I’ve seen so many posts about how bad second year is and how difficult it can be, I am 6 months into second year now and thought I would share my top tips on how to make it a little more bearable!
- Start work as soon as you get it. Gather references for the assignments before you start them as this helps when starting to write.
- Remember how far you have already come. Think about your first day and how much you have learnt/changed since then. Write a list of achievements from year 1 that you can look back on.
- Plan things throughout the year. I found this helps the time to pass a little quicker if you have things to look forward to.
- For research modules – make sure you fully understand the terminology as this will help you when completing the assignment.
- Take everything you hear from previous cohorts about assignments with a pinch of salt, you may really enjoy something that someone else didn’t.
- Placement pre-reading. Placements will expect you to have a little more knowledge this year so pre-reading is a must.
- Take on your own patients. Even if it’s only one patient for that day, take responsibility for their care (within the limits of what you can do with mentor supervision). This really helps to build confidence and third year responsibilities won’t seem as daunting if you have been doing them through year 2.
- If you’re struggling, reach out to someone. Your personal tutor, another lecturer, someone on social media. It doesn’t really matter who it is just make sure you open up to someone, don’t try to manage through on your own if you feel you are struggling.
- Get hold of a book on critical writing and thinking. The step up to level 5 writing can seem huge but it’s really about being able to say why something is done the way it is, wider reading and being critical in your thought process. I can recommend these two:
- Take time for yourself. This is important in any year but do the things that make you happy. Self care can really help when you’re feeling fed up!
- Chip away at assignments bit by bit. I start mine as soon as they are available and chip away, doing an hour or 2 a day if that’s the only time I have. Before you know it, the assignment is completed and it’s just the final checks you need to do.
- Reference as you go! I say this all the time but with critical thinking comes more references, the last thing you want is to get to the end and have to find all 50+ of your references again to get them on your list.
- Take on board previous feedback from year 1 and speak to lecturers about how to successfully write at level 5, they may have little hints and tips that will help you.
- If you have to work around university, try to keep at least 1 full day off a week for assignments and yourself. You may even be able to join the bank at your hospital trust now, allowing more flexibility with shifts.
- Try not to be disheartened if your first result is a drop compared to your first year grades. This can happen with the step up to level 5 writing, ask for guidance and really pay attention to your assignment feedback.
- Try to save a little money each month, student finance drops in year 3 so saving a little bit during year 2 will help fill the gap.
- Make sure your referencing is up to scratch, I have found this book really helpful for referencing (there is a website as well). Referencing tools are great but I prefer to create them myself then I can be confident that any errors are down to myself and you actually learn how to reference when you do them yourself.
- Keep up with your car maintenance, this may seem obvious but if you use your car a lot for uni and placement, wear and tear can occur faster than through doing normal mileage. The last thing you want is to be sat on the motorway waiting for the AA! (Other breakdown recovery companies are available 😂)
- Email your assignments to yourself or save them on onedrive/google drive/a USB stick. Again, this may seem obvious but if your computer breaks or your work doesn’t save, you risk losing all the work you have done towards an assignment.
- Keep in touch with your friends during placement, this kept me going through long shifts and weeks on placement.
Let me know if you have any other good tips for year 2 😘