Cue fall foliage, cute cafe dates, bonfire parties, rush season, and what do you get? Back-to-school season and with that, you also get the four variations of your everyday academic student. The freshman, the sophomore, the junior, and the senior: the naive small fry, the lagging almost-adult, the stressed planner/procrastinator, and the traumatized but also somewhat-ecstatic young adult.
We always hear about the former, the noob of the this new level of life, and also about the last two and how they are either all ready-to-go, or clinging with every fiber of their being to the last sand grains of time to finish up on loose academic and personal ends. What we hardly hear about, but definitely see about on campus - are the sophomores. The second year students who have one foot in the real world and one foot out of it. The juniors teeter on the edge of complete adulthood, but the sophomores? They are still divided, and not necessarily in a good way. They lag in the second year, having already adjusted to campus life, but like others, still persevering onward towards that glorious diploma.
However, they aren't researching about prospective career options, they aren't actively pursuing internships, and they sure as heck are definitely not paving out the road for their future. Five-year plan, you say? What's that? What are plans?
We only have ideas.
We, sophomores, hover over the delicate edge of not quite being but slowly becoming adults. We have our fair share of responsibilities, but our rose-colored glasses are still on; reality is but a thing we graze by and mostly peruse through in the news. We think short-term for the most part, and long-term ideas are simply just that - ideas. Grad school? Yeah, that sounds great. Ask us about that again in another year or so. Prerequisite classes? Our advisors will handle that if anything becomes a problem.
And that is the problem.
That silver platter the child in us was used to receiving, no matter how convoluted or disguised it was, is disappearing. We are transitioning into a time of our lives where previous excuses and expectations no longer carry over. We are mini-adults in-training and that, readers, is actually frightening.
What even is more frightening is that most of us never take the time to fully grasp that concept and just tumble through the transition naive and unprepared. Academically and/or mentally.
So sophomores, enjoy your year, but remember - you are not alone. It is okay to wake up one day and just realize that hey, there is a future to prepare for.
And if you're not all too sure if what you are doing is exactly fit for that foggy future then also hey, it's okay.
Worrying is okay. Feeling the 'sophomore slump' is completely normal. Just remember, this is not the only quarter-life crisis you will go through. Good luck, dear friends.