Well, two months down the line and my final autumn term at university is officially over. In fact, I actually arrived home for Christmas more than a fortnight ago, thanks to York’s bizarrely-early end date; as a York student you have to get used to exchanging Secret Santa gifts and saying ‘Have a great Christmas!’ just a few weeks after you celebrated Halloween. It’s been a busy term; despite having fewer commitments having left my role at the campus newspaper, third year truly swept the rug from under my feet, and it didn’t help that there was always some social gathering or another to distract me from my reading and work. But we made it to the end, as ever (forgetting that essay that’s due in on Monday of week one next term…). And it really was one of the most fun terms I’ve ever had, filled with laughter and the good kind of busyness. As a result, I definitely achieved that main goal I set myself right at the beginning: to just enjoy myself. So here are a few highlights from the last ten weeks, with some not-always-relevant photos to illustrate…

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A new term’s here, and third year has well and truly begun. It’s a total cliche to go on about how fast the last two years have gone, but then there’s a reason for that; they really did fly, even though I wasn’t always having the best time. Quite a lot has changed for my final year: although we’re staying in the same lovely house we lived in last year, we’ve welcomed three new housemates, so it’s been fun getting to know each other and so far we’ve all gelled really well. I’ve also decided to leave my beloved student newspaper after two years of hard work and endless laughter, in order to focus all of my attention on this degree thing I’m meant to be doing, so the structure of my time at university is a little different to what I’m used to.

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Eleven weeks ago, I moved back to York for my second year at university. After my difficult first year I was apprehensive but looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, as well as continuing all the work I put in here at Lightly We Go over the summertime. I published one blogpost after the move, and then – well, life took over a bit, and in the best way possible. Here are five reasons I’ve absolutely fallen in love with second year.

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The title of this post makes it sound like making friends at uni is easy; something you can learn to do in a few minutes. But friendships, like all relationships, take time to nurture and build up. Uni isn’t like school, where you’re thrust together with the same, relatively small group of people for days on end. It’s so much bigger than that, and that ironically makes it much harder to meet people to form a bond with. Finding the right people for you can take a lot of time and effort – or it can happen out of the blue. In my experience, finding your future friends involves a bit of work and a bit of luck, but making and securing those friendships can take quite a lot of work. It’s a fun and important process though, and worth it in the end, so here are my tips and tricks for finding your friends at university.

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My first year at university was the hardest of my life. The transition to uni life was so hard to handle that I spent days on end locked in my halls bedroom, wishing I was anywhere but there. I came home at the end of the year depressed, having suffered near-crippling anxiety for much of the year. On multiple occasions I considered dropping out, transferring to UEA and living at home for the duration of my undergraduate degree. But despite all this, I absolutely cannot wait to get back to York this weekend and start my second year – so what’s changed?

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