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The Sophomore Slump

by Jamir Reddick

No matter what grade you are in, college students get to the point where we contemplate, “Is this worth it?” From the countless hours spent studying to checking if one’s tuition bill was paid on time, one must wonder if the life of a college student is really that stressful.

Everyone’s experience is different in college as the category of responsibilities vary: classes, extracurricular activities, finances, health, family, social and love life. All of these are stressors that cause college students to feel overwhelmed, especially considering the amount of responsibility we must take on now that we are “adults.”

Recently, I had a life crisis. I was not sure about where I was going in life or if I would be successful, which is ironic because in previous year these fears did not exist.

Now you may be asking, “What’s the difference from freshman to sophomore year?” As a freshman, you are new to the school, wet behind the ears and ready to take on the world. Though being on your own is new and you have new responsibilities to handle, you are still figuring your life out: where you fit in, what you want to do, how you will make money and where the fun is.

Most of us are undecided at this point and are finding what interests us academically because this simple choice will guide to what we will do/become once we graduate. Before we know it, our first year of college is over and reality invites itself into our lives. For those of us that understand what that means, we get serious about our future.

My transition from freshman to sophomore sprouted the epiphany the future is frightening, and I have found this actualization adds extra stress to my life. Rather than eustress or distress, it leads me to contemplate where I will be five or 10 years from now.

As a sophomore, I realized time is against me no matter how much they try to tell me it is my friend. If time was my friend, then the deadline for that paper would not have crept up a day or two after I was told about the assignment.

Do not get me started with money. Waking up to no money in the bank is the equivalent of pouring a bowl of cereal just to find out there is no milk. Most students try to find jobs or paying internships because God forbid we sacrifice the concept of money to follow our dreams, but that is neither here nor there.

Now add that factor we live in a hyper-insecure society where some people value their worth on how many people like them. This causes some to feign for a social life. It is a vicious cycle I have tried to divert from, but even the best of us succumb.

Though I am only in my first semester, I have concluded that sophomore year is the most stressful because I must fear what is to come. The freshman fun is over and now I must prepare for the unpredictable future ahead of me. What an oxymoron.

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