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Gearing Up for Sophomore Year

We did it!  From IHUM and RBAs to fountain hopping and dorm scavenger hunts, we have been initiated into the Stanford community.  As freshman year draws to a close, I’d like to offer a few words of advice to my fellow freshmen about making the transition to sophomore year:

Make the most of your housing assignment.

So you happen to be the person with draw number 1999 assigned to a dorm that wasn’t even on your list?  Cue the screamo music, and go ahead and yell at the top of your lungs but just this once.  Don’t drown yourself in self-pity.  What may, at first, seem like the worst scenario imaginable may, in fact, end up being an incredible experience.  Ended up in characteristically quiet GovCo?  Think of it as a challenge to amplify the social scene!  Not to mention Ricker serves among the best dining hall food on campus.  Split from your draw group?  Consider all of the amazing new people you’re going to meet in your new residence.  Plus, it’s across campus – not across the world.  Go and visit.  In sum, make the best of your new accommodations rather than lock yourself up in your room for the year.
Formulate a rough fear year plan.
Freshman year we were instructed to enroll in courses simply because they sounded interesting.  And I don’t know about you, but I certainly obeyed this command.  How else do you end up taking 16th Century Netherlandish Paintings, The Art and Science of Engineering Design, and Psychology 1?  Though I undoubtedly enjoyed the freedom to choose courses at my discretion, sophomore year you should begin to narrow down your academic interests with the goal of declaring a major unless the thought of being a “super senior” entices you.  For those of you who wish to study abroad, I would suggest reviewing any necessary prerequisites because you don’t want to be stuck Facebook stalking your friends abroad lamenting about the fact that you were one class short of eligibility.
Join Clubs
After three quarters on campus, the novelty of simply being at Stanford may begin to dwindle and you may wish to broaden your horizons beyond class work and frat parties.  What better time to engage in extracurricular activities that expand your boundaries.  While the Activities Fair is geared towards incoming freshmen, it can’t hurt to attend to see all of the various offerings and sign up for clubs.
Incorporate Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
Blame Late Night.  Blame your busy schedule. But rather than sulk about the Freshman 15, do something about it.  I advise incorporating a daily workout into your schedule and granting it equivalent importance as your academic classes.  For those gym-goers, I recommend not going during “rush hour” a.k.a. from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. or else you’ll be hard-pressed to find an open machine.  For those more inclined to the outdoors, the Lake Lag trail is easy to measure distance at approximately .9 miles, and the Dish offers unparalleled views and challenging hills whether you’re walking or running.  If neither of these options appeals to you, Stanford offers a variety of fun exercise classes like sand volleyball, kickboxing and yoga for 1 unit.  Now, get moving!

Allison is the Her Campus Correspondent at Stanford University, majoring in Communication (and maybe Art History!). She is working her way up the magazine ladder in New York City with an editorial internship at InStyle Magazine under her belt.  Originally from Windermere, FL, Allison spends her free time watching football, devouring sweets and online shopping. You can follow her on Twitter at @allisonotis and on Pinterest! 
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