The Sophomore Slump. Before today, I did not even know that this was a thing, but it definitely explains how I’ve been feeling lately!
I was informed today, as I was frantically searching for a persuasive speech topic, that there has been some buzz about this among college campus researchers. So what is this talk about “The Sophomore Slump?”
My first year at JMU was blissful, to say the very least! I was welcomed with open arms and went through a full week of Freshman Orientation, like many other college campuses do as well. There were activities everywhere, so many organizations to join that it was literally overbearing, and so many new people to meet. It seems that many college campuses set out to do (and do it very well, might I add) everything possible to help freshmen students become acclimated to the new environment with these orientation weeks. This is definitely a huge help and I’m sure also greatly appreciated by parents sending their children off for the very first time. For much of my freshman year, this trend continued. There are so many programs dedicated to freshmen to help them be successful in this first year of college.
Then what? Sophomore year hits me and I’m suddenly feeling OVERWHELMED. It’s time to declare a major (and actually stick to it), begin networking for future job opportunities and internships, find friends that aren’t just there to party with you, and get involved in meaningful activities. This all sounds pretty cut and dry, but I will definitely be the first to say that it is not. Recently I’ve been reconsidering a lot of things about my college experience. I’m so unsure of everything that I was once positive about. Things seem so much harder than they did freshman year.
Last year, I was involved in about five or six organizations. They were pratically thrown at me, so why not. This year, I am involved in one organization. Now you might be saying, “Well, that isn’t horrible. At least you’re involved in that.” However, for me, an individual who likes to be involved in many different activities at once, this is a LIFE CRISIS. I feel so disconnected with my university and that concerns me daily. I can seem to get out of this “slump.”
So what does the research say? *Drum Rolls*
I’M NORMAL! Many of second year students go through this time period of trying to figure it all out. I also came across some proposals for SYE- or Sophomore Year Experience. These SYE programs are dedicated to helping second year students with many of the dilemmas that we are faced with. They are very similar to programming dedicated to freshmen acclimation and programming for juniors/seniors with “life after college” help. I believe that it would be very beneficial for college campuses to consider this and fortify the broken relationship that we once had with our college community.
The New York Times: Sophomore Slump
It seems that sophomore students seem to escape the “targeted public” realm when looking at the programs and efforts dedicated to freshman and upper-class students. Granted, there are just as many resources offered to us, they are just not as chiseled to our needs in the way that the other classes needs are.
Even though we can be confused, unmotivated, disconnected, civically disengaged (I’ll stop there) individuals, we are still a very much important and worthwhile public on college campuses.