I was eating dinner with some senior friends when they began reminiscing about their time at K. In the middle of fond memories and crazy happenstances that had occurred during their years at K one of them said, “Sophomore year just felt claustrophobic to me…” At first I had no idea what they were talking about, but the phrase stuck with me and I began to understand what she was saying.
The sophomore slump is real. When you are a freshman everything is new, everyone is new. When you are a sophomore you know most people in your year and friend groups have consolidated a good amount. People have a tendency to get intensely focused on their studies, the food in the caf tastes worse, they can stop looking to meet new people, and the pressure of study abroad and applying for jobs and internships gets to them. That is the nature of a rigorous, small college.
As fall term went on I began to feel the effects of such a slump more strongly. I felt stuck in my studies, with my friends, in this place. I didn’t hate them or even want to get away, but the fact that I couldn’t get away gave the illusion of being trapped, in a way.
As easy as it is to get stuck in this sentiment, it is just as easy to turn things around. All I had to do is remember why I am here. I am here because I love my studies. Even if I have to stay up until they kick me out of the library, I love what I do and it is worth it. The same is true for everyone else here too. I am here for the community. My friends are amazing people who put up with me even when I don’t want to hang out with them. And there are so many other activities to get involved with to meet new people. I joined cross-country for this reason. Many of my friends joined other student organizations on campus because they were feeling just as claustrophobic as I was. And there are tons of bright-eyed first years around to remind you just how amazing every squirrel is. As for the pressure of applying for study abroad and internships, yes it is going to be stressful. However, again, I am doing it because I am excited that I have these opportunities in the first place.
It is true. A lot of people experience the sophomore slump, but only because things aren’t new anymore. When you stop and think about why you are here you stop feeling trapped. You realize it is your choice to be here and that all of the frustrated moments are worth it. Especially when you have such a great community to support you when you are down.