Congratulations, sophomores! You’ve successfully completed your first year of college. You may already know this, but each year of school is different. Freshman year was a new season of life for you as you made new friends and experienced dorm life. That first year of undergrad opened your eyes to higher education, community, and a bit of the real world. But what can you expect from your second year of college?
Here are five ways sophomore year is different than freshman year.
1. You already know the drill.
Freshman year was filled with new beginnings, from the reality of adulthood to college courses and new friendships. But now you’re a sophomore, and you’ve been through the trial period and know all the do’s and don’ts of college. Things are not as new, so you can spend less time figuring out where your classes are or when the Caf is open, and more time just enjoying your college experience.
2. The sophomore slump is real.
Have you ever heard of something called “the sophomore slump”? Often sophomores find themselves experiencing a period where they have difficulty focusing on classes. Studying can be tedious, but it is important to remember that you’re not a freshman anymore, so your professors expect more out of you. You will likely have more classes in your selected major this semester. Try your best to stay out of the slump and continue on!
3. Taking time for yourself is key.
Your freshman year is filled with new beginnings, and it’s easy to get caught up in your busy social and academic life and forget about yourself.
“One thing that stands out to me more than anything going from freshmen year to sophomore year is that it is so important to take time for yourself given the differences in your school schedule,” said junior Sydney Wisman.
Even as you juggle school work, maintain relationships, and have several other things on your plate, remember to step back and take some time for yourself.
4. There are more opportunities to get involved.
I know you think freshman year was full of activities, but trust me, you'll have the chance to take on more this year. Sophomores have the opportunity to take advantage of all the clubs and organizations that they were unable to join the previous year. It’s important to get out there, add to your resume, and expand your social circle.
5. You may have to make some decisions.
A lot of first-year college students are undecided or change their major during the first two semesters, and that's OK. When sophomore year rolls around, students are expected to get a little more serious about career goals.
Coordinator of sophomore year programs Jennifer Neely says, “Sophomores feel overwhelmed with major and career decisions and confused about who they are and how they fit in to the bigger university picture.”
Even so, sophomore year can be used as a time to answer those questions—a time to solidify academic plans and progress toward graduation.Your sophomore year is what you make it. Focus, work hard and make new friends. Discover your calling and dive in to classes, subjects and hobbies that interest you. Enjoy this year!