Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
uconn football game with band on field
uconn football game with band on field
Photo by Maggie Brand
Life > Academics

My Sophomore Year Recap At UConn

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

I have officially finished another year here at the University of Connecticut. After taking my last final, I wanted to reflect on the highs and the lows the year has brought me. This year has brought me much to be happy and proud of, while also revealing some valuable lessons. While I celebrate completing my sophomore year, there are areas where I want to improve in the next two years here in Storrs. The coursework was nothing less than daunting, but I knew what I was signing up for when I declared my major.

Chemistry Building at UConn
Original photo by Bailey Brake

The good

This year, I set a personal goal to expand my social circle and connect with more people on campus, and I am happy to report that I succeeded. One piece of advice I’d like to stress: if you can, try to befriend at least one person in each of your classes, as having a study partner truly makes a difference. By doing this, I formed friendships that are going to last throughout my college experience, and even after. For instance, in my anatomy lab, I developed a close bond with my lab partner, and I am grateful for the friendship we’ve forged — and I miss her already. Additionally, I was surprised to discover that some of my classmates lived on the same floor as me, which made it convenient for us to study together and provide each other with a support system for navigating the challenging coursework.

Due to my demanding course load, I wanted to find ways to provide myself with breaks that would keep me engaged with campus life. With this in mind, I made it a priority for me to go to the gym and get more comfortable with the rec. Putting aside an hour and a half a day allowed for me to distress and allow for me to have a break and work on both my mental and physical health. Although the gym still makes me anxious, I truly don’t think I would have kept my sanity throughout the year without it. Besides going to the gym, I made it my mission to attend as many sporting events that I could, especially basketball. Going to these games have allowed me to feel more a part of the UConn community and distancing myself from my work — and also acquire new shirts.

Start of UConn - JSU Round One Game
Photo by Michaela Elam

Lessons that had to be learned

Sophomore year is often titled the “weed out” year for a good reason. I was faced with another round of challenging science courses, particularly genetics and anatomy. Before college, I held myself to high academic standards, never settling for anything less than an A-. However, these classes have confronted me with the reality of sometimes falling short of my expectations. Furthermore, being a part of the honors program added another layer of stress, with the ongoing pressure to maintain a minimum GPA constantly weighing on my already challenging workload.

If I am being honest, this realization triggered a few anxiety attacks and prompted me to seek therapy, a decision I am not ashamed to admit. I have always been my toughest critic, especially in terms of academics. Speaking with a professional has been immensely beneficial, helping me nurture patience and recognize that the college work is inherently more complex, and I am not always going to understand the material.

My Overall takeaway from the year

As I bid farewell to the year, I am filled with gratitude for the experiences it brought, both challenging and rewarding. Through trials and growth, I have emerged with a deeper understanding of myself and a renewed determination to better myself and to face the coming semesters with an open mind.

Michaela Elam is a sophomore nursing student at the University of Connecticut. She mainly writes articles based around entertainment industry, but is starting to branch out into more topics college centered. Since a young age, Michaela developed a passion for writing, and knew that she wanted to find an outlet to continue while in college. In the future, she hopes to work in the healthcare field as a Nurse Practitioner. In her free time, Michaela enjoys going to the gym, hanging with friends, and going for long drives. She is also an avid listener of R&B music, and is always down for a game of Uno.