5 Ways Sophomore Year Is Different Than Freshmen Year

5 Ways Sophomore Year Is Different Than Freshmen Year

Other than the obvious difference in credit hours.
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Your freshmen year of college truly is unlike any other. It is filled with many firsts and immense amounts of fun. Now that I’ve survived it I’ve come to realize just how beautiful that start of these college years truly was and that it really was a time to remember. As time is ticking down to the start of my second year of college, I have noticed that while everyone is always providing tons of advice for that first year shock of college, not much gets said about year two. While sophomore year lacks the wonder and mystery that typically comes with freshmen year, it has several other distinct differences as well. Here’s just a few of the differences this short-time sophomore has noticed.

1. You Enjoy Your Friends More

Freshmen year is full of awkwardness when it comes to friendships. You spend the first couple of months meeting enormous amounts of people and then trying to decide who you’re the most compatible with. Then you spend the next months gauging the amount of 'you' they’re willing to put up with and you travel through the first awkward stages of getting to truly know someone. By sophomore year you have your friend group down to a science. You know who to call when you want to hit up that party, who you can and can’t study with, who is fun for a movie night and who you can rely on to come running when you’re in a crisis. This time around you get to actually enjoy your friends. You don’t feel self conscious around them and you don’t question their loyalty to you. It is full on friendship bliss.

2. You Don’t Have The Freshmen Excuse

We’d be dishonest for not acknowledging the major slack everyone cuts us when we are new to the college world. People are always so willing to give directions when we’re lost, teacher’s give us sympathy when we can’t figure out the online homework, and we get out of a lot of things simply because we’re young. That’s not the case anymore. This year we’ve got to handle life all on our own and in the eyes of the world, we should be pros from that whole year of practice. It’s definitely intimidating.

3. Responsibility Is At An All Time High

Last year you gained a lot of responsibility. You had to learn to do things that, for the most part, were typically covered by your parents, like washing clothes, and how to keep up with school work without a teacher hounding you. But, now the responsibility comes in much more serious forms. For most of us, this is the first time we’re living in an actual place (dorms are not near as much upkeep as an apartment or house) and have to now take over the responsibility of rent among other things that come along with home “ownership." This year is more like a real dose of adulthood reality.

4. You’re Over The Homesickness

We all handle adjusting to college differently. Some of us breeze right in and don’t skip a beat, much less battles serious separation anxiety, but others have to take adjusting at a slower pace. Regardless, at some point you did ache a small bit for home. Whether it hit you on the first day of class or on the way home from Christmas break, your college town felt somewhat foreign. Not anymore. Now you are just as at home here as you are anywhere else. This college town is your comfort zone and you wouldn’t chose to be anywhere else.

5. Motivation Is At An All Time Low

You’ve made your first impressions. You survived the adjustment to harder classes. What now? In freshmen year, you have your parents’ expectations, your individual goals, and the desire to start off with a good GPA to motivate you academically. Senior year, you have the fact that the real world starts soon to help you keep your crap together, but not this year. Sophomore year, and maybe junior year alike, is just like a floater year. You don’t want to buy your books before school starts, you don’t want to get to class on time, and you most definitely don’t want to study. The sophomore slump is real and I’ve noticed all I really want to do is sleep.

Cover Image Credit: mscnd.net

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Odyssey, From A Creator's Point Of View

Writing for Odyssey is transitioning from the outside looking in, to the inside looking a million ways at once.

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It's 11:59 p.m. and I have two articles due tomorrow afternoon: two articles that are basically figments of my imagination at this point. When I was asked to write for Odyssey, I was ecstatic. I was a devout reader in high school and found every post so #relatable. During my short time as a "creator" for Odyssey, I've experienced what it's like to be on the other side of the articles.

Every post is not #relatable. This is a platform for anyone and everyone. I chose the articles I wanted to click on and read them, deemed them relatable, and clicked share. I, along with Odyssey's 700,000 something followers, did not go through and read every single article.

Being a creator has shown me that everyone has a voice, and by God, they're going to use it (rightfully so).

It can be disheartening at times to get what we think is a low number of page views when there are articles we don't necessarily agree with getting hundreds of Facebook shares. I don't crank out journalistic gold by any means, but being a writer isn't a walk in the park. It's stressful at times and even disappointing. Odyssey creators aren't paid, and even though it's liberating to be able to write about whatever our hearts desire, I'll be the first to admit that my life is just not that interesting.

When I first started writing for Odyssey, I vowed to never post anything basic like some things I have read in the past. If I'm going to dedicate the time it takes to write for a national platform, I'm going to publish things worth reading.

That vow is basically out the window now.

Simply stated, it's easy to write about things that are easy to write about. It's kind of like calling a Hail Mary play when it's the night before an article is due and there's been a topic in the back of your mind for days that you don't think is that great, but you think people might read. You just throw it out there and hope for the best. Being a creator gives you inside access to knowing what people are reading, what's popular, and what's working for other creators. Odyssey's demographic is not as diverse as it could or should be, so it's not hard to pick out something that the high school girl you once were will find relatable. Recently went through a breakup? Write about it. Watched a new show on Netflix? Write about it. When there's nothing holding you back, you have the freedom to literally put whatever you want online.

It's not easy coming out of your freshman year of college, one of the hardest years for any person, and being expected to whip up articles that everyone will love. Not everyone is going to love what I write. Heck, not everyone is going to like what I write. The First Amendment is a blessing and a curse. Not everyone is going to agree with you, and that's okay.

The beauty of Odyssey is that it highlights the fact that everyone DOES have a voice, and whether that voice coincides with your religious, political, or personal views isn't up to you.

You have the power to pick and choose what you want to read, relate to, and share. Remember that you have no way of knowing what every single person on the planet is going through and what they choose to write about reflects their own personal opinions, experiences, accomplishments, and hardships. Odyssey creators can spend weeks crafting articles they hope will break the Internet, but in return only get a few views. They can also pull all-nighters grasping at straws just trying to reach the minimum word requirement and end up writing the best thing since sliced bread.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that even though there are posts out there that are so easy for us to relate to, that's not always the goal for writers. We write what we feel, and if there's nothing to write about, we write what we think other people feel. The kicker is that we don't truly know what other people are feeling. You might hurt someone's feelings with your words. You might make someone cry with your story because they felt like they were alone and finally, finally, someone else feels the same way. You might trigger someone and get hateful comments. You might even change someone's life with your words.

The moral of the story is that words are pretty powerful, whether we choose to believe it or not.

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