Lifestyle Staff Writer | Sydney Dawes | email@example.com
Freshman year was a year of strict routine: at 7:00 a.m., my alarm blared to start off the beginning of classes, meetings, coffee with friends, attending workshops, studying for a hefty course load and writing articles for various campus publications. My outfits were picked out the night prior, my backpack was filled with the proper books and binders, and I arrived to class 15 minutes early.
Sophomore year has proven to be very different. I roll out of my bed to brush my teeth and put on shoes. Sweatpants are a staple, and the day seems to be a blur of power points, textbook chapters, class assignments, lonely meals and exhausting nights. Ponytails, messy buns, bed head… oh my.
Like me, many other students are suffering from sophomore slump — the tendency for sophomores to perform less effectively both socially and academically than they did their freshman year. What causes this decline in performance? Several Bobcats had various opinions on the matter.
Sophomore Laura Eller, an environmental and plant biology major, points to conflicting schedules with friends as a reason for sophomore slump. “As a new year, there is another opportunity to make friends, and possibly lose contact with your freshmen buddies,” she said. Eller also noted that many sophomores come into their second year feeling that they had a lot of fun the year before. “Many students might be realizing that they were ‘too focused on schoolwork’ than enjoying the ‘college experience’…and Netflix.”
Other students cite the fact that sophomore year is the halfway point for many — but this also means that it is a crucial decision-making period.
“I think we experience a sophomore slump because we realize we have to go through this academic shit [for] two more years,” said Marissa Gregory, a sophomore studying communications. “Classes are getting harder, and you really have to start figuring out what you want to do after you get your degree.”
Other students feel that a hyper-charged freshman year was simply too draining to the mind and body.
“Freshman year was the ‘get your feet wet’ time for me when I really determined what I want to do. The responsibilities came sophomore year,” said Garrett Greene, a junior studying music education. “I was very motivated and determined to be the best musician, student, leader and friend I could be. An attitude I continue to have today. But I got worn pretty thin with all those responsibilities. I was in a place where I put all those things before myself. It helps that I like all the things I contributed to, but I struggled to step aside and enjoy the ride.”
Greene also noted that his ambition lead to a decline in socializing. “Everything in my eyes always had to be getting better. In making those things better, I missed out on a lot of fun opportunities and said ‘no’ to a lot of friendly invitations, and it got very lonely. To this day, I still take everything I contribute to very seriously. If I didn’t, why be involved? But I didn’t allow myself much fun with anything that whole year. It was a choice,” Greene reflected. “But if I had the chance to change, I don’t think I would. It helped shape the worker I am today, and I have created some great habits, including balance.”
Balance. That’s what seems to be the thing many students, regardless of year, work toward. Let’s be real: sophomore year can be brutal, but it doesn’t have to be the year that breaks us. Finding balance in social activities, course work, student organizations and other aspects of life is easier said than done, but it is absolutely possible. Hang in there, sophomores! We’re halfway there.