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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Think ‘Freshers’ Week’. What comes to mind? I’m getting a blind, endless mix of alcohol, hangovers, and club nights with stupid fancy dress themes, not to mention a healthy dose of anxiety, stress and homesickness. When I was preparing for my own Freshers’ Week this time last year I was absolutely terrified; although I enjoy drinks and parties with friends, the idea of a full week of clubbing and exhaustion was, simply, abhorrent. I understand that for many students this really is their idea of great fun, but to me it seemed like this great big hurdle I had to get over before I could actually start uni. In the end, I actually enjoyed my Freshers’ Week – and if you’re feeling like I was last September, read on to find out how you can too.

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