Dear Rising Sophomore,

Congratulations! You've completed your first year of college. If it seems like this year flew by too quickly, take the opportunity to appreciate where you are at now. Sophomore year goes by even quicker, and then you encounter the "mid-college crisis" where you realize you are halfway done with college. But before you think about that, you should know that sophomore year is a change, which is a good thing. Here are some key pieces of advice that I have learned this year that I want to pass down to the next sophomore class:

Friendships Are No Longer Out of Convenience

Juliana Cosenza

Freshman year is a big adjustment, especially when you settle into a new campus miles away from home with people you do not know. Sometimes, the friendships you form freshman year are made out of convenience. You can easily latch onto the girls on your floor, a random roommate, a person from your high school simply because you are afraid to branch out. That is okay. Adjusting to change does not happen overnight, and that is why the friendships you have freshman year are important to reflect on. Maybe you did branch out a lot freshman year, but by the end, you have found your main group. Or maybe you shifted friend groups by the end of freshman year.

The important thing to realize about sophomore year is that any friendship you make is not going to be formed because of someone else's convenience. By sophomore year, people have already situated themselves on campus, so friendships will not form out of awkward, first interactions like they did in freshman year. You will not be afraid to cut toxic people from your life because you are afraid that you have no one else.

Sophomore year is the opportunity to grow, and the people who grow beside you are the ones that will never leave.

Upperclassmen Teach Valuable Lessons

Juliana Cosenza

The benefit to being a sophomore is that you're neither a freshman nor an upperclassman. Sophomore year presents a lot of opportunities to befriend upperclassmen. Upperclassmen are reliable resources for asking questions about nearly anything; they experienced it too, so they are proof that you can get through anything this year presents with you. Plus, upperclassmen are helpful for giving you wise advice about your underclassmen years. They constantly put college in perspective for me, reminding me that these are some of the greatest days of my life and that I should not try to rush them. Enjoying where you are now is a key part of enjoying sophomore year, and I am grateful that my upperclassmen friends have been such great examples for me to look up to this year.

It's Okay To Make Some Mistakes Along the Way

Like any year, mistakes will be made, and that is okay. Bad days are bound to happen. During these times, the most important thing to focus on is maintaining a good attitude. Try and turn your situations around into positive and reflective moments that teach you something in the end. One bad decision will not throw you off course, one bad grade will not affect you in the long run.

Make Yourself A Priority 

Make sure to keep tabs on your mental health throughout the year. Sometimes, classes and other things during sophomore year can cause stress and anxiety, and it is easy to lose yourself. It is important to remind yourself what resources are available to you on your campus so that if you need to talk to someone, you are able to make yourself a priority.

Appreciate All The Sunsets

There is nothing more wholesome than watching a beautiful sunset.

And never forget, enjoy your sophomore year. Have fun, share some memories that you will never forget.