Though this term isn’t as liberally used as the infamous “Freshman 15,” I’ve definitely heard it tossed around as if it were common knowledge. Defined as the failure of sophomore year to live up to freshman year, is the “Sophomore Slump” a real phenomenon?
Probably not. Just as the Freshman 15 myth has been debunked (according to some studies, most students that do gain weight only put on 2-5 pounds), so should the Sophomore Slump. According to most of the upperclassmen I’ve spoken to, sophomore year is, in a way, the best of the four. It’ll of course vary from person to person, but people say that sophomore year is great because:
- You’re not new on campus anymore, which means you can easily navigate, or at least get lost less frequently. Personally, I noticed this during the first week; I walked with much more confidence because my surroundings were familiar, not brand new.
- You’re in a career sweet spot. Adults take you seriously, but not too seriously yet. What I mean is that if you go to career services sessions or the career fair, you’re not seen as overly precocious. At the same time, employers and faculty around campus still tell you that you’re in the early part of your undergraduate career and that you have “plenty of time” to figure out your plan. True or not, it’s comforting to hear.
- You know people. At the end of freshman year, I knew I had met tons of new people. I didn’t think the number was especially high, but now I’m constantly seeing people I know around campus. It definitely makes me feel more integrated into the community when I can walk to class and even just say, “Hey,” to a few people passing by.
Like any other year here, sophomore year is what you make it. Yes, it’s possible for a freshman to gain 15+ pounds, or for a sophomore to yearn for the excitement and novelty of their freshman year. However, I think these cases are exceptions rather than the norm. The Sophomore Slump is a vast generalization of sophomores’ experience, and I’m of the opinion that vast generalizations should almost always be avoided.
I’m still writing (when possible) and editing (all the time) for The Sun, still dancing ballroom, and still trying to be involved in my sorority. In addition to these things, I’ve added a few more: I’m writing for the yearbook, co-hosting a literary talk show on cornellradio.com, and attempting to write for kitsch again along with The Cornell Book Review. Additionally, I also got a job at a library on campus. I’m really excited about all of the new opportunities I’ve taken so far this year! The past few weeks have definitely proved to me that college is rife with chances to pursue your passion(s) and meet tons of people trying to do the same.
If I got here with any fear that I might suffer from a sophomore slump, it’s definitely not there anymore. I feel more a part of the Cornell community than ever before, and it makes me happy that I’m continuing to find new and exciting things to do with my time here on the hill.