After barely escaping the senior-itis of high school, doe-eyed college freshmen are often completely blindsided by the collegiate version of this kind of student "disease."
The daunting "Sophomore Slump" is a sort of pre-destined explosion of feeling lost and confused in the second year of college. For me, I thought I was past these bouts of despair. No more junior year SAT prep madness and no more senior laziness.
That was my mistake.
School is school and it'll probably be grueling at any given point in your educational career. In college, you're consistently stuck in lecture halls or study rooms for most of your week. By the end, work has consumed you.
Education is portrayed as a necessary evil, especially when the expectation that you'll do well is rising.
It is increasingly common for those entering their sophomore year to lose interest in pursuing their dreams once coming to terms with the fleeting nature of college but there are some programs trying to help that, according to a 2013 New York Times article. They compare the sophomore population to "overlooked middle children" and honestly I understand the comparison.
Gone are the days of being the naive freshman student so eager to learn, a hardened and (hopefully) more mature exterior left in its stead. No more extracurricular clubs chasing to recruit you or advisors and teachers lending helping hands to make sure you're prepared for every single one of your classes.
First semester of sophomore year was off and running before I could even process it fully. My schedule was pretty packed and to top it all off I was taking the supposed hardest journalism class at my school. At moments I felt extremely lost and I questioned whether I even wanted to pursue this as my career.
I mean, if I couldn't crack it in one of the first "real" courses, could I even make it in a real newsroom?
Things worked out in the end annd I passed, but getting to that point was the true battle. After many cans of energy drinks and a few breakdowns, I made it through the first semester without letting the slump completely destroy me.
However, what I came to realize is that I was not alone in this struggle. It seemed that every sophomore I knew at my school (as well as others) were experiencing similar thoughts. I hadn't even heard of the Sophomore Slump until this year but it was becoming a growing presence in my life.
After looking into it, I discovered that this feeling is not exclusively for sophomores. Students can actually fall into these low-energy and motivation pits according to this Psychology Today opinion piece at really any point. This professor says that just because things went well for you as a freshman, you shouldn't just fall behind in your efforts to continue to succeed in the folllowing semesters.
Freshman year was a breeze and I think that it's sort of purposely set up that way. College is definitely on a different level of difficulty than high school.
But when your high school teachers tell you that your professors won't be as lenient as them, take that with a grain of salt. Because while, yes, you can't really miss a hard 11:59 deadline for an assignment, I've never had a professor who has not tried to help a student succeed.
Professors are people too everyone.
While it's still a little early to say so, the Sophomore Slump is definitely starting to wave it's angry head again. I feel a lot more tired and I'm counting the days until the next break. But it's hard to differentiate my second semester laziness and any kind of genuine disinterest with what I'm doing.
I wish I could say I had some all encompassing magic answer, I don't really have one. If I'm goinng to be honest, my own fear of failure is what's keeping me from slipping. The reality that college will be done in two more years is terrifying and if I don't do well now, what will be in store for me past those steps at graduation.
Right now, all I do know is that I feel passionately about the major that I'm pursuing. While I may have those wavering doubts at times, I don't think I'm completely lost to the slump's clutches.