Sophomore Slump is Real

Leaving my first year at SLU was tough. Summer dragged along. And though I was having a lot of fun with my friends from home, I missed my school friends a lot. It was so weird adjusting to life at home without the constant personal interaction I was getting in my residence hall at school. I felt lonely even though I had my family and network of friends surrounding me.

That being said, I was extremely ready to come back to school almost the entire summer. Towards the end, though, it got a little bittersweet. By the time I was finally settling in, it was time to start packing up to leave. And if you know me, you know I love my hometown more than life itself, and that sentiment only made it a little tougher to come back to St. Louis.

Coming back to school, I expected to feel “at home” again like I did last year, but it felt like nothing was clicking like it was supposed to. Classes starting only made me feel more disconnected and, simply put, “blah.” Even though I was excited about my classes and getting more into my major, I felt detached and disinterested. I was finding it difficult to focus during class or on my schoolwork. There were days on the weekends where I didn’t venture out of my room for hours upon hours at a time. I found myself zoning out when I hung out with my friends and skipping hangouts altogether. I missed the familiarity of my hometown and the freedom to explore and not be stuck on a college campus. All I wanted to do was to be at home, with my family, with my own car, and with my cat Charlie.

I soon realized that this is not a unique experience for people coming back to their second year of college.

As the newness of college wears off, a funk starts to settle in. We start to see school as something we just have to get through, rather than a new and exciting experience. We often begin to doubt majors, friendships, and even college choice in general. We may even lose sight of the dreams we came into college pursuing. We tend to feel excluded from resources provided to freshmen and often don’t have enough experience to find research and internship opportunities.

I think one important realization that can help combat this so-called "sophomore slump," is the realization that no one is “stuck” because of any choices made freshman year. Second year of college is by no means too late to consider another major or join any new clubs or organizations you’re passionate about. Don’t feel pressured to stick with any clubs or even friendships that you feel you don’t connect with anymore. There are civil and cordial ways to cut ties with anything you are involved with on campus or fizzle out a friendship that you feel is toxic in any way. Final piece of cliche advice: use all the resources SLU has to offer! Counseling services are a great way to talk to someone outside of your own circle who can provide concrete advice on how to improve your situation. For academic help and motivation, don’t be afraid to schedule a writing or tutoring services appointment. Sessions like this can force you to get up, get out, and study by creating an actual commitment for yourself.

I write this article not to be a huge Debbie Downer about sophomore year but to instead share my experiences because I know I’m not the only person out there who struggled to adjust to campus life again. In the midst of all of this, don’t forget to genuinely take time to pursue even the smallest things that make you feel happy and whole.