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

If you’re past your first year at college, I don’t need to be the one to tell you that the Sophomore Slump is real AF. Between your classes becoming more challenging, and the novelty of living on your own slowly starting to wear off, it can be difficult to feel just as motivated as you were the year before. Luckily, natural remedies heal everything, including motivational challenges. Take a look at some of our best recommendations on how to beat the Sophomore Slump AND stay healthy (and cruelty-free) in the process.


Telling an unmotivated student to workout is like telling a girl on her period that running will ease her cramps; we all know it’s true, but we CANNOT muster the energy for it. But yes, despite your preconceptions, it genuinely does help! Going to the gym (which I know you have access to somewhere on campus or in your residence hall) or stepping on your yoga mat for just 15 minutes will get your heart rate up and help you focus more on your assignments. More so, the more you go, the more you will find that it serves as an escape from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day life.


Many people don’t want to carve out 10 minutes of their day for meditation because even when they do, they can’t seem to clear their minds. I recommend downloading the Calm app, and turning on a guided sleep meditation at night. Not only will this help you fall asleep in a calmer manner, but it will also ensure that you’re listening to positive, uplifting messages, which are so important when it feels like the only thing on your mind is stress.

Establish Healthy Rewards

We all know that living a healthful life can often come with a hefty price tag. Smoothies over $5 are not going to be a plausible part of your everyday life, which is why setting them aside as a treat you look forward to can be so motivating. Instead of making a Netflix-binge your reward for submitting a paper, turn that reward into a delicious green smoothie, a Sweetgreen salad, or a new Lush face mask. This way, you will associate healthy habits as positive rather than costly, and you’ll always look forward to them.

Work Outdoors

Weather permitting, take an afternoon to work outdoors in your favorite park. Often the library or your dorm room can feel inundated with stress, which is why breathing fresh air and changing up your study scenery can actually help you get more done. Stress culture at college is real, and it’s often seen as ‘cool’ to brag about just how overwhelmed you are, but it’s also pretty cool to feel happy and relaxed while achieving your goals.

Go Makeup Free

On especially long days (and nights), it can be pretty amazing to go makeup free. The last thing you want to worry about when cramming in the library is whether your mascara has smudged and made your under eye circles look even darker. Let yourself, and your skin, feel just a little lighter by taking one day of the week and going totally makeup free. The night before your makeup-free day, exfoliate or use a face mask so that your skin will be extra radiant on its day off.

Trade Netflix for Podcasts

If you’re the type of person who needs a 40-minute break everyday, I totally get it. However, replacing a Netflix show with a podcast that discusses healthy living can be a beautiful step towards filling your life with positivity. This way, your eyes won’t be glued to a computer screen, but you’ll still be able to lounge in bed and just let go while positive messages fill your thoughts. For some recommendations, check out this article we wrote a while back with some especially amazing podcasts.

Good luck sophomores, you’ve got this! 

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