So I’ve now finished my first lot of theory for second year, and I am due to go back into practice for 10 weeks. This last month has been quite tough mentally, I think it’s because I tend to put more pressure on myself and over complicate the simple things!!
It’s a known fact (from students and lecturers) that second year can be the most challenging. This is because you haven’t got the safety blanket of being in first year, and you haven’t got the excitement of qualifying for third year. You are just in this strange limbo. The workload definitely gets harder. We have had repeated to us that second year “is the time to step your academic game up”. Now I’ve always thought I’m not the best person when it comes to academic writing but I’ve been pretty consistent with my grades in first year, and as soon as I start thinking “I can manage this” BOOM they drop the bombshell that it’s about the get harder and the grade descriptors are higher. I mean it wasn’t much of a shock, I expected there to be more pressure but I didn’t expect it to be SO MUCH pressure. Put that with the added pressure that I always seem to give myself (because I’m obviously so kind) and you have a meltdown waiting to happen. So this month I have been making more time to decompress and to have some time for myself. I did get into the habit of picking up shifts in work to get me out and about, and this resulted in me doing far too many hours for me to handle. I made the decision to drop some shifts and just take some time out as I didn’t want to burn out!
I think one of the most important things to have is a good support network and people that you can talk to. I am very lucky and I have a supportive family that I can call whenever, and supportive friends that I live with. I’ve started keeping a little journal to write down things that are bothering me and solutions to solve them, and if it’s something i can’t change then I try and forget about it!
I’ve learnt that I need to actually make time for myself, whether it be just 10 minutes a day to do some mindfulness, or a planned event with some friends. Making sure I am recharged and not mentally burnt out.
Second year blues are a real thing, and it’s okay to admit it if you are struggling. I have planned to get some extra support from our library service to make sure that my academic writing is up to scratch, I have spoken to lecturers about my worries about the pressure and I have been reassured that it’s okay to feel this way.