A Misconception About Sophomore Year

Whether it is your first year or your last year of high school, there is no denying the fact that at least once in your Blair career, you have heard the term “sophomore slump.” For some, it is simply a phrase that is passed down from the classes before. Maybe it is just a phrase that have not even crossed your mind since you heard it in September — but it is much bigger than that.
Everyone can easily agree that it is junior year when stuff hits the fan, but what people do not realize (or often forget) is that the year before is perhaps just as demanding. This is the year where students have to shift from the mindset of “we’re figuring out how Blair works” to “I need to get my GPA up for colleges.” It is that awkward year between being babied and getting thrown out onto what seems like a battlefield. Simply put, it is terrifying to be in that position.

“Freshmen year was pretty much a breeze for me, but this year, I started to realize that this is when things start to count towards college. I have definitely been working a lot harder, and that means starting homework earlier than I did last year, which is not super fun. But it’s something I’ve had to do to get the grades I want,” says Caroline Wolfe. She is not the only one who feels this way. For one, I can say that sophomore year is the year when the work starts piling up and the laborious hours spent get old. This is especially hard because school is not anything new or exciting anymore, but rather, it reminds us that we now have two more years of hard work before the end. In other words, we are in the middle of nowhere. This struggle of handwork becomes more obvious particularly as current sophomores learn of their spring research papers, PSATs, and upcoming sophomore speeches. To make things even worse, it is that time of year when we really have to hammer down on which courses to take next year and whether we are ready for them.

But what if sophomore year is not that bad? What if it is us who are making sophomore year seem like a monster? I for one can say that I probably spend more time thinking about colleges and grades than anything else. Although sophomore year is an awkward, somewhat daunting “buffer year,” it is also a hidden gem. You automatically acquire more respect from your older peers as a sophomore, while also not carrying the entire weight of the school on your shoulders. Even though you need to start thinking about grades, you still have two more years to worry about them. In other words, sophomore year is only as bad as you make it.

For incoming sophomores, the most important thing they need to know is that sophomore year is not the end of the world, and they will only fall into a slump if they let themselves. “It’s pretty much inevitable that your classes will get harder. But even though sophomore year gets a lot harder, it’s a lot of fun, and you should take advantage of opportunities to connect with new people, make memories, and honestly just enjoy where you are in your academic and social career,” adds Caroline, “Take time to enjoy Blair.” So for the freshman out there: yes, it’s going to be hard, but if you can manage your time and make sure to take time to enjoy Blair, it can honestly be your best year at Blair.

Janice Negvesky