Four things that prove second year at Notts is the best of your whole degree

The year is just house parties with your mates, trying not to pull first years and finally doing your degree

Second year is often seen as the middle child of the university community. We’re not as young as the freshers, but we aren’t fighting for our lives trying to complete a dissertation yet. We suddenly find ourselves living with our best mates, organising house parties as if the four bed in Lenton can hold up to 50 people in it and actually doing our degrees. When the dust settles about the sudden fear that second year actually counts, you realise that second year is the best year of your degree.

I asked a group of second year University of Nottingham students what second year is really like, and here’s a run down of what they had to say:

1. You get to finally live with your mates 

Surviving student accommodation deserves the same recognition as an MBE, OBE or a knighthood because it’s like survival of the fittest.  Fighting for your life when your first year housemates refused to clean up or buy toilet roll is something I would never subject anyone to. As second year rolls around, you refine your circle of friends and secure the babe cave that is the Lenton house.

The general consensus among the group I interviewed was overall very positive, with some people saying: ‘‘[Living with your mates is] so much less lonely than first year as you have solid friends that are always nearby”, ‘‘When you have a wholesome realisation moment and you’re just like wow we really are just having dinner together and vibing”,”Super chilled and no drama anymore because I don’t live with the problem lol”,”Being able to cook what you want, no more catered food!”.

It seems that life just becomes easier when you live with people you like and that ”borrowing and stealing your mates clothes is much easier”. Additionally, there were a few submissions that conveyed genuine relief about not having to live with people in their accommodation, one student commenting that they’ve “never been so thankful to not see weirdos anymore, accommodation is awful”. Hold tight, it’ll get better.

2. You just know what you’re doing 

University life is terrifying as a fresher when you realise that uni isn’t just drinking until you can’t feel your whole body, bonding with ”like minded people” (which essentially means you both listen to Arctic Monkeys and you’ll cling onto one another until you realise they’re kind of boring). It’s not just going to lectures still slightly drunk from the Pryzm Monday that you so famously dragged your house to with an icarus-like promise that you’ll get to that 9am, which you never do.  One reminiscent club veteran said: “People go out so much less and it makes me realise how much I spent in first year and how much of my time I was hungover”.

Second year is knowing to save some money from student finance because you know that you can’t eat beans on a pitta bread for a week on the last week of term again. It’s knowing how to actually reference and not be accused of plagiarism.  It’s knowing to avoid boys who study politics, international relations and law (you’re welcome in advance). You know that when you actually put the work in you might actually do well. It’s knowing that you need to eat vegetables and not oven pizzas because you will genuinely get some form of deficiency. It’s knowing how to budget, what to prioritise and learning the importance of having some savings so you don’t have to shut your eyes and pray when buying a panini from Portland coffee. One begrudged interview shared that during their first year they: “genuinely lived off jacket potatoes with butter and my skin turned grey”.

When asked, 50 per cent of students I surveyed believed that the best thing about second year is that you know what you’re doing now. It’s comforting to know what is expected of you and there is something grounding about knowing you have your friends, you know what to expect and feel like you have a place at university that you have created for yourself instead of jumping into the unknown. The year, rest assured, has its hard moments but the skills you pick up in first year equip you with knowledge beyond that of ”Notts confessions”. Another student discussed the complexity of University Park campus to a bewildered fresher: “I actually know where buildings are instead of trying to find them and giving up, I nearly failed a module because of that”.

3. House parties in Lenton are legendary

Imagine the scene, the smell of blueberry-flavoured vape clouds the room, the drinks are flowing and the LED lights are giving the room that rose coloured tint. Determined to finish your own brand vodka before you do another food shop in two days, you have a feeling that there is something beautiful about the night ahead. The house party is reading and raring to go.

Lenton house parties are by far the most elite parties to go to, there’s always a rugby lad downing a crate of beer, always the two people who fancied one another in first year finally getting together which both serve as small confirmations that it’ll be a class night. No longer will you have to cram into the tiny kitchens of Broadgate or pre in the room of a catered hall, you now have a full house dedicated to debauchery and the party that’ll have people the next day trying to figure out what actually happened last night. Some of my favourite comments from my survey regarding second year’s opinions of Lenton house parties include: “Inviting the whole of Lenton to my party was great until my landlord came for an inspection the next day”, “Having house parties are elite without weird room mates complaining about noise” and last but not least: “We can finally pre in a kitchen, not a common room. Catered halls have their first world problems too”.

There’s nothing like inviting your fit neighbours to the party in a mission to get with them, there’s nothing like looking on snap maps and seeing who has arrived at the gaff and running across the Lenton triangle to avoid FOMO.  Like the rolling credits of the ‘Hangover’ the digital camera bares all the drunken antics from the night before and you make the promise that you’ll never drink again, until crisis next week babes.

4. Your friendships develop and you figure out who the real ones are

The stress of assessments and the increasing pressure of second year means it is vital to have an amazing core group around to support you and uplift the general mood during exam season. Whether its movie nights with the girlies or making a fuss on your birthday, living with your group makes you bond like a family to the point you’re arguing like sisters about a top you ‘borrowed’. The summer in first year means some people you thought you were close with will drop off the face of the planet never to be heard from again until term starts up again (they’re not the real ones sorry to break it to you). Juggling uni and life is difficult but it is integral to have consistent and supportive friends, the real ones will be there through the tears, the tantrums and the terrifying realisation you have two quid to your name. Some stories about friendship antics this year were crazy, my personal favourite being: “Boys from Douglas Road are elite, but also every red flag that TikTok has warned you about”.

Ultimately, the real ones stay around and the fake ones fall off. Stay safe out there, and please I implore you don’t shag your friends. It’ll only end up in one messy Lenton love triangle between you, them and the friendship group. So, look after one another and have fun, but remember second year counts towards your degree (but only 30 per cent) and enjoy it, because third year is around the corner and you’ll be wishing for these glory days back soon enough.

Related articles recommended articles by this author:

• Do you take the bins out? 20 signs you’re Lenton’s worst housemate

• 10 things you’ll only understand if you’ve ever lived in Rutland Hall

• HRH to DnB: This is what tattoo you would be based on your UoN hall