Avoiding the Sophomore Slump
For many of you, by the time you reach sophomore year, the thrill of being "away" at college and the newness of the experience have faded, leaving in their place a sense of growing urgency about deciding on a major, choosing a career path, and finding a group of friends or a romantic interest. Sophomore year is often characterized by confusion, soul-searching, motivational problems, and, occasionally, flat-out rebellion against parents, professors, or friends. You may find yourself feeling depressed and alienated, and studying listlessly or skipping classes because you feel that your coursework has no meaning for you.
Welcome to the Sophomore Slump.
If you find yourself huddled up somewhere staring blankly at a wall or out the window, wondering about your destiny and the meaning of life, and wanting to just let loose with a primal scream, know that you're not alone . . . but resolve to do something before things get worse.
"Eventually, the bloom comes off the college rose," Dan says. "At some point, your classes start to seem arbitrary and the entire college experience seems a bit contrived. I think this is a normal, perhaps even vital, realization. It is probably the push that makes you realize you can't spend the rest of your life in college, so you'd better get something out of it and move on."
"The four-year college career has a life cycle, much as a relationship or a new career does," Zoe explained. "At first, there is the excitement of newness and small flaws are easily overlooked. As time wears on, you invariably arrive at a point where taking stock is necessary, and suddenly, minute details about your college (or partner, or boss) start to bother you - sometimes a lot. It's natural to feel some disillusionment and anxiety when the honeymoon ends. Most students weather it with time."
The best antidote for the sophomore slump is activity. But not just any activity. We mean goal-centered activity - activity that has you exploring the areas that you have decided are of interest to you and that propel you forward toward a set of longer-terms goals that you've established for yourself.
To avoid the sophomore slump, be sure that you have set out your goals for the sophomore year and that you have identified what you hope to explore this year in all areas of your life and have decided on two or three specific, tangible activities that will motivate you in each of those areas.
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