What Sophomore Year Has Taught Me

My sophomore year of high school was probably one of my worst years of high school. This wasn't because anything drastically bad happened; I just felt like I didn’t have a real path or purpose. As a freshman, it was clear the goal was to meet new friends and experience high school for the first time. As a junior, the main goal was to prepare for college, study for the SATs, and get leadership experience. Senior year was applying to colleges and getting ready for the “real” world. But sophomore year was just sophomore year, it was almost like a pause in the high school experience. Some of my friends called this the “sophomore slump” because the whole year just felt like a waste and we were often unmotivated.

After coming to the conclusion of my sophomore year of college, I can say that while the “sophomore slump” has affected me in several ways, it has also not been as bad as it was in high school. There have been times where I feel lost in the motion of classes and extracurriculars and the hustle of daily life. But more so than not, sophomore year has been a year of learning and growth. In high school, I wasn’t able to see the big picture but now that I’m in college it’s easier to plan out a goal to work towards. I made sophomore year my year to create a foundation. I joined more clubs, took leadership positions in some of them, and applied to so many jobs and internships. I tried to balance my academic life and social life so as not to overwhelm myself with one or the other. Basically, sophomore year, for me, has been a year of building a support network that will (hopefully) sustain me for the rest of my college experience.

I briefly mentioned that sophomore year also brought me more knowledge than freshmen year. This is true. Freshmen year was a year of good times, mainly. I didn’t really stress over my classes and didn’t do too well in them as a result. I had a boyfriend and I was extremely happy, but I also wasn’t working towards any clear goal, I was just taking it day-by-day. Sophomore year brought about a lot of change as my courses became more difficult and I found I barely had time for myself, let alone another person. My relationship ended and my first semester proved to be one of the hardest semesters of my life emotionally and academically, but here I am, living to tell the tale. I learned that as hard as things may seem at the time, you will wake up to see another day, life won’t stop for you and you shouldn’t stop for life. Sophomore year threw some hurdles at me but instead of letting myself get beaten down, I decided that I would get back up.

From the beginning of the second semester until now, I decided to say “yes” to a lot more things. I started thinking about summer and decided I wanted to stay in Boston. But first I had to find a place to live and something to do. I applied to so many internships, met with professors, curated my resume, learned how to properly format a CV, and invested myself into the clubs and activities I was involved with. While investing myself in these roles, I also invested myself in my relationships. I made a real effort to spend less time alone and sad. I reached out to friends and they reached back out to me; I don’t think I could have gotten through sophomore year without the support network of friends and family in Boston and at home.

In conclusion, sophomore year was challenging but I made sure I was up for the challenge. I learned that to truly be happy where you are, you need to find meaning in whatever you’re doing. Whether that be your classes, your job, or your relationships, make sure that you are as close to 100% happy in them. Create and sustain a support network to pick you up when life knocks you down. While I learned all of this sophomore year, they are life lessons applicable to any age. You are as strong as the challenges you overcome and you are as wise as the lessons you learn.

 

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