Are You Suffering from Sophomore Slump?

You’ve probably heard of Senioritis, but what about Sophomore Slump? The time when the novelty of being a college student starts to wear off. The mood of sophomore year contrasts with freshman year so drastically that students start to feel stuck.

Freshman year of college can be summarized in one word: exhilarating. New students are introduced to countless opportunities for personal and academic exploration. It’s a time of excitement that starts long before actually stepping foot on campus. A rising college freshman spends the summer anticipating what is to come. They’re making Pinterest boards to find the perfect style that they want for their room and watching as many videos as they can on YouTube to learn what “dorm life” is actually like. They’re trying to sleuth out the real identity of their roommate and nervous about sharing a space. They’re worried about getting lost on campus on the first day of classes.

When their first semester starts, every experience is new. Everything is exciting. It stays this way for the entire year as they check off a series of “college firsts” they never thought of before, from pulling an all-nighter in the library to finish an assignment to accidentally sleeping through an alarm and having to go to class in pajamas.

Freshmen end the year with enough stories to write their own guidebooks, each learning different lessons from their first two semesters at university. All college journeys are different, but most freshmen end the year feeling ready and eager for the next to start. What no freshman is ever really prepared for is what comes after, when the novelty of being a college student starts to wear off, also known as The Sophomore Slump.

Enter the rising sophomore, a student still excited about what is going to unfold throughout the academic year, but not feeling the hype of returning to college as much as before.  Most sophomores have a solid grasp on what to expect. They know their way around campus, they have a group of friends, they either know how to handle living in a dorm or now have an apartment off campus.

When the semester starts they’re able to fall into a routine rather quickly, stuck in an academic limbo between general education classes and core major classes. Juggling classes and trying to have a social life is challenging, but not new. Football games are exciting, but not new. Exploring College Town is fun, but not new.

Going from freshman year, a storm of constant exploration to knowing, for the most part, what to expect gives you whiplash.  Classes start to get harder, planning to hang out with your old friends gets more difficult at you don’t all live on the heart of campus and you probably have more financial responsibility than the year before. 

Sophomore year is when college starts to become stressful, in more than just the “my deadline for this assignment is way too close to today’s date and I haven’t even started it yet” type of way. 

If you’re experiencing Sophomore Slump, don’t worry, your friends probably are too, and there are ways to combat it.

Courtesy: Her Campus

1. Make time to hang out with friends

As sophomore year progresses, class and homework will take up more time.  If you’re feeling buried, dig yourself out for at least an hour. Don’t let school completely consume you. How you’re feeling is just as important as what you’re learning. Being around other people who make you happy and who understand the struggle will make an immense difference in your mood.

2. Explore places you have not been yet

If “been there, done that” is becoming your catchphrase it’s time to stop using the places you know as a crutch. Feeling comfortable and having a routine is a great accomplishment, but it should not make you stagnant. Instead of going to your favorite place to eat before class, try someplace new. Instead of going to your usual study spot in the library, try studying outside or at a coffee shop. It will make all the difference.

3. Get involved with something new on campus 

Freshman year you probably found clubs and extracurricular that you enjoy, but just because your first year at school is over it doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to look into new ones.  Join a club that aligns with one of your hobbies, not your major, to meet new people and have fun.

Even though the era of freshman year is over you can still explore all that being a college student has to offer.