Reflections On Sophomore Year

Sophomore year is a strange time. Even the word itself is weird. It's that in-between area, when most people aren't going abroad and are still living on campus, but internships are expected to be pursued and you are expected to begin behaving like an adult. It's even more strange simply being a sophomore in the first place, after what felt like five minutes spent as a freshman, someone of whom little beyond reckless abandon and occasional studying was expected.

Personally, I can't even believe I'm writing this article, since the idea that I am halfway through college is baffling and more than a little terrifying. It's insane to think that I graduated high school two years ago and that thus, I could be counted as a "seasoned" collegiate. Ha. However, in the interests of giving some advice to upcoming sophomores, something that is not normally written on, here are a few tips I picked up in the course of this past year.

The Sophomore Slump is Real: I heard about this issue, but didn't believe it was a real affliction. Well, after a long year of procrastination on projects and a general lack of caring, I can say that it most definitely exists. Coming off of a long, lazy summer, and with a year of hard work in the books, many sophomores lose a lot of their drive. Making this worse is the fact that most sophomores start to take higher-level classes that apply to their major, heaping extra work on to the to-do list. Enjoy the high GPA you racked up freshman year, because as most sophomores will tell you, don't expect that the second year. An added bonus of taking classes for your major mean that it can become painfully obvious if a major is not what you thought it was, and this can make for hours of angst. So much fun. 

A Loss of Floor Community: The freshman residence halls are far from being the nicest of places to live, but they do come with the significant perk of a feeling of community. That feeling will not last if you stay on campus sophomore year. Even if you live in McDowell or Hughes, the same level of camaraderie will likely never exist again amongst your neighbors. If you live in Centennial or Cassell, a floor community will be non-existent, and it will surprising if you even know the people in the room next to you. This can be rather sad, since you won't have that same floor of people to lean on. At the same time, though, your best friends will only get closer, and you'll successfully be able to avoid the worst of your floormates.

You'll Go Out to Frat Parties Less: While this may not be true for everyone, from what I could tell, sophomores, especially as the year went on, didn't go to off-campus frat parties as much. This was mostly because sophomores have gained the wisdom of where to go for smaller, ultimately more fun, parties, and are more likely to go downtown somewhere.

Freshmen Are the Worst: This is a sentiment that becomes real the second you step back on to campus in August when, having matured over the past year, you see hordes of new, naive, loud students walking around in packs. It's a wake-up call to realize that you were them a year before, and after thinking for a moment about giving them some advice, you'll probably decide to silently judge them instead for the next few months. South side will be avoided like the plague, and North side will become a haven. Sorry, Centennial residents. Enjoy the fire alarms.

It Will Become Harder to Stop Thinking About the Future:  Everyone tells you, while you're packing for college, that it will be the best four years of your life, and not to waste it. What they neglect to tell you is how quickly it goes by, and how terrifying that concept is. Most AU students will factor in study abroad, blocking out a semester, usually during junior year, for this. All of a sudden during sophomore year, going abroad becomes real, and just how close senior year is becomes overwhelming. Remember to take a step back from these thoughts, and live as much in the moment as you can. 

Sophomore Year Goes By Even Faster Than Freshman Year: Coming back from summer vacation, I was elated to be back on campus, and remember thinking with joy that I had all year. Well, now that year is gone, and I can hardly believe it. The only way to combat this, future sophomores, is to make sure that you use your time well. Leave the library and spend hours on the Quad, prioritize that trip to New York City over a couple extra hours of sleep, and spend time with friends as much as possible. They're the people you'll remember looking back on college, not the tests and papers. Remember to stop and smell the roses, and maybe, sophomore year will be the best year yet. 

Have a great summer!


Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4