Adjusting to Second Year

After a long and busy summer of working, relaxing and – excitingly – moving into my new house in Redland, I was certainly eager to start my second year of studies. Having been back for a few weeks now, I can positively say that the jump to second year has been an adjustment, but no doubt a good one.

This term in History, the course is made up of one compulsory unit and two Lecture Response Units. Our compulsory unit, ‘Rethinking History’, explores different forms of history through two lectures per week and a fortnightly seminar. The seminars require us to perform a presentation on one of the types of history (intellectual, cultural, political and environmental), which has been great practice for presenting our research and ideas and I hope helpful in preparing us for the 24-hour exam at the end of the term. As someone who has never studied these four areas properly before, it has opened my eyes to the variety and possibilities that can be focused on in history.

My Lecture Response Units have unquestionably been the highlight so far. I am currently studying Politics and Society in Contemporary Britain with Hugh Pemberton, which is surprisingly an area I have not yet studied. I recently submitted by 3000-word essay on this topic, which discussed the Conservative Party’s reaction and response to their 1945 electoral defeat. My other Lecture Response Unit is the South African war with Simon Potter. Having had no prior knowledge on this topic, it has been fascinating to learn about such a unique war in British history. Studying this topic has also caused sparked a new unexpected interest in military history, which will be the focus of my other 3000-word essay that is due later this month.

My week is full to the brim of work, various society meetings and lots of exercise to keep myself balanced, as well as recently starting a new part-time job. As the second year of university is the ideal one to be the busiest, I have definitely tried to fulfil this to the best of my ability!

– Abi


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