“Slump: a period of substantial failure or decline.” At the start of sophomore year, you think that you know what this word means. You think you’ve been through it—that you’ve reached your peak laziness and cannot possibly do less. Then, winter break rolls around and everything changes. Allow me to paint you a picture…
As break comes to a close and you let Netflix know for the third time in one day that yes, you are still watching, you count down the minutes until you are reunited with your friends. Second semester feels like the light at the end of the tunnel, the thought that gets you through the day—through seven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. When the time finally comes, you stuff your entire wardrobe (why did you bring six bags home?) in the trunk and speed up the 95 back to Thayer Street where you belong. Once again, all is right in the world.
Flash forward one week. Shopping period is upon us, and somehow, just a week into the semester, you feel more sleep-deprived than ever before. In the last three days you’ve changed your concentration six times. CAB is open on eight different tabs, yet you’ve only found one class you actually want to take and have been stuck at number one on the waitlist for it since pretty much the day you were born. Your urge to sit in Tropical Smoothie Café for hours at a time watching athletes drink protein shakes after practice has become stronger than your desire to do well in Orgo. So, while the freshmen sit in lecture exuding terror and participating aggressively, you—having yet to buy the textbook or devote two seconds to registering your iClicker—sit back, relax, and put on your most judgmental face while pretending not to panic on the inside. I mean, everything’s going to be fine, right? Classes haven’t really started yet. You’ll definitely get your act together by the time they do.
If you relate to any of the above, which for my sake I hope you do, you may be suffering from the sophomore slump. The sophomore slump is the result of a strange paradox called being nineteen. On one hand, you’re at the peak of your life and are painfully aware of it. You no longer carry the burden of simply existing as a freshman, but you also haven’t quite entered the realm of having to pretend you’re an adult. Ideal, right? At the same time, though, your seemingly magical irrelevance comes hand-in-hand with an inevitable lack of motivation. Why bother to meet new people when you’ve managed to make just enough friends to look cool in the Ratty? Why dress yourself in the morning when your newfound confidence allows you to go to class in pajamas? Why leave your room when you could… not leave your room? Just know that things will (but also might not, it’s kind of unclear right now, ask again later) get better.
For the rest of the year, I’ll be continuing to write about the struggles that sophomores face each and every day as we fight to make it through to summer (provided I can find the motivation to do so). The semester has only just begun, and we have a long road ahead, sophomores. So, if you find yourself in need of some sympathy, check back in for more slump updates (slumpdates?), or share your own personal stories/experiences/inspirational quotes in the comments.
Images via and via Sophie Ulene ’20