The Sophomore Slump: More Than a Myth

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By Kerri Pinchuk>Junior>Journalism>University of Maryland
Freshman year ended. You spent an entire summer back home under the dictatorial, no-beer-pong-at-the-dinner-table rules of your parents and kept a blog entitled, “101 Reasons Why I Love College.” September is here, and sophomore year is going to be awesome.



But before you can even finish downloading Asher Roth’s new album, you sense something has changed. Professors are assigning homework, your favorite bars are too predictable and you’re caught in limbo somewhere between freshman year and being an upperclassman. You’re sad, depressed and, worst of all, bored.
The sophomore slump is a phenomenon a majority of college students know all too well. According to the University of Central Arkansas’ website, the sophomore slump can be defined as a “period of developmental confusion,” where students may face difficulties in academic, social, and personal development. A student’s second year is usually the time to pick a major, when classes become more difficult and professors expect more. In addition, after the novelties of college social life have worn off, nothing seems quite as special.
University of Nevada senior Kendyll Mahoney recalls the days when she fell hard into a sophomore slump. “I guess I was just so bored with everything, even with my friends,” she said. “I wanted life to be as exciting as it was when we were freshmen; we were kind of naïve back then and everything was new.”
In general, sophomores receive fewer warnings about the do’s and don’ts of college than freshmen do. When sophomores return to college expecting round two, the disappointment can be overwhelming.
Mahoney, who wasn’t involved on campus freshman year, said that suddenly nothing social really appealed to her. “It was the same people, places and drama every night.” Finally, Mahoney decided to combat her slump head on. Instead of sitting in her dorm room waiting for things to get better, Mahoney got a job bartending off campus. Not only was she able to make new friends (other than Washingtons and Benjamins), but each of her shifts were completely unpredictable – exactly what she needed.
In addition to her new job, Mahoney started researching study abroad programs for her junior year. So what if upperclassmen were no longer waiting in line to buy her drinks? Taking her mind off of the present and looking forward to the future, Mahoney said, really made a difference in her attitude.
The best way to turn your sophomore slump into a sophomore pump? The University of Arkansas suggests that you recognize everything you have already accomplished – like surviving freshman year – then, try something new. It’s not too late to load up on extra-curricular activities. University Craft Society not your thing? Get a job, volunteer, play a sport or start a club of your own “The worst thing you can do,” Mahoney agrees, “is let the slump take over.”

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College Magazine Staff

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