About the Sophomore Slump

What is the “Sophomore Slump”?
The “Sophomore Slump” refers to the phenomenon in which the second year in college fails to live up to the quality of the student’s first year experience. The sophomore year may be a time when many students feel they cannot get the institutional attention and support that they had as a first year student.  Although Loras is here for all its students, for the students themselves college is no longer new and they face the reality that college is three more years of papers, research, tests, quizzes, courses, hard work and financial investment. Students in their second, or sophomore, year often experience both a letdown and a decrease in their grades. Many say the word sophomore means “wise fool”. If this is truly the meaning of the word sophomore this would be an accurate description of how many second year students feel: they aren’t sure whether they feel wise or foolish at any given moment. 

Why Does the “Sophomore Slump” Happen?”
Many things that happen during your student’s sophomore year can contribute to the “Sophomore Slump”. Oftentimes, students are unprepared for the changes and the differences that happened between their first year and second year. Parents need to understand the ways in which this year is significantly different from that first year of college.
  • Sophomores no longer have the “first year” or “special” status. Sophomore students begin to understand the hard work that college takes to graduate.
  • The excitement and thrill of the first year of college is gone. There are fewer school events especially for this second year group. Yet, the end of the college road still seems a long way off. Students realize that this will be a long and arduous journey.
  • Sophomore students are likely to find themselves in more difficult classes with a heavier course load. They reached the next academic level and the expectations set forth to the students are higher.
  • During the sophomore year students are oftentimes expected to declare a major, find an internship for the following year and make decisions about studying abroad. All of these major decisions add stress in your student’s life.
  • During their sophomore year your student’s ties with home start to decrease. Friends from high school are making more connections at their own school, friends may be returning home less frequently, and family members start settling in to life without your student at home.
  • Because it is assumed that second year students know the rules and the procedures for managing their college life, sophomore students are held more accountable for their actions and decisions.
  • During your students sophomore year students make decisions about choosing a career, a major and just the general direction of their life. This may cause your student a lot of stress and your student may worry about making mistakes when choosing a major. Your student also realizes that each year closer to graduation the less time there will be to make up for a mistake or failed course or changed decision.
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