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Interestingly enough, I have been asked by two separate people if I was a senior. One of them is an underclassman from a club I am President for. The other is a classmate in one of my classes this semester. It’s funny. I don’t see it.

I am used to people thinking that I’m younger than I actually am based on appearances. If I think about it, I could possibly blend in with other high schoolers sometimes based on my height. It has only been two years since I graduated, so there have not been many physical changes since.

In all honesty, what makes sophomore year the way it is? What makes me seem more like a senior? My experience will differ from everyone else’s based on the choices I make. As my second year of college is ending, I have some takeaways.

Please take care of yourself.

You are always supposed to be taking care of yourself. It is not an easy thing to do if work is piling up, but you cannot keep pushing yourself past your limit. There are times when we can continue pushing ourselves, but if it is starting to affect our mental or physical health, that is not a healthy choice.

From my experiences, all the responsibilities started to pile up on me at some point. I got nervous to the point that I would procrastinate on certain things. I lost sleep, I lost time, and I lost my motivation very quickly. Therefore, make healthy choices and create healthy boundaries.

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Please be easy on yourself.

Regardless of a pandemic, your sophomore year will not be as easy as freshman year. You started a lot of your first year with introduction classes. Not every class will be an introduction but a loose extension from where you left off.

You might have more difficulties to overcome. Sometimes, this year presents more challenges than you know how to handle. It is alright if you struggle in the beginning. Don’t beat yourself up over it. You need to remember that you will be able to get through this somehow. If you need assistance, there are people to help you. You are not alone. This year, I’ve had to ask for some flexibility from my professors sometimes, and it is alright if you do that. At the end of the day, your professors want to know that you are trying your best.

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Please believe in yourself.

This is going to be a new year. You will have new opportunities to test out. I know that it is scary to put yourself out there. You might feel like you are not qualified enough. However, you just need to have a bit of faith. We all start new opportunities a little inexperienced at first. That is what learning is for. After taking on a new role, you just need to learn the gist of everything, and eventually, you will be great at what you do.

I took up some more executive positions for various clubs this year. It was not an easy choice for me. There was always a voice in the back of my head saying that I would never get the position. Of course, I do have to add that it is fine if you do not get the position. However, if you can try once, then you can do it again. It may be a learning experience for you. The chance will come up again eventually. I did not get a position once, but I took the time to work on myself before the next time the opportunity arose, and I finally got it. Therefore, that little voice in my head was telling me lies. I can do it, and if you’re up for it, you can do it as well.

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I am not sure how people thought I was a senior. One person told me that I seem put together. Another person told me that I have accomplished a lot. There are consequences for that as much as I would love to take the compliment. I have worked really hard, and I never seem to acknowledge that. I realize how much I need to check in on myself during my sophomore year. I have been able to do so much, but by doing so, there are things I lost.

This is your sophomore year. Do something fun for yourself because you are young and deserve to enjoy your undergrad experience. Meet new people because some people can teach you some important things that you never realized.

Lastly, do things at your own pace. I know I have a long list of things I have done, but I am not here to set any standards for anyone. Just because you are not doing something does not mean you have not accomplished anything. You have done so much to get here, and that is more important than a long list of club exec positions, internships, and awards. It is so much easier when you take it easy on yourself too.

Jena Lui

Susqu '23

To go on an adventure means to set off into a new environment and to take it all in, keeping what is important to you.
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