Reflections of 2nd year student
Adam writes about his experiences of his second year as term comes to an end, and how his year was different compared to his first year of study.
My second year of studying English Literature and Linguistics at The University of Manchester is complete! Year two has been a lot different than my first; with many more books to read, essay deadlines to meet, and modular exams to prepare for, it has been less relaxed but much more enjoyable as I’ve delved into some of the more complex concepts of my subjects.
My course has become even more interesting as the content has broadened. In second year, students are often given much more flexibility in the number of optional modules that they can take. This is especially true for humanities subjects, such as English, History, Politics, and Law, which allow learners to explore certain topics within their discipline in more depth. Most of these components focus on one or two defining areas of the subject. Many of my selections concentrate on specific literary genres or themes, such as ‘futuristic fictions’ and ‘medieval metamorphoses’, or linguistic frameworks such as ‘syntactic theory’ and the ‘logic of English.’ Being able to choose my own optional units is great, as it allows me to structure my degree around the precise notions that I find most interesting whilst ignoring parts that I dislike.
Instead of living in the university owned Hall of Residence that I stayed in last year, Whitworth Park, I now commute from my hometown of Oldham, which is around an hour away from campus; a short train journey, followed by a walk and a bus ride from the city centre. Thankfully, my old flat mates rented a flat together, so it has been easy to stay over at theirs when I’ve been too tired (or too lazy..!) to get the train home after my lectures and seminars.
I’m still regularly working as a student ambassador for the university’s Widening Participation team, helping to facilitate events such as open days, university visits and campus tours. Although I’ve not been able to work quite as much due to my increased workload, I’ve been able to do a few hours per week, giving me opportunities to meet up with my old friends and make new ones.
Conclusively, my life as an undergraduate at The University of Manchester is as incredible and fresh as it was this time last year. My course has risen from strength to strength as I’ve tailored the content to my own personal preferences. Next year, I’ve opted to write both a dissertation and a long essay to see if I enjoy large, research-intensive projects that are common in postgraduate degrees. I can’t wait!
My experiences as a first year student can be can be found here: http://umassmanchester.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/reflections-of-a-fresher/#more-180
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