Musings: The Sophomore Slump?

Guess who just turned in her Gender final papers and is now officially done with fall semester??

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I’m done with exams- accidentally finished my 61-question psychology final in fifteen minutes yesterday, but it happens…still got an A (minus) so it’s okay.  Currently, I’m hanging out in the library coffee shop for no other reason than I have $22 in dining dollars to spend by Thursday morning, and they have really good overpriced sandwiches.  One club sandwich, fruit cup, and an Americano later…I’ve burned through a good portion of those dollars 🙂

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I’ll be here for a few more days because I’m finally starting the dental procedures to eventually get permanent teeth implants!  In a couple months, I will no longer have to pop my front teeth out at every meal.  Unfortunately, this week’s surgery means that I will a) not be able to run for a few days and b) be on a soft-foods diet for a little while.

I’d like to share some musings in this post.  Everyone always talks about the myriad adjustments that come throughout freshman year of college, but there are far fewer discussions about the “sophomore slump.”

What is the sophomore slump, you may ask?  I think this New York Times article explains it well.

“Pity the sophomore. You are feted as a freshman, but no one seems to care that you’re back on campus. Quirky first-year seminars have been replaced by large foundation classes, making you doubt that major in econ or bio. You’re not high enough up the totem pole to do fun stuff like join a research team or lead student organizations. With the newness of college gone, malaise sets in.”

Okay, I just realized that makes it sound extremely self-centered.  But for the most part, I’ve found that sophomore year has personally included a mixture of anxiety over the future, questioning relationships, second-guessing academic and extracurricular endeavors…on par with the above article.

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favorite spot on campus

Don’t get me wrong; I love this school.  I love the team.  I enjoy going to class and working hard and finishing assignments.  My running hasn’t suffered, nor have my grades or my work ethic.  I’ve never been particularly Type A, stress-wise, and have generally been good at balancing school and leisure.  I’m the type that would rather live my life, study kind of hard, and earn a B+ than neglect mental and physical health to earn an A.   However, my mental state this semester has been different from the rest of my 19 years of living, which is normal (I think) but unsettling.

And some more musings because this is a very tangential post:

Something that I think is important is remembering to be who you are rather than who other people want/expect you to be.  Don’t conform to other people’s expectations.  It’s important to be respectful, friendly, hard-working, and empathic, but don’t feel as though you have to change who you are to please others.  In the same vein, don’t expect other people to be someone they’re not.  I’m slowly learning this. 🙂

Non-career personality traits: I love to run, I’m competitive as hell to the point of being a little showboat-y, and I enjoy classical and alternative music, outdoor adventures, and extra dark chocolate.  Making food and gifts to give to other people makes me happy.  I don’t always love going out and actually kind of hate staying out late.  I think I believe in God, but I’m not sure.  I love grapefruit.  Sometimes I have trouble vocalizing sympathy or comfort, even though I try.   Sometimes I think about food a little too much.  Sometimes I’m sometimes so eager to try to offer support that I interrupt people.  I won’t study past 10 pm, and I will probably never pull an all-nighter, even at the expense of grades.  We all have strengths and weaknesses that make us individuals.

Since my brain is all over the place, here are a random assortment of activities that I have found help, or that I’d like to try:

  • Music!  Playing and listening to classical piano help me recenter and calm down a lot.  Anything by Ludovico Einaudi automatically lowers my blood pressure.  Nuvole Bianche, Fly, Una Mattina, and Elegy for the Arctic are some of my favorites.

  • Run (duh).  Endorphins + serotonin = clarity
  • Cry if you need to
  • Be honest
  • Take a break from social media//don’t engage in therapeutic mind-clearing activities with the purpose of sharing them on social media, because that’s counterintuitive
  • Knit a scarf
  • Drink tea
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Talk to someone- roommate, mom/dad, coach, teammates, friends, or if you need to, a professional
  • Do an intense strength workout- just me?
  • Remember what you like to do, rather than what you think other people would like you to do.  You can do things alone.  It’s awesome.
  • Stick to a routine if it makes you feel better, but don’t spend too much time in one place, and practice breaking out of your routine eventually so that your comfort zone isn’t too small.

I should probably start packing to go home, so that’s all for now 🙂  Going to knock out some miles later with my roommate- we’ve only been able to run together a couple times over the past few months, so I’m looking forward to it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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