At breakfast this Sunday morning, while catching up on our (un)eventful nights, my friends and I discussed the “Sophomore Slump”. I hadn’t heard the term until my friend mentioned it, and since then I’ve been reading up about it and have been absolutely fascinated. Basically, this term refers to when a band or artist creates a banging first album and is unable to match the level of greatness in their second album. It also applies to the very common feeling of sadness and emptiness that college sophomores experience.
I’m almost done with the first semester of my sophomore year and have definitely noticed a lack of energy in my friends and myself since we’ve come back to campus. Over the summer, I worked hard on my health- both physical and mental. I worked out, ate healthily, and did things that made me happy. I came back to campus with a new energy and a positive outlook. I was excited to start school again- this time with a good group of friends and a normal roommate. I was able to sustain this energy for about a month and a half before campus life started taking a toll on me once again. I don’t know if it’s Emory specifically or all campuses, but I really believe that the campus environment makes it hard to be happy. ou’re constantly surrounded by your peers, and practically never have a moment to yourself. It’s a breeding ground for eating disorders, depression, and high levels of anxiety. You certainly feel it as a sophomore.
As a freshman, you’re constantly meeting new people, exploring new clubs, and going out: everything is new and exciting. When you come back as a sophomore, you quickly realize that you’re old news; you’re sort of irrelevant. Then comes the crashing realization that your life is going to be like this for the next three years. That’s when doubt about transferring, or changing your major or being in the “wrong” friend group set in. Everything feels way more permanent than freshman year, and that’s a terrifying thought. So many people feel out-of-place or very lonely, even if they have a ton of friends. It’s hard not having a set friend group like we were all used to in high school. As fun as it is having a ton of friends in different circles, if you don’t feel like you’ve found “your people” you’re bound to feel alone.
It also feels like suddenly your future is right around the corner. Even if you’re just at the beginning of your sophomore year, you need to start thinking about Study Abroad, and living situations for junior year. If you’re a B-School Snake, you also need to think about applying to the business school, and all the commitment that comes with it. I started college thinking I was pre-med, then I switched to psych, and now I’m suddenly finishing up my b-school application. For someone who did not originally plan to study business, it’s becoming a huge part of my life and it sort of feels like there’s no turning back, which is a terrifying thought.
All of this, coupled with having been on-campus without a break for 3 months, is exhausting. Everyone seems like they’re going insane and it feels like all my friends are dealing with shit all at the same time. It’s hard finding a balance between being there for your friends and making time to make sure you’re happy. So far, sophomore year has been Breakdown City, I guess we’ll see what happens when we get back from Thanksgiving break!