Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Sophomore: a word meaning “wise fool,” and a term denoting a time in which, time and time again, I was proved to be one. I find this definition extremely fitting — I’ve simultaneously felt my smartest and my most idiotic this past year. 

When I moved into an apartment with seven other girls on the infamous Del Playa Drive, I truly had no idea what I was in for. My second year at UCSB proved to be one of ups and downs, twists and turns, beginnings and ends. Through it all, I watched myself make some incredibly wise and some incredibly foolish choices — and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. 

To sum it up: in the span of three quarters (thanks UC system), I fell for the wrong people; I had to say goodbye for the first time; then, shortly after, I had to again; and I realized it’s all only just begun. I learned, I pushed my limits, and I came out the other side able to see just how wise of a fool I’ve been. 

In falling for the wrong people (what’s new!) I’ve learned that you can be on the receiving end of the same lesson, repeatedly, and it still stings. But, each time, you can look at it differently and find something to gain.

In Fall, with a boy (who I now know is the same as the rest), I learned that it’s all fun and games — until it’s not. You have to choose yourself, no matter how difficult it may seem or how blinded by infatuation you may be. Then, just when I thought Winter Quarter would be lonely and desolate, I was shown how I should be treated — until I wasn’t anymore, and my Fall lesson kicked in. Spring Quarter did not deliver success, either; I learned the hard way that there are certain people who are really just not worth the time. 

Though it may have been my foolish decisions that got me into these temporary flings, I was wise enough to learn something valuable from all of them — that isn’t to say, though, that I won’t be foolish enough to do it all again (and probably again!).

Although I saw my failed budding romances through rose colored lenses, this sophomore slump was one to be reckoned with. During a never-ending slew of rainy Winter Quarter days, I was met with a catastrophe no storm could match. On an average Monday, my sister called me. Fifteen minutes later, my beloved grandfather was gone. 

In true sophomoric fashion, I went to class after hearing the news, not knowing how to do anything else. Stunned, devastated, and lost only begin to describe how I felt. 

About a month later, during a spell of cloudy, gray days uncharacteristic of Spring Quarter, another phone call alerted me to yet another disaster. This time, it was my mom calling to tell me that my childhood dog, Roxy, had passed.  

For the first time in my life, sophomore year had introduced me to grief. I never wanted to allow it in and I tried my best to shut it out. 

I told myself that these deaths were sad but normal; grandparents and childhood pets pass away. But, like a fool, I never thought that mine would, too.

As the first two losses in my life, Bapop and Roxy showed me how precious life is and to cherish my time with those who I love. Losing two of the most constant presences in my life is still something I’m trying to wrap my head around — I’m hoping some wisdom will kick in soon to help with that. 

Just when I started to catch myself complaining about the year, which was full of heartbreaks, goodbyes, and cloudy days, I realized it gave me so much to appreciate. 

With these losses and newfound emotional capacity, I’ve tried to appreciate the moments of sophomore year that I’ve taken for granted. After all, I’d be a fool not to…

I turned 20! Taylor Swift released a new album! I got a job! I was on the Exec board of 3 clubs! I added a new minor! I traveled to SLO, Tahoe, Dallas, Denver, and Cabo — all for the first time! I somehow even found myself in an honors sex class (shoutout SOC152B)! 

I watched my sister graduate college, and suddenly, reality hit: I won’t get to be a wise fool forever. 

And, after all that, I’m not sure that I want to change. I like it here — feeling comfortable in my environment, on the cusp of being an upperclassman, but without the impending fear of the future. 

In my remaining college years, all that I can hope for is to keep learning about love, to keep expanding my capabilities, and most of all, to keep appreciating every moment, every mistake, and every memory — no matter foolish or wise.  

Even now as I write this, I realize I haven’t outgrown the “fool” part — I have finals to study for, yet I’m pouring my heart out into these words that may never be read. 

Nevertheless, I’d be a fool to think I won’t be doing any more growing in the near future. 

But hey, maybe realizing that means I’m just a little wiser than when I started. 

Eva is Her Campus at UCSB’s Editor in Chief, as well as a third year Communication major at UC Santa Barbara, where she writes about anything and everything she feels is exciting, fascinating, or entertaining. When she isn't writing for Her Campus, she is usually overthinking, working on one of her projects, or listening to Taylor Swift.