How To Beat The College 'Sophomore Slump'

Yes, I can testify that "sophomore slump" is a real thing that exists in college. It may occur at different times for different people, but it seems like it really rears its ugly head during the front end of your fourth semester. Life seems to pour down on you all at once like some painful cascade. You still feel like you should just be a college student, but everyone expects you to be a fully grown adult. You are still getting acclimated to your major and your program, but you're supposed to know what you want your job to be. I had a clearer "career path" in third grade than I do now. Not to mention that your classes are starting to get difficult and if you didn't go somewhere tropical for college, the weather probably sucks.

Lucky for me, my hip is also fractured during this time, so it's pretty hard to make my way around campus to get my life figured out (since it isn't already).

But as I sit with my crutches propped up against the wall in a study lounge I struggled to get to in order to write this article, I have some words of advice so you too can survive your "sophomore slump" (if it hasn't passed already).

First of all, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, think of your concept of "fun" for you and try to do as many "fun" things as you possibly can.

For me, I am in two exercise-related clubs but I can't exercise at the moment, so I have to rethink what is fun for me. I realized that "fun" doesn't necessarily equate to exercise, but it equates to surrounding myself with good people. If I can attend those clubs just to surround myself with positive energy, I will do that. If there are community service opportunities related to these clubs or the university in general, I will do those (as long as they're not physically demanding). If there are people I know from anywhere--classes, extracurriculars, the dining hall--I will spend time with them. When I have opportunities to have "fun" (within reason, of course), I'm more motivated to accomplish tasks that are necessary but maybe less enjoyable.

Also, you need to become best friends with your calendar or planner.

*Groan*. You've probably been told this advice so many times, and I'm preaching this as somebody who needs to write more in my planner. The sophomore slump will hit you hard but important dates, deadlines, and events will hit you harder. Make note of career fairs, assignment deadlines, application deadlines, meetings, office hours, times to see your adviser, times to get assignments done, whatever you feel is necessary. Our brains only have so much storage but mapping things out will keep us organized, less forgetful, and ultimately less stressed.

Maximize your days by taking life a day at a time.

It's hard to live as such because I'm someone that likes to look very far into the future. But I have to think to myself, "What am I going to accomplish TODAY? What CAN I accomplish today?" Some days are better suited to accomplish certain tasks. For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays are busier class days for me so it's better to visit professors in office hours on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. I can't run a marathon today because my bones are broken, but I can focus on improving my condition each day and trying to make it to each class without tripping and falling on crutches. Find smaller victories in each day and maybe you won't see this time in your life as one endless slump.

"Sophomore slump" is a thing, but we have to choose to conquer it. Or, even better, we can refuse to call it a slump. Life seems rougher right now but I haven't even said the words "sophomore slump" to describe this time in my life before writing this article. "Slump" has implications that this is a prolonged time of suffering and, as we all should, we should decide to conquer whatever struggles face us.

And we should convert these struggles into something else--opportunities, learning experiences, times of personal growth and strength.

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