I, Gianna Voges, have recently started my sophomore year at Temple University, and I turn 20 at the end of this year. It’s a really weird feeling, to say the least. I’m entering my final moments as a teenager while no longer being a bright-eyed first-year college student. I’m just…a college student.
A term that I’ve heard quite frequently is “Sophomore Slump,” one that I didn’t quite fully understand until now. At a basic level, it means failing to live up to the expectations set during your freshman year. I feel like I’m not living up to the high excitement I experienced during my first year of college, nor am I living up to the standards I set for myself.
This is a completely normal feeling, though. By a student’s sophomore year, it’s expected that they’ve already adapted to college life. There’s not a ton of leeway given to sophomores as there is when you’re a freshman, and campus events aren’t really catered toward us anymore.
Sophomore year can almost feel like a let-down after being a freshman, which can lead to feelings of frustration and a lack of motivation.
The challenges that second-year students face are very different from first-years, but they are just as important. These are two of the main challenges that I’ve been facing due to the Sophomore Slump, and here’s how I’m surviving it.
Not As Much Excitement as Freshman Year
I’m a resident assistant (RA) at my university, and it’s strange interacting with my freshman residents because I was in their exact shoes not even a year ago. I feel envious of them because of how much excitement and new experiences come with being a freshman, but not as a sophomore. There’s no magic like moving into your dorm for the first time with a new living situation, and you can only explore campus with a brand new friend group once.
Much of how I’m surviving the Sophomore Slump is simply just taking a step back and reevaluating my mindset. Yes, I’m not experiencing everything that comes with being a freshman for the first time, but that can be seen as a positive.
I’m not moving into my college dorm for the first time, but I’m moving in with a sense of security. I don’t need to worry about what my “new life” will be like because I already started it.
I survived my first year, and I’ll survive my second year with even more resources at my disposal. Although there’s no excitement about making brand new friends, I get to make even more memories with my old friends. Despite this fact, no matter how old you get, you will continue to make new and meaningful relationships. I’ve met incredible people this year, and I will continue to do so.
Although it’s only my second year, I’m still expected to be completely adjusted to college life, unlike my freshman year. I have to assume this greater level of personal responsibility, without the grace I was given as a first-year.
Being a sophomore means that there is so much more pressure on me to decide on a specific career path. If you’re an undeclared student, you could be feeling that pressure even more. With this pressure comes a lack of motivation, and then, for me, just feelings of more frustration because I’m not getting any work done.
Apathy is the worst struggle a college student faces, but it’s also one of the most common. It’s important that when you’re feeling this lack of motivation to be nice to yourself.
When I got more and more frustrated with myself for not getting any work done, it just made me not want to do work even more. I’ve started utilizing my friends as a resource to keep me going and motivated.
I am just one person figuring everything out as a go, like the rest of us. I am a full-time student trying to figure out my career path and adjusting to being an adult, and this is something that I am justified in struggling with. It’s important to remember that simply feeding yourself and practicing good hygiene habits is the most productive you can be sometimes, and that’s okay.
To Conclude, Aging is Scary
The most common fact about the Sophomore Slump is that getting older is scary. Something that I’ve realized is that I was scared of growing up, that I failed to actually enjoy growing up.
Yes, I’ll no longer be a teenager and I’ll never experience being a freshman college student again. Still, I’m constantly met with new challenges and excitements throughout my entire life; that will never change.
I will survive the Sophomore Slump and every other slump after that.