Sophomore year. It’s the time when the newness and excitement of being a freshman has started to wear off, and graduation still seems like a million years away. It can also be the season of the infamous “sophomore slump,” a period of confusion during which you’re expected to answer the question everyone keeps asking: “What are you going to do with your life?”
Here are six ways to soldier through the slump:
- Make a manageable plan. There is a lot of pressure in sophomore year to suddenly know all the answers to many of life’s biggest questions. It can be overwhelming if you only look at the big picture. Try starting small. Give yourself bite-size benchmarks that can help you reach your larger goals. Make a goal to visit a few classes in a major that might interest you. Create a deadline for researching study-abroad programs or internships to which you might want to apply. You don’t have to figure it all out, but at least you will have the resources you need when it comes time to make the big decisions.
- Be intentional about relationships. Freshman year can be a whirlwind of meeting new people and creating new friendships. However, by sophomore year it might start to feel like some of those relationships are falling away. While it isn’t easy to watch relationships fizzle out, it’s totally normal to lose touch with some friends as you pursue separate paths. However, there might be some relationships you really want to keep. Make sure to be intentional about pursuing those relationships so that they can grow, even when things get busy.
- Get involved. Remember all those clubs you signed up for freshman year and never actually attended a meeting? Well, it might be time to pick one and get involved. Participating in campus activities can help give you a renewed sense of purpose and excitement about being back at school.
- Challenge yourself. Is there a class you’ve been too afraid to try? Do you tend to take the “easy” professors so you know you can get a guaranteed A? Now that you know the ropes a little more than you did as a freshman, it’s time to up the ante. Do something outside of your comfort zone; you’ll be surprised at what you can handle.
- Know when to ask for help. No one expects you to be perfect and power through a slump yourself. Most college campuses have counseling available at a reduced rate for students, or you can seek out trusted friends or family. Talking to someone about your feelings can help you learn more about yourself, and an outside perspective can help you see the situation more clearly.
- Give yourself grace. You will make mistakes—that’s part of the college experience. Don’t allow yourself to dwell on your failure or compare yourself to other people. God is bigger than your faults, and your missteps will never be large enough to destroy His love for you.