The Sophomore Slump: A Survival Guide

Sophomores all over the country are beginning to settle back into their routines at their respective colleges and universities as second-year students. Graduating to sophomore-level status is usually accompanied by certain perks for most student. You are just starting to become very familiar with university life and campus, moving out of the dorms and are no longer a wide-eyed, fresh-faced freshmen. 

While university life is arguably easier for sophomores compared to freshmen, second-year students are set up for success. 

Or are they?


During sophomore year, students are forced to face the question of what they want to major in. They usually take harder and more challenging classes and sometimes become dissatisfied with their daily life.

This phenomenon is referred to as “The Sophomore Slump.”  

According to the University of Central Arkansas and College Magazine, the sophomore slump can be defined "as a period of developmental confusion, where students may face difficulties in academic, social, and personal development.”

So what does this mean? 

Many college sophomores find themselves in dramatically different routines. Impending pressure is put on them to pick a major if they want to graduate on time and they are very aware of this clock ticking away. 

On the other hand, many students enter their major during their second year, and the workload and difficulty of their classes starts to increase. Gone are the days of introductory general education requirements, and students find themselves delving into laboratory work, hundreds of pages of readings, lengthy papers and everything in between. College life starts to center around classes and consequently, the “slump” happens for many students. This ‘slump’ is characterized by depression, lack of motivation and even transfers or drop-outs in some cases. 

If you are entering your sophomore year, don’t fret! There are a few ways to beat the “sophomore slump:” 



  1. 1. Evaluate Your Major

    Students often end up in a major or program at random. Maybe you put it down on your initial application to the university, or maybe you talked about it with your advisor and decided to try out the major, but are unhappy with what you are studying. Try taking some classes in different majors and expand your horizons. See what you like, see what you don’t like and go from there. 

    You can also talk to your academic advisor and see what they recommend!

  2. 2. Join More Clubs

    You’ll hear this throughout your college career, but it never hurts to get involved and meet more people. Join clubs that are related to your major, or maybe that you are just interested in. You will have a consistent way to get out of your house and spend time around like-minded people that are passionate about the same things as you!

    Check out any student organization fairs that your school may host, and you might find a club that you really click with.

  3. 3. Stay Healthy

    Many sophomores who live off of campus find themselves without a meal plan and cooking for themselves for the first time in their lives. While it can be really easy to order pizza or takeout for every meal, you will notice a considerable difference in your life and body if you learn a few basic meals to cook every week. Check out Pinterest and Google some easy recipes. You’ll find that cooking is not as daunting as it seems to a beginner.

    Staying healthy also includes exercising. Find fun ways to get your body moving that you enjoy! You will sleep better and feel more motivated and energetic. Health is something that often gets overlooked for students, but you’ll find that it is easy once you get acclimated to a routine. 

    In short, second-year students can really suffer in their academic, social and personal lives due to the “sophomore slump,” but you can avoid this by following these few tips and tricks and adding them into your daily life. Your future self will thank you!

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