Procrastination has reached its peak. It’s called sophomore year.
The “sophomore slump” is the clash of the newness and excitement from freshman year with the rigor and exhaustion of junior year. Consequently, many students have found themselves abandoned 20 miles off the road to success with a tank full of slacker oil and procrastination fumes.
But don’t fret: You don’t have to be another disheartening statistic. Upperclassmen are offering up their own personal advice to those among you in need of some tips on how to overcome those melancholy Mondays and stressful schedules during your sophomore year.
Manage your time wisely.
Still in the beginning phase of college, Alex Whisnant, 20, says he had difficulty trying to balance schoolwork and his personal life, when all he ever really wanted to do was “go take a nap.” The psychology junior at The George Washington University says he pulled many all-nighters last semester and ended up falling asleep in the library more than once.
As a result, Whisnant recommends mapping out your free time, and planning on doing homework during your down times. Leave extra time for harder classes. You need that degree; otherwise you’re in trouble. But throw in some relaxation time too.
“Don’t burn yourself out.” When Whisnant felt stressed he found something to take his mind off of his studies: skydiving. “For the first and only time,” he adds.
“I had a pretty crappy sophomore year,” says Brooks Hall. As a second-year, Hall says, “you get past the excitement of freshman year.” Hall, an art history senior at Wake Forest University, attributes the lackluster feeling to living off campus, and it's common for upperclassman to moveoff campus.
“When I lived off campus, my whole life changed.” Hall, 22, says that he and his friends ended up staying home more during his sophomore year instead of branching out and meeting new people, which he regrets. With so many opportunities, Hall says he wishes he had done more. He suggests getting involved with new extracurricular activities and making it a part of who you are and what you do.
“I definitely lived the sophomore slump,” says Angelica Melo, a biological anthropology junior at The George Washington University. “You lose motivation at some point.” The 19-year-old said that, as a sophomore, she felt that she could slack off a little bit because she already knew what to expect. Ultimately her grades suffered.
After seeing her GPA at the end of the fall semester, Melo knew she had to change her ways. She says it’s important to get back into a routine and actually figure out what you want to do with your life.
“Students forget why we’re in college in the first place,” she says. But her sophomore slump served as a good wake-up call to make changes and ensure it never happens again.
Take advantage of your support group.
“I sophomore slumped pretty badly,” says Samantha Rose, a junior at Brown University. She says the slump is “the time when college is a little bit less fun,” and “things get a bit more real.” Rose, a 20-year-old comparative literature major, says the worst experience of her second year was a mentally overwhelming temper tantrum with her roommate during finals week. She just wanted to give up and start her summer vacation.
But Rose explains that you shouldn’t cave so easily. Students have a sense of belonging during sophomore year because “you know the ropes.” Take the chance to connect with other peers and have a strong support system to pick you up when you’re down.
And remember, “You’re not in it alone.”