Sophomore Year: How to Get Through
Maureen Lynch, Opinion Editor
Here’s the thing. I’m a sophomore this year, and yet, I don’t know anything about what college is supposed to be. Whether you were remote or on campus during your freshman year, no one in the class of 2024 has adjusted to college life because we have yet to experience a normal year at Assumption. For any college sophomore coming to campus for this upcoming school year, I have created a list that will help you integrate into campus life and how to cope with the changes.
- Know your limits.
This piece of advice is overarching, and therefore, I think the most important. KNOW YOUR LIMITS! It’s important to keep in mind that you only have so many hours in the day and so much space in your brain. According testive.com, when sophomores try to dive into campus life after not being involved on campus as a freshman, they tend to take on too much and burn out. Prioritize what you need to do and then figure out how much time you want to devote to each thing.
An extra piece of advice to tack on here is to be patient with yourself. Don’t worry if you need time to adjust or feel like you are having a hard time balancing everything. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you can’t quite find time to relax or get to the gym. It’s okay.
2. Ask for information you don’t know
Now, this may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but I think it’s worth saying because sometimes people forget about it. If you don’t know something, ask. According to tandfonline.com, asking questions not only helps you gain information, but you are also articulating your current level of understanding. Letting people know what you don’t know helps them help you. People will help you, or at least point you in the right direction. For sophomores who weren’t on campus last year, connect with other sophomores who were on campus in last semester.
And for those of us who were on campus last semester, we still don’t know everything about campus and the rules. For example, I have no idea when the gym is going to be open because the times could change since the campus has relaxed its restrictions. So, ask those questions, or email people to ask questions. Make use of the older students on campus and the faculty and staff because they understand how the campus normally operates.
3. Get involved on campus
In freshman year, everyone tells you to get involved on campus. US News and collegeexpress.com both suggest that becoming a member of a club or organization can help students adjust to their campus and make them feel like a part of the community.
At Assumption, we have a wide variety of great programs to get involved in. Now, if you are already involved in activities and extracurriculars on campus, that’s great. However, many clubs and activities weren’t running last semester. So, if you are just starting out with school activities or are already a seasoned veteran, it is still worth trying new stuff on campus.
However, according to an article published by Azusa Pacific University, it is important for college sophomores to begin to focus their extracurriculars. Dr. Schreiner, chair, and professor of the Department of Higher Education at APU recommends that college sophomores commit to activities that are related to their major field or interests and dive in.
I would argue that both points are relevant to us sophomores. If you are new to campus, it makes sense to join multiple clubs and activities to find out which fit you best. Once you realize what you like and what you don’t, I recommend you follow Dr. Schreiner’s advice and commit to the clubs you enjoy.
Now, if you truly love a club and its not part of your major, or you have found a new hobby you want to explore, then I suggest that you stick with it. But I would say that you only have a finite amount of time and energy to devote to clubs while trying to balance everything else. So maybe take a back seat role. Become a member, but don’t take on leadership.
In addition to all these suggestions, there was an event on campus specifcally geared towards sophomores that incorporates all these pieces of advice. The weekend we moved into the dorms, Assumption hosted Sophomore Rewind to reconnect students with their peers and the campus.
According to Shannon Curtis, Senior Director for Career Development and Strategic Initiatives at the CDIC, the CDIC had been hearing from students that they wanted a social event to connect with their fellow classmates. Sophomore Rewind began with food trucks and outdoor games, which were designed to help sophomores connect with their peers and start to learn more about the campus. They held tours for those of you who were not on campus and faculty and staff, along with upper classman, helped with the event. On Sunday, there was a resource and service fair that gave us the chance to talk to people on campus about what resources are available to us.
This was a great first step to try and get us acclimated to campus, and it gave us the opportunity to finally meet one another. I, for one, think this was a perfect way to start off the semester and get used to a new, more normal, college experience. Curtis said it best when asked about what advice she would give sophomores.
“Take advantage of the opportunity of the weekend [meaning Sophomore Rewind]. Put self out there,” said Curtis.
So, go put yourselves out there sophomores!