What It Is Like Being a Sophomore College Student

The Perspective Of A College Sophomore Who Finally Knows How To 'Student'

I'm not a freshman anymore. Shocker!

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Well, I'm a sophomore. Honestly, I do not know how time passed this fast. I'm way past the first year of college where I lived in the dorms, shared communal bathrooms and gathered collectively in dining halls to eat. I experienced shared living quarters with freshman students from all over the country and world. And now, I am in my second semester of Sophomore year where I currently live in a sorority house with over sixty women.

And a lot has changed in my life in the past year and a half. I feel the pressure of declaring a major at the back of my throat constantly. I have to decide if I want to go abroad for a semester in the upcoming months. I am also in the midst of looking for a summer internship before heading into my junior year. The pressure to do well and succeed in college is way more overwhelming than freshman year. And it came on so quickly. But everyone says that.

I am at an odd stage of college. I know I only have two years left of living the lifestyle of a fulltime student, which is scary. Like really scary. But two years is a long time as well and a lot can change within two years. But it is still uncomfortable to know that time is passing this quickly.

It makes me consider how lucky I am to have experienced three wonderful semesters at the University of Michigan regardless of the challenges and barriers I have faced. I am lucky to have met people I consider basically family at a University five hundred miles from home. I am lucky to have taken such interesting courses taught by outrageously smart professors who are the best in their fields. I am lucky and grateful for the organizations and opportunities to get involved in social organizations as well as volunteer organizations and research while here. It is comforting that I have proven to myself that I have become an independent human being, sometimes lol, no matter how much I will always miss my family back home. I still hate doing laundry, though.

As a sophomore, I now know the nitty gritty of the student life. I think I know how to manage a larger workload during a semester and manage my time with ease (Thank you, Google Calendar). I know how to navigate resources for finding help regarding classes and health. And I also learned how to use Ann Arbor's bus system, The Ride, which is extremely helpful when I'm running late and I have a twenty-five-minute walk ahead of me. I think I've got how to be a student down. Finally. This feeling of being content as a student took a long time, but in my fourth semester at the University of Michigan, I think I got it.

I don't know what is ahead of me in my student life, but I now know how to prepare for what is ahead of me. I am extremely grateful to be a Sophomore at the University of Michigan regardless of how scared I am that I only have two years left at the greatest university in the world.

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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