What I Wish I Had Known Going Into Sophomore Year

You’ve finished your freshman year of college. The days of worrying about who you’re going to eat your next meal with and getting lost on your way to class are over. Phew. you made it through the hard part and now you’re set for the next 3 years. Yeah, that’s what I thought too.

When I arrived on campus this fall, excited to continue what I had left the last spring, reality hit. This was not the exact same place I had left a couple of months ago. New people I had never seen before were everywhere, friend groups were changing, everyone lived in different places, and I had changed too. With all of these shifts overwhelming me as I transitioned back to campus, I felt lost, out of place, and lonely. I expected freshman year to be different than high school, but I did not expect sophomore year to still be another adjustment.  As I begin to acclimate better to sophomore year, here are five things I wish I had known coming in: 

  1. 1. Sophomore year is still a transition

    It’s a transition from living at home for the summer, a transition to a new school year, new dorm, new classes, and new friends. Things will be different and you will have to keep adapting even when you thought you had finished all the adapting freshman year. 

  2. 2. You will still feel lonely sometimes

    Even though you made friends freshman year that you love, you will still feel lonely sometimes and that is okay. You will have moments where it feels like no one is listening, no one cares, or no one is there for you, which can be scary. These moments will pass and are completely normal. 

  3. 3. Your friendships from freshman year will change

    Living with new roommates, living in different areas around campus, having different schedules, and being apart from each other over the summer; these things can all change your friendships and friend groups on campus drastically. You will become closer to some friends and drift apart from others. You will make new friends who you hadn’t even met freshman year. Overall, your relationships with other people on campus will be very different than when you left the year before. 

  4. 4. You may still feel homesick occasionally

    Being homesick does not just happen in your first year at college! You will miss your mom, her cooking, your dog, and your bed. Living away from home for a year will not miraculously make you never miss home again. Call your parents and tell them you miss them. Bring the stuffed animal you sleep with at home to school again. Put up pictures of your dog on your wall. Let yourself miss home sometimes and don’t be afraid to tell other people when you do. 

  5. 5. You will grow in so many ways

    Sophomore year lets you explore new places on campus, new places in Maine, new hobbies and career options, and new people. You will be challenged in your friendships, your courses, and in thinking about your future. Without even realizing it, you will mature and grow in your confidence, your knowledge about the world, and your knowledge about yourself. Keep exploring new things because every day there will be a new opportunity for you that you would never have imagined your freshman year. 

Transitions can be tough, especially when you weren’t expecting a transition at all. Reach out to people you trust. Let yourself feel lonely, homesick, and sad knowing its normal to feel these things at school even after freshman year. Take time for yourself to do things you love outside of schoolwork. Even when you have hard days, know that you will be okay.