Students involved in organizations put in long hours working to recruit new members. (Photo by Hunter Long)
Students involved in organizations put in long hours working to recruit new members. (Photo by Hunter Long)

Sophomore Spotlight: Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

As the school year starts off, students are thrown into everything they committed to last year.

August 31, 2019

Standing in the field house during the student involvement fair, watching the first-years come strolling, then pouring into the org fair felt kind of surreal. Although I’m officially a sophomore now, I still feel like a first-year in many ways. Whether it’s struggling to find certain buildings on campus, remembering Kissam is my new “home base” or still being one of the youngest students in many of my classes, sophomore year has hit like a tidal wave.

As I noted in my first column of the year, I anticipated a sophomore shock of more challenging classes and increased extracurricular responsibilities in the beginning of the school year. Having finished the first week and a half of school, campus is already in full swing with the first football game of the season, quizzes and papers due and students running from activity to activity with a munchie paper brown bag in tow. 

Even in the midst of all this craziness and readjustments, there are actions we can take to help us keep calm and enjoy college life, even with all the responsibilities and obligations that come with it. 

Go with the flow 

I know this may be surprising coming from me, especially to those who know me well. However, I think even the most Type A people can learn to decrease their daily stress and anxiety by learning to go with the flow. Now this doesn’t mean putting off starting that 10 page paper. What it does mean is realizing and accepting that some things are out of our control. Is there a longer line than usual at 2301 in Rand, so that you’re cutting it uncomfortably close to making it to class on time? Don’t sweat it. Yes, keep checking that watch as necessary, but accept that today you’re just going to have to hustle a bit to class. 

Make time for yourself

When we’re busy, we tend to pack our schedules back to back, leaving ourselves with almost no time for ourselves. This is unsustainable and unhealthy, and something we should work to avoid. I am guilty of doing this all the time, so making sure I have those 10 minutes to watch a funny YouTube video or listen to one of my favorite podcasts is something I want to be intentional about as school picks up. We need time to breathe in between our classes and activities. 

Find your safe haven 

What’s great about college is that we’re always surrounded by people. It’s a unique time where we can find company wherever we turn (at least theoretically), hang out with our friends easily, etc. However, sometimes we just need to be alone, to relax and recharge. Because it’s so hard to find a solitary place in college with roommates, making sure you have a safe haven you can turn to when needed is important. I’m lucky to have a single this year, but quieter buildings like Buttrick, the Kissam center, Cohen and Alumni are all great options to consider.

Evaluate priorities 

There are endless enticing, resume-building and fun opportunities on campus. The never-ending list of opportunities and events throughout the year can feel overwhelming. I sometimes feel tempted to apply for random opportunities, attend as many events as possible or take on yet another class or club because there is so much out there. With so many activities fighting for our attention, it’s particularly important to evaluate your priorities at the beginning of the school year, and throughout the year as well. If you feel like you’re not gaining any positives from an activity or class, it’s worth considering whether it should be on your list of priorities at all. I’m not advocating for everyone to back out of commitments at a whim. However, it is important to prioritize carefully so you can get the most out of your time in and out of the classroom. 

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