Learning to defeat the “Sophomore Slump”


While the first year is marked by fresh excitement, sophomores across the campus acknowledge the eventual loss of enthusiasm for school and the experience of fatigue in their second year. They always feel hurried and pressured by the unceasing cycle of deadlines and of events such as preliminary career preparations, study abroad plans, research and scholar grant info sessions, internship searching, major declaration and involvement in simultaneous activities. The heavy loads of work push students to a state of dizziness and exhaustion. The trap in this threshold between the brand-new first year and more experienced upperclassmen confuses sophomores about their own goals, abilities and purposes.

“Sophomore slump,” or the feeling of not living up to the standards of freshman performance, has been a prevalent experience that insidiously affects second-year students. As half of the semester has passed, I feel the urgent need to have an article that suggests improvements for this insidious and debilitating condition.

When hitting the sophomore pitfall, the best way to release the anxiety and fix it is to talk to an expert. At Trinity, we have a strong counseling department whose staff are always ready to meet and help you fortify your mental health. Besides, professors, academic advisors and Stacy Davidson, director of academic support, are also good resources to refer to. Ask them to revise your schedule and give professional advice in order to facilitate your learning and social experience.

In order to keep you stable on this strenuously long run, it is important to have strong, hardcore body. Three key elements that will ensure this: a healthy, nutritious diet, regular exercise and lots of water. A balanced diet with whole grain, healthy fat, protein and vitamin-packed fruits and veggies will fuel you well. Exercise is an efficient way to release stress and create natural endorphins that keeps your mood up and hydration will keep your momentum going.

The next essential is sufficient sleep. The reason why I separate “sleep” from the other three key elements is because of its supreme importance. I know in the midst of work and deadlines, sleep sounds like something very luxurious, but the truth is that having enough sleep will boost your performance significantly. Adding one or two more hours of sleep will help you complete your work efficiently in a shorter period of time. Remember to turn off all electronic devices before bedtime. In addition, having a hot shower or drinking warm water before bedtime can soothe your transition to sleep and decrease your sleep debt for the week.

Last, but not least, let yourself experience this puzzling sophomore slump and personalize your solutions because everyone deals with this problem in different ways. Trinity is an active campus with more than 100 organizations. The wide array of options always offer new activities that can rekindle your interests and motivations. Especially groups such as OREC (Outdoor group) or TUVAC will give you trips off campus and on campus that can help you cleanse the accumulated stress from the whole week. In addition, individually creative works or entertainments such as making arts, creating music or writing can be good catharsis and fill up your blank spaces.

Sophomore slump is irritating, but it is curable. Knowing how to utilize resources and intervening it in time will better your sophomore experience and lay stronger foundation for the next steps of your life.