Surviving sophomore slump

Illustration by Nichole Crawford / Times-News correspondent

Commentary by Allison Tate
Times-News correspondent

   Freshman year is like the honeymoon stage of college and, by the time sophomore year rolls around, the excitement of being a student tends to wear off. This is where the “Sophomore Slump”, a cousin to the “Freshman Fifteen” steps in.
It is a life rut that we college students tend to get stuck in. We find ourselves buying the same food, watching the same shows, and doing the same activities over and over again. If you think that you’re stuck in the rut that is sophomore year, here’s some tips to help you dig yourself out:
Reunite with friends — Your friends are your greatest allies when it comes to getting yourself out of the Sophomore Slump. These are the people who know exactly what you’re going through, because they’re going through it too. Make plans to get together over breaks or on the weekends. If your friends are spread out across the state at different colleges, invest in FaceTime, Skype, or even classic snail mail. Friendship means that you have someone to lean on and vent to–don’t take that for granted.
Get outside — Put down your phone! You don’t have to be a nature buff to reap the benefits of some fresh air and sunlight. If you’re into exercising, take time to run outdoors and take in the view. If the thought of running makes you cringe, just sit on the grass and take it all in.
Take some time to relax — How you choose to relax is up to you, but a long nap and some Netflix never hurts. Take a day, an afternoon, or even just an hour to wind down and just breathe. Don’t think about essays that are due or tests that need to be studied for. After all, those essays and tests will still be waiting for you when you return.
Break out of your daily routine — If you honestly can’t remember the last time that you didn’t eat ramen for lunch, maybe it’s time to shake up your daily routine. Take a different route to class. Find a new study space. Get a haircut. Take up a yoga class or a new hobby. Making small changes in your daily schedule result in big changes to your life.
Get nostalgic — Little kids have it so easy and, all too often, we wish that we could be small and carefree like they are. This is the time to look back on your life and to see how far you’ve come. Visit your old high school. Look through old photo albums and watch those family videos that are on those big, clunky VHS tapes. Reflect on who you were and how much you have grown. After you’ve done all of that, look forward to who you want to be. It can be tempting to stay in the “good old days,” but try to always live in the present and eagerly plan for the future.
Talk to someone who has overcome what you’re going through — Adults seem intimidating, but we sometimes forget that we’re adults now too. These people — whether they’re your parents, teachers, or older siblings — have been through what you’re going through and have overcome it. Don’t be afraid to ask for their advice when you need it. They are always willing to give.
The Sophomore Slump can be difficult for any college student, but, just like any other chapter in our lives, it is a hurdle to jump over and a lesson to learn. Always remember that you are only human, you’re doing the best that you can, and that the Sophomore Slump is only as terrible as you make it out to be.

 Allison Tate is a sophomore at Alamance Community College and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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