Life as an English Major · University Tips

How To Survive Second Year University

My second year here at the Glendon Campus of York University has definitely given me perspective on the years to come. Although it did get easier to navigate the classes and take better notes, it didn’t take very long to realize how much harder it actually did get. Of course, you hear from the older students how harder it is, but you never really get the full perspective of it until you actually live it.

As an English major, obviously the reading load is heavy, that’s a given. You will be ignoring readings from your other classes that don’t have anything to do with your major, just so you can finish your English readings for the next day. IF you get to them. Because then there’s that test tomorrow, or that 25% essay due next week. Whatever it is, it’s a better idea to get your English readings done. It’s a lot easier for you when the exam comes, because when everyone who hasn’t read them is stressing themselves out to get it all read in time…you’ll be sitting at home skimming through your readings, occasionally reading something full out in case you forgot about it.

The essay and test load was ridiculous this year! Between Introduction to Linguistics, Reading Shakespeare, Literary Traditions of English, French, and Heredity in Society…it was crazy. There was so much pressure to get everything done, so many late nights, even ONE ALL NIGHTER (and I never do all nighters. My first one ever this year). There is no doubt that sometimes it pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t. It does suck to study or write something for such a big amount of time, and not getting the mark you want. So, when this happens to you READ THE COMMENTS FROM THE PROFESSOR. It’s a good start for the next assignment. And then GO TALK TO YOUR PROFESSOR. You never know, sometimes they may “direct” you for the next essay (next thing you know, they practically gave you your thesis…shhhh).

What I really learned this year is how to REALLY study, and to manage my time a bit more. Regardless of the major you are in, dedication is key. If you aren’t dedicated and passionate about the subject you are studying, then what are you wasting your money for? When you get to second year, you’ll notice that people are dropping out of your program because they just simply can’t do it, or they are unable to get out of the “Academic Warning status. Apparently 3rd year is supposed to be happier…as in taking-more-courses-for-your-major happier. I’m taking 4 courses for my major next year…I can already feel the stress coming just thinking about it.

Overall, second year was really an eye opener for me. The stress will hopefully prepare me (and you) for third year. My advice for second year university students would be to buckle down, do your readings, UNDERSTAND what you’re reading, and aim for that A+ on your papers and tests. You might as well prepare yourself properly for third year. My guess is that you and I definitely need good preparation.

4 thoughts on “How To Survive Second Year University

  1. Thanks for posting this!
    As an English major who is heading towards second year this upcoming September I appreciate the total honesty of what to expect.


  2. Hey Maria! Thank you for giving insight into second year! Currently finishing up my first year at Glendon as an English major and was wondering if you could possible post the course syllabus for Lit Traditions? Wanted to get a feel for the workload. I’ve heard horror stories regarding it :/

    Thanks! šŸ™‚


    1. Sure thing, I’m going to make a new post of it soon! I just need to make a coffee first! Haha ya, I’m sure those stories weren’t nice that you’ve heard lol. You still have to take it though, so there’s no getting around it :(. Let me know if you need more help choosing other courses for English šŸ™‚


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