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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 UFL chapter.

Sophomore year, the “middle child” of college years, was a year full of adjusting to the loss of freshman status and the continuing adjustment to the University of Florida. During this year, students take more rigorous major-specific courses, live busier lives, experience lifestyle transitions, develop even stronger relationships and continue to make the most of their college experience. After a year full of exploration of the unknown during freshman year, it is a relief to feel a balance of familiarity and newness. My sophomore year, like many of my friends, greatly differed from my first year on campus, as I was much more comfortable, involved and invested. I performed well academically, my friendships flourished and was exposed to many opportunities. Here are some of the most memorable moments of my sophomore year:

1. A Look into My Future

After taking countless general education courses throughout my freshman year that were unrelated to my future career goals, I was very eager to begin taking major-specific courses. It was an interesting transition from large broad courses to more specialized classes since I felt like I just received my acceptance letter yesterday, aka 770 days ago. This year, I was able to pursue my passion for writing in my English major courses. I was able to spend more time learning about topics that piqued my interest and was able to notice improvements in my reading comprehension and writing abilities that will serve me well in the future. I was surprised to learn as much history as I did, such as information about the Holocaust and what life was like in early America. Even though my courses became more rigorous and my schedule was fuller, I am grateful that I was able to get a look into my future.

2. Lifestyle Transition

One of the most formative experiences of freshman year is living in a dorm. Sleeping in a twin XL bed six feet in the air, sharing a bathroom with 40 other girls and living with a roommate are all core memories from my first year of college. I was fortunate to keep that dorm journey for just one year and move into an apartment for my sophomore year. Having my own room and bathroom has been such a luxury. There is less sharing, I can have time to relax, and I don’t fear mold ruining my belongings. On top of that, I have lived with three of my best friends so there is never a dull moment in our unit. Despite living in a moderately social dorm, I have never been more social in my life now that I live in my apartment. Friends are over all the time. Our unit is the go-to place when someone must borrow an outfit, get ready for events or debrief a fun time. The apartment also has different amenities, such as a gym, pool and parking, which are all very convenient.

3. Lifelong Friendships

Freshman year, I moved into college without knowing a soul. It was nerve-wracking to have nobody by my side at the beginning. After really putting myself out there and working on making connections, I made great friends. Sophomore year, I was able to not only deepen existing relationships but also create many more meaningful relationships. I have had so much fun throughout the year with all my intentional, considerate and kind friends who have made UF feel like home. I made lifelong memories with 11 other friends in Seaside, Florida during Spring Break. We spent long days at the beach, went on hot girl walks down the sand and to the town center, had long talks on the couch in our pajamas and got dressed up to take photos after eating at nice restaurants. Besides Spring Break, I have gone on hometown visits to St. Petersburg and Orlando and have had friends visit my hometown. When in Gainesville, during every free moment, I am with a friend which has made my year so much more entertaining and fulfilling.

4. Taking Advantage of UF Traditions

It is terrifying to think that I am halfway done with my undergraduate degree at the University of Florida. It actually does feel like I just set foot on campus, but it has been two full years. College is only four years, which is why I prioritized taking advantage of UF traditions this past year. I attended Gator Growl in which Jason Derulo performed, went to Gasparilla in Tampa in pirate gear, went to many sports games and tried to say yes to as many events as I could responsibly attend. My favorite days of the year are always football game days. These six days of the fall semester are filled with overwhelming excitement, well-thought-out orange and blue outfits, lots of cheering and friends. This year, I was able to be a buddy and introduce new members of my sorority to game days in the Swamp. We would all take pictures at one of my friend’s apartments beforehand, walk over to fraternity row and tailgate until the football game began. These days gave older members an opportunity to bond with the new member class and strengthen our own friendships. I can’t wait to continue to take advantage of UF traditions as a junior.

Sophomore year was a year full of learning, growth and continued adjustment. I am thankful for all the opportunities experienced and the friendships made. I am leaving this school year with more self-confidence and college knowledge, which will help me make the most of my junior year.

Hey everyone! I am Neenah Brown, a second-year English major at the University of Florida. I am so excited to be able to pursue my passion for journalism on the Her Campus UFL team! In my free time, I like to work out, play tennis, shop, spend time with friends, go to the beach and eat at Chick-Fil-A. My writing is usually about shopping and clothing trends and college life as a Gator. After graduation, I plan on attending law school.