I'm going to try and keep this one short and sweet!
Second year was definitely much more difficult than first year; there's the higher work load, the pressure of this year actually 'counting' towards your degree, which in turn creates more stress, or it did for me.
The beginning of second year was actually pretty relaxed, there wasn't too much work to begin with, so it was all about settling into my house with my new housemates and making myself at home. Manchester really began to feel much more like home this year, and I didn't get the homesickness I had in first year, I felt much happier and much more settled, I hated coming home!
The courses I chose this year (Autumn Term - Modernism, Critical and Cultural Theory and C19th American Lit and Culture. Spring Term - British Cinemas, Researching English and Disability and Representation) were definitely much more difficult than any I took in first year. There were a few I didn't enjoy, which made the work labourious and dull, however, I also really found my niche in terms of study this year. I now know what works for me and how to organise myself - post here.
I would say that second year is all about directing yourself with where you want to go; you may not like some modules (I learnt that I really cannot write about cinema, and the 19th Century is definitely not my favourite era) but it's all a learning curve, you just have to work a little harder and push yourself into your studies. It's as simple as that. There was one result with which I was really unhappy with, as it's going to bring my grade for that module down, but it was fully deserved as I didn't work hard enough.
When it came to Spring Term a lot of direction regarding dissertation was offered. I really enjoyed Modernism, and decided to go down that route (kind of) when writing my proposal. When it comes to your proposal, talk to your tutors about your interests; I spoke to at least three different tutors who each gave me excellent advice about texts to look at. It's what they are there for.
I didn't have any exams, as I specifically chose modules that didn't include them as I am terrible in them, so I can't offer any advice on that.
I know many people are still at uni completing their exams, good luck!
Thanks for reading x
(this is about as short and sweet as I get I'm afraid!)