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The True Meaning Behind the “Sophomore Slump”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Muhlenberg chapter.

College comes with an abundance of opportunities to experience new classes, meet new people, and have a chance to really fall in love with your school. With such a vast amount of new opportunities, there comes the point in our academic careers where these experiences are no longer new, and life on campus becomes all too familiar. As you begin to approach your next year in college, perhaps you might find that enjoying life in college is more difficult than it was for you during your first year. There just does not seem to be anything more exciting on campus since you first arrived your freshman year. If this sounds like the kind of situation that you’ve found yourself in, you may be experiencing something called the ‘sophomore slump.’

You may have heard of this term from some upperclassmen before ending your first year, but if you’re like me and your just hearing about this common second-year downslide, you’re not alone. Studies suggest that the ‘sophomore slump’ is a period of confusion for second-year students academically, socially, and emotionally. For some students, there are many unspoken expectations that come with being a sophomore; you’re expected to know your way around campus inside and out, know your major, search for career paths, all while being actively involved on campus. With a vast set of expectations for second-year students, it’s no wonder that many students might find themselves approaching a downward spiral. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure this phenomenon is not one that you come across in your second year of college.  

Join a new club or on-campus organization

Try joining a club that you weren’t apart of last semester, and maybe even consider one that caters to your career plans. Becoming more involved in a new part of campus will also allow you to grow a bigger network of friends and gain insight into subjects you might not have even considered.  

Consider studying abroad

With more institutions providing opportunities for students to extend their major abroad, it’s no wonder that study abroad programs are becoming more popular among college students. This could be a fulfilling and rewarding opportunity to extend your studies off-campus while spending time in a new country!   


You might want to consider searching for opportunities to contribute your skills and interests off-campus through volunteering at local shelters and non-profit organizations.

Don’t be afraid to talk to someone

Believe it or not, there are many resources on campus that can help you stimulate your interests and motivate you to re-energize your social and academic life. If you find yourself stuck in the ‘sophomore slump,’ reach out to friends or other administrators on campus that can guide you and connect you to resources that can help you through the treacherous ‘sophomore slump.’

Spend time with friends

Once in a while, a night out with friends is just what you need to get yourself through a hard time! The ‘sophomore slump’ is a more common experience than you might think. By talking to your friends, you may just find that you’re not alone.

Caitlin Burns

Muhlenberg '21

Muhlenberg Marketing and Publicity Director Business Marketing and Dance double major