As a current sophomore just finished with fall semester, I’ve been hearing the phrase “sophomore slump” thrown around a lot lately. At first I thought it was just a term, like “senioritis,” used to describe high school and college students’ general disdain for schoolwork (which, in my opinion, is definitely not limited to sophomores and seniors). But, right around the last few weeks of the semester, with finals and papers looming ominously over my head, I really started to believe in it.
Here’s why: as sophomores, we’re stuck in the middle. Firstly, we’re no longer freshmen. This transition was a harder one for me than I thought – moving from the security and community of the dorms to my sorority house, no longer eating at the dining halls, no longer living within a five-minute walk of all my classes. Freshmen don’t realize it (or maybe some do), but they’re in a bubble, and most of us miss it more than we will admit.
And yet, we’re also not yet juniors – we’re not yet thinking about studying abroad or really thinking about jobs and life outside school. We’re just in the middle. So maybe sophomore slump is more real than I once thought.
But there are many ways to get out of it (or prove it doesn’t exist at all) and here are a few I’ve chosen:
1. Find something completely new and different to get involved in. For me, this would definitely be getting accepted as an Orientation Advisor for the upcoming summer. I’ve already made a bunch of new friends, I feel reinvigorated with Trojan spirit, and I’ve got summer to look forward to because I know it’s going to be the best one yet. This definitely helped me avoid sophomore slump because I have something new and exciting to focus on and be a part of.
2. Try running for a leadership position in an organization you’re already part of. This is definitely scary but can also be extremely rewarding. I joined my sorority in fall of my freshman year, and after being part of it for a year and a half I really felt like I was ready to take on more responsibility in the house. I think my position (starting this coming semester) will definitely make my sophomore year a better and more enriching experience.
3. Make new friends. Like I said earlier, I already made some new friends through my position as Orientation Advisor, but I’ve also made new friends this semester in classes and even in my sorority. Some people might think that as a sophomore they’ve already got a set group of close friends and that won’t really change much throughout college. Maybe for some people this is true, but I know that it’s never too late to make new friends, and it’s a great way to have new and different experiences.
4. Keep an open mind. It’s easy to get comfortable with your college routine, but don’t! Always sign up for new clubs and activities, apply to organizations outside your comfort zone, go to events on campus, and don’t let yourself get too complacent. College is about trying new things and keeping an open mind – take advantage of all USC has to offer!