How I Avoided the Sophomore Slump
Blogger: Maddy Farkas
Coming into my second year at Occidental, I feared the imminent “sophomore slump” that everyone talks about. I had vivid flashbacks to high school, where sophomore year consisted of stress, sleepless nights, and about fifty too many basketball tournaments. Just the word, “sophomore,” gave me some not-so-good vibes. Now, with only two weeks until the end of the semester, I’m finding that I somehow avoided the slump and actually had the most incredible year to date. Here’s how:
3. I chose a minor. Deciding to minor in Education both challenged me and opened my eyes to classes I didn’t know existed. This semester I took the Conflict In Education course and, despite my fear of debating, came to enjoy it while simultaneously learning a lot about educational policy and really solidifying my choice to do this as a minor. I also took the Community Literacy course, which I recommend to anyone who wants a class that makes you feel great every time you leave the classroom. I got to tutor a kindergartener twice a week and, with only one more session left, I feel like I truly helped him learn to read and write and that is more satisfying than any paper I have written in my time at Oxy.
2. I attended events. This seems obvious, but sometimes you forget that the hundreds of Facebook invites you get every day are for actual events that are being put on by actual students and actual faculty and actually may be of worth to you. Whether it was a Green Bean Open Mic, SASA’s Diwali or Holi Dinners, or KOXY’s Springfest pre-show, there was always something happening on campus and this year I finally took advantage of that fact.
1. I got involved. The first year of college is all about adjustment and finding your niche. While I liked to tell myself that I fit right in and found my place, it didn’t happen overnight and I think it took longer than I let myself believe. Most of your time will be spent meeting new people, learning the weekly marketplace menu, and catching up on all sleep lost from trying to be social. Sophomore year came around and I was already settled into campus life and ready to better allot my time. I became the Entertainment Chair for Relay For Life. I got a radio show. I started tutoring at the Community Literacy Center. I got a job as a Tour Guide. I joined Dance Production. I took the time to search for (and successfully attain) a summer internship. In other words, I did all of the things I told myself I was too busy to do when I was a first-year. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep busy in college. Sophomore year is coming to an end and I’m happier than I have ever been. Getting involved introduced me to a lot of my now very close friends and made me feel like a more integral part of campus life.
I’m assuming if you’re reading this you’re either an Oxy student, my mother, or a prospective student. If the latter applies to you, I’m sure you’re on the verge of making your college decision! While it’s not my job to sway you in one direction or the other, it’s important for you to know what I think makes Oxy special, which is its ability to appeal to and work for such a wide range of personalities. Some schools appeal to the more introverted, some schools appeal to the overachievers, and some schools appeal to the athletes, but Oxy somehow manages to find the perfect balance of individuals, creating an environment where I’m constantly learning something new.
It feels weird for me to write a blog post more focused on being informative than proving I can be witty, but judging by the time of year I really wanted to emphasize how incredible my time at Oxy has been and how much I am looking forward to the next two years. Good luck to everyone still deciding on a school, and an extra good luck to all of us suckers about to brave through finals week! If you are a prospective student and have any specific questions for me, feel free to send an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on Facebook! Can’t wait to see you in the fall, and maybe (hopefully) I will be your Orientation Leader!