Second Year

After a Summer of working to save up some more beer money, I waltzed into second year with optimism and fully intending to work much harder. Did this happen? I'll let you hazard a guess...

Moving out of halls

From the comfort of halls, being surrounded by friends and still having meals catered for me, it was a massive change to move into our own apartment. After all kinds of arguments between friends about who wanted to live with whom, my boyfriend and I decided to go it alone. I'm hugely glad I didn't move into a shared house with 8 other people if I'm honest but at the same time, it wasn't all plain sailing in the situation I did end up in.

You'll be spending nine months (ish) of your life here so make sure it's comfortable, close to the places you need to be or near main roads/public transport and more importantly, pick somewhere you'll want to spend your time. Yes you'll have lectures and wild nights out but the majority of your time out o the pub will be spent at home, so it needs to be somewhere enjoyable.


In second year I still didn't have a job but I had worked hard to have a bit more spending money this year round. I'd definitely recommend to people to get an overdraft if you are fairly good with money.

More about this in my experience as a first year here.


This is a tricky one. You've probably heard that it's difficult to keep a relationship going in the transition from college to university and to be honest, I wasn't in a good enough relationship to even attempt it. I embraced the change as it meant I opened my eyes to more opportunities and meeting new people and lucky for me, someone better happened to come along.

Keeping a relationship going throughout uni however, I didn't find so easy. Two tips: firstly, don't move in together until you're ready. Secondly, make sure you still have some 'me' time.

It's so important to not get trapped in a place where you feel you don't have any personal space or time. Uni is a time to meet new people and have a lot of fun and this might not be as easy if you're not enjoying where you're living and more importantly, who you're living with.

I learnt this in a rough rollercoaster of a relationship mess in my second year so if this does happen to you and you find yourself in a sticky situation? My best advice is: forget it, go out, get drunk and DO UNI. This isn't the reason you left home in the first place so don't waste any time moping.

Sandwich Degrees and Work Experience

The former isn't a specific qualification you need to get a job at Subway, it means some degree courses offer a 'sandwich' curriculum, meaning in your third year you can get a placement for up to 12 months before finishing your course. I had an option to do this but nobody (I think?) I started my course with opted for the extra year. Personally, I knew I'd find it hard leaving education to work full time for a year then going BACK for a final year.

On the other hand, at work we offer an internship every year and the year of actual work experience you gain will definitely put you in better stead than those without after graduating.

Is there anything you'd add about your own experience in second year, or would you like any specific advice? Let me know.




Vauxhall car interior - driving

My name's Leanne and I'm scared of driving.

Yep, I said it. I hate driving and for a while, it has been a fear-crippling - albeit small - part of my life. I passed my test in 2011, bought a car, drove it three times and then it blew up (well, it broke down because something blew up inside it) so I haven't driven for a few years as:

1. I've had no car


2. I've had no reason to.

 I came to the conclusion at the end of last year that it was about time I gave it a go. My boyfriend bought a new car this year and slowly but surely I've learnt to drive all over again. Driving isn't a necessary part of my life but there's the odd occasion I feel it would be useful and to be honest, it's something I just want to be able to overcome.

Alongside Go Girl Insurance, I've come up with some tips for either getting over a driving phobia or in general, encouraging people to make more of an effort to drive safely.


Even if you're nervous, do it over and over again. As they say - practice makes perfect - and although there are rarely perfect drivers out there, the more experience you have the better you'll become.
Before you know it, this skill will become second nature!


You'll feel much more comfortable being knowledgable about your car and in turn, be a much better (and safer) driver if you brush up on what your dashboard means. Go Girl's dashboard graphic is a humorous take on this and you can read more on their website. Be that person to stick to the speed limit and a good role model on the road.

GoGirl insurance dashboard graphic


Once you've passed your test or are getting back into driving, it's easy to forget what you've been taught in your lessons and pick up bad driving habits. Practicing these (mirror, signal, manoeuvre - the works!) will keep them fresh in your mind on the road.

Another important factor of staying safe is making sure your car is in full working order and being fully insured for anything, just in case something DOES go wrong. You can get new driver insurance from Go Girl here and also have the option to take out optional extras like Breakdown Cover so you know help is at hand if ever you need roadside assistance.


Tell yourself: I can do it.

Believe in yourself because the likelihood is that your fear comes from self-doubt. Thinking positive thoughts rather than the awful 'what if' situations. I read something recently: 'worrying is like walking around with an umbrella and expecting it to rain'.

Have a positive outlook on the situation and it will have a great impact.


Step out of the comfort zone of having someone tell you how and what to do. If you've recently passed your test and are stepping in to your car by yourself for the very first time, use it as an opportunity to become your own kind of driver. You don't have to worry about taking a left too early or adding an extra twenty minutes to the journey.

You can put into practice the knowledge you've learnt in real-life situations and interact with other drivers on the road, solo; no-one waving their hand or thanking someone on your behalf.

I hope these tips have helped you somehow or even if you're a bad-ass, safe woman driver already, it's been an interesting read!

Do you relate to this at all? Do you love driving?
Let me know!



This post is sponsored by GoGirl Insurance.