I've heard the phrase 'second year slump' being thrown around for the past couple of years but never really fully believed that it was a thing. However, now being half way through my second year at University, I can confirm it is a thing.

second year slump

The second year slump is where students feel a lack of engagement and motivation and while I did feel like that during my first year of University (and I'll probably feel it in my third too), it's definitely more prominent this year. If you think about it, it's not really surprising. The first year is focused on successfully transitioning into University life, making friends and getting to know your course and then, the third year is predominantly focused on the final pieces of work and actually working out what you want to do in life after University. Second year is just a bit... meh. While it does count towards your degree, motivation is at a low and you just feel a bit lost. At least I do, anyway. 

I think this is partly due to the false sense of security that first year brings. For a lot of people, they would have studied some aspect of their degree course before starting University and thus, will have some idea what it's all about and if you haven't, the first year is mainly just giving everyone the introductory basics and making sure everyone is at the same level of understanding. Don't get me wrong, I definitely struggled with my course in first year but it didn't seem as bad as I was expecting. So, you can imagine my surprise (horror) when second year started and everything had become so much more difficult, the amount of extra reading had increased, the concepts within lectures had become much harder to understand and generally, it all just felt quite overwhelming. I don't think you're really prepared for that, especially considering once you fall behind, it can be challenging to get up to date again because everything is constant. I've found that since starting second year, we haven't really had a break as it is constant deadlines, exams, more deadlines and oh look, exams again. 

Similarly to this, it's not just the University work itself that can cause a general lack of motivation within your second year at University. By this point, you are being bombarded with information about gaining experience and thinking about life after University and honestly, it can be overwhelming. I'm happy that I have been able to secure two internships for this year, as well as one in first year, but this doesn't stop the worries. I constantly panic about not being able to find a job after University and not having the right amount of experience and it can just put a lot of strain on an individual. 

This has definitely been a rambly blog post but after being certain before I started this year at University that the 'second year slump' was not a thing and that, surely I would feel more motivated this year because the work actually counts, I can now confirm that I very much feel in a slump and I believe that Universities should do more to aid students in this time to stay motivated. University can be isolating at times and none of us should have to struggle alone.