Beating the Sophomore Slump: A Guide to Getting Through the Second Year of College
How can you ensure your child has a successful and fulfilling second year of college?
One aspect you and your child might note is the possibility of the “sophomore slump.”
Understanding this phenomenon, recognizing that it’s common, and creating a plan to avoid or remedy it can be beneficial for your child’s college career.
What Is the Sophomore Slump in College?
A slump is a feeling of burnout. Feeling a slump during the sophomore year of college is common for many students.
According to Cabrini University, characteristics of a sophomore slump include floundering academically, skipping classes, not engaging in extracurriculars like your child might have in their first year, or feeling disappointed or frustrated with the academic experience.
The sophomore slump can occur for a variety of reasons. Common causes include the fact that the ease and excitement that came with freshman year have come and gone, but many students are still developing the skills needed to be a successful student and find their role as an active member of the university community.
Is Sophomore Year of College the Hardest?
Some consider sophomore year to be the most difficult, just because it’s a huge adjustment period for many students.
While some students experience difficulties during their sophomore year, some experience a slump during a different year, and some don’t experience a slump at all.
Take into account that every student is different, and your child may experience college differently than their peers. The coronavirus pandemic and virtual courses have certainly shown that external factors in your child’s college experience can impact which year they consider the hardest.
How Do I Stop Sophomore Slump?
How can your child help cure or avoid the sophomore slump altogether?
Encourage your child to:
- Get involved on campus.
- Make new friends or spend more time with the friends they have already made at school.
- Focus on their major and postgraduate career.
- Take advantage of the new housing and social opportunities that are available for upperclassmen.
- Emphasize health and wellness in daily life.
- Focus on organization and cut out activities that don’t bring them joy—remember quality over quantity is important when it comes to extracurriculars.
- Talk to parents, academic advisors, or other mentors about how they feel.
- Explore the on-campus mental health and other resources that are available.
For college students, mental health and well-being should be a top priority. It’s fun to experience the highs of college, but it’s also important to recognize signs of a slump and be there to support your child through this common occurrence.
There is no shame in getting the help your child needs to ensure they can be successful in every aspect of college.
Being a college sophomore can feel difficult, but your child isn’t alone.
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