After completing your first year of college, university life will feel a lot easier for you. You’ve already formed friendships, got the hang of your lessons, and learned to treat your school as your second home. But the sophomore year will also bring lots of surprises. It’s the middle ground between the easy frosh year and stressful junior and senior years.
Your sophomore year could also be the time when you’d start reconsidering your degree. That’s because you just got to experience studying your course during your first year. Hence, as you transition to the second year, you’d already have an idea whether your course is still the right one for you.
Lessons get harder, so you can’t conquer your studies if only half of your heart is in it. To get ready, here’s what you can expect in your second year of college:
1. Your Time Management Skills Will Be Put to the Test
In the first year, you’re probably excited about all your classes, so you’ve had perfect attendance in all of them. While that’s no doubt a commendable behavior, repeating it in your second year may not be as easy anymore. Your workload will demand more of your time, forcing you to skip some of your classes in order to keep up.
Of course, it’s different for every student. Some can still stay on top of their workload without affecting their attendance in every class. If you can do the same, just keep it up. But if perfect attendance is causing you to lack sleep, skip meals, and lose time for your projects, it’ll be fine to take a day off from one of your classes. What’s more important is that you won’t abandon that class altogether and fail your exams. If it’s becoming impossible to attend a particular class, drop the subject to save your overall grades. It’s not an act of laziness, but managing your time well.
2. You Need to Confirm Your Major and Career Goals
In the second year, you can complete a career inventory to identify the top occupations that coincide with your interests. This is the time when you may start to reconsider the degree you’re taking. If you found out that no occupation truly suits your interests, you might think of shifting courses. This is the perfect time to do so because it will be harder to shift in your third or fourth year.
If you’re not yet sure of your career goals, talk to professionals in your field. Going to your campus career center may help too. Don’t worry about being unsure, or feeling like you’re stuck in a limbo. That’s normal for college students, and even adults can feel that. But if you work on your goals as early as now, you can face fewer difficulties after graduation.
3. You’d Have New Friends
Your first friend in university will not necessarily stick around in the sophomore year. But that’s not a bad thing. Sophomore year is where you usually find your clique, so friendships formed during freshman year may break. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve become a bad friend. Your priorities just change now, and you yourself change as well. Your old friends will understand that, and they’d go through the same thing.
4. You Might Consider Transferring Schools
If you realized that a different course or major suits you better, you might also consider switching schools. Transferring to another college is common. Thirty-seven percent of college students move to another institution within six years of starting their degree.
But before finding a new college or university, ponder about your reasons first. Look for signs as well. If your new academic interests aren’t supported by your current institution, then that’s a good reason to transfer. If support isn’t an issue, but your life on campus is, analyze if you can still make things work. Is the tuition too expensive, or is the culture not allowing you to grow? If such circumstances prevent you from thriving in college, that’s a sign that you should transfer.
Not every campus is right for every student. You don’t have to force yourself to fit in if you have the choice to go somewhere else.
5. You’ll Be More Exposed to Professional Settings
You may start doing mock job interviews and attending seminars in your sophomore year. As such, you’d be building your professional image. Your wardrobe may require a change, making room for corporate attire. You may also need to get a part-time job in your field to prepare yourself better for the corporate world.
Overall, the sophomore year will be full of changes and new challenges. As a result, you’d be more mature, confident, and responsible. You’ll set and achieve many goals, making the rest of your college journey exciting.