Kacey Produced by

2nd year

BA (Hons) International Tourism and Hospitality Management

I am just over halfway through my second year of my four-year degree. It’s different from the first year. Quite different. Good and bad. I can imagine my first-year experience was similar to many other first-year experiences (of a four-year degree). Lots of meeting new people, going out all the time, maybe skipping the odd lecture (we’ve all done it for some reason or another), and maybe not putting in as much time and effort into some assignments as you could’ve done because – it’s first year, this is the year to make mistakes, find out which parts of your academic studies you’re better at than others and which parts you’re worse at than others.

My downfall in the first year was time management… cue a couple of all-nighter’s in the library surviving off McDonald’s or Asda meal deals at 4am…. All of which could have been avoided if I’d planned out my time a bit better. Advice for ANYONE: walking home from the library at 4am after last-minute studying and then seeing your friends walking home from the club is not the best feeling – get your work done early!

The transition from the first year to the second year, for me, was more intense than I was expecting. There was suddenly a much larger added pressure on my studies and at first, I didn’t know how to manage it. I went from the first year perhaps not spending enough time on studying, to the first portion of the second year I spent all of my time studying and arguably not enough time with my friends. This balance is key to having a productive and enjoyable year.

I am also currently searching for a placement for my third year, and this has involved speaking to many different companies and recruiters; all of which have said the same thing in regard to studying. Here’s the hard truth: No company wants to hire someone who has spent all of their time tucked away, glued to a laptop or textbook studying. It’s just not realistic. Nowadays, it’s become more important for people to lead a balanced life, so yes get the work done and get it done well (at the end of the day when you are a student – you’ve come to get that degree, don’t take your eyes off the prize). But also embrace all of the fun and socialising that you can; go to your friend’s pub quiz night that is raising money for charity, go out for dinner with friends (don’t just go clubbing!), reconnect with nature and go to the beach – boost that vitamin D especially if it’s near exam time. Life is about balance and the second year is no exception. Your priorities may change but there’s nothing wrong with that, adapt with your course, and stay up to date on your lectures and on your friends.

My ‘secret’ for staying on top of everything in the second year – is to keep a diary. This does not have to be a genuine leather and feather quill type of diary; use the calendar app on your phone, or an old-fashioned hanging calendar for your wall, I personally like to go WHSmiths at the start of each year and pick out the grooviest patterned diary I can. Being able to visually see your timetable can help you see if you are balancing your time well or not, I find this particularly useful, and honestly, my whole life goes into that diary (not for everyone I’m sure, but you get the idea).


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