How to Avoid the Sophomore Slump

So rising sophomores, you’ve completed your freshman year of college… now what? Everyone always has advice to give to incoming freshmen, but college is a four-year experience. During the next three years, there are still amazing memories to be created, mistakes to be made, and lessons to be learned. Although I tried to avoid the sophomore slump, it happened to me during my fall semester. Here are my tips to avoid the sophomore slump. 


Don’t Just Throw Yourself Into Academics

Everyone always puts emphasis on freshman year being the year to focus on your social life and to take fewer credits. Perhaps that’s why many of my friends and I threw ourselves into our academics during the fall of our sophomore year. I took on a workload that was too intense, and I felt like I spent the semester running around and putting band-aids everywhere. I wasn’t even digesting the material I was learning for long-term use because I was so overwhelmed and just going through the motions of getting tasks done. Of course, we all attend this school primarily to learn and receive a degree at the end of this journey; academics should always be a priority. I just struggled this past fall with achieving a balance between academics and having a social life. Spending your life in the library is not a way to live, and it rarely gets you the grades you want. I had my worst academic performance when I had no balance in my life. This past spring, though, I earned my best grades during my most social semester because I was happier and developed good time management skills. My advice to you is to make sure you are creating a balanced life this year in which you challenge yourself enough academically, but also maintain a social life. 


Reach Out to New People

College is a continuum of making new friends. I’m sure there is someone in the class friendzone you’d like to get to know better or someone in a club you want to hang out with. Just ask them to grab dinner at Ferris. These people probably want to have dinner with you too; someone, being you, just has to initiate first. If you’re unhappy with your freshman year friends, you can definitely branch out by reaching out to new people. Even if you are satisfied with your freshman year friends, it’s always beneficial to continue to pursue new friendships. I thought I had my two closest friends by the end of my freshman year, and they are both still two of the closest people to me now. Once I started reaching out to new people in the spring, though, I found it exciting to get to know more people and develop close friendships with them, too. Just be open to making new friendships as you continue your college experience.


Plan Excursions

If you want to have a social life, sometimes you have to put in some work yourself. During my fall semester of sophomore year, I fell into a pattern of focusing so much on school work that Thursday night would come around, and I didn’t have much planned for the weekend. Unlike freshman year, your friends live in different dorms, so you can’t just knock on their door and see if they are up for some fun. If there’s a place downtown you want to go to, organize a group excursion ahead of time. If you want to go out that weekend, make a group chat. If you want to have a chill hang-out, invite people over. Like I said before, most people want to make plans with you; we just all are super busy and sometimes forget to initiate. People appreciate organized outings with a big group, so take it upon yourself to create them. 


Embrace Spontaneity 

I know I just talked about the importance of making an effort in planning your social life, but I also want to stress that college is a time to embrace spontaneity. During my fall semester, I tried really hard to stick to a regimented routine. I thought that instituting a routine would help my academic performance. As aesthetically pleasing as the night time routines may seem on YouTube, that’s not real life, and strict regiments are extremely difficult to sustain in college.  While it is important to create some structured routine, it’s also okay to live in the moment. Say “yes” to more things than “no.” Enjoy the chats with friends until 2 A.M. and the spontaneous trips downtown. You have your whole life to sit at a desk job. Work hard, but also remember to have fun and create amazing memories. College really does go by so fast!