Year is Way Harder Than First Year

Going into second year, I was pretty excited. First year is the worst part, right? The jump from high school to university is no longer a shock. I know what to expect from my classes. I have a great group of friends from residence to help me out, I know how to study, I have goals. Second year is easy, right?

Wrong. In my honest opinion second year is where it gets real, because in first year you are cradled, sheltered, and have no idea what university is really like. With second year comes a whole slew of new challenges: living with roommates in a house, cooking for yourself, cleaning, actually getting to class instead of the two-minute walk from rez, etc. I thought I was prepared for all of that, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the isolation.

See, in first year, I lived on one of the biggest floors in residence. Not only did I have my roommate, but I had a great group of friends that I got to hang out with every night. We would congregate in my Don’s room to watch movies, play Settlers of Catan, do homework, or just talk. Whenever I had a problem, I had so many people right there I could talk to---my don, RA and three sophs. They really helped provide support and guidance and were always a few steps away.

But in second year, you lose that support. There is no one there to hold my hand and tell me to study, or a shoulder to cry on, or someone to pick me up off the floor and put me to bed when I’ve had too much to drink. Often times, I find myself confined to just my housemates, as I can no longer just leave my door open and have my friends visit me. It’s a lot harder to make plans around everyone’s busy schedules and find time to meet up. In talking to my friends from my floor last year, we all share this sentiment that we often feel isolated.

Although second year brought me to some pretty low points, I always have to remember that my friends are only a phone call away, and that there is plenty of support on campus to help out with my academic struggles. The transition is hard but you get used to it, and this is when you finally become a real university student.