Good question. You do hear about the sophomore slump. She isn’t a a “new” student any more so the amount of attention she gets in their second year is at a different level than their first year in college. She sometimes feels like no one is interested in her anymore. She isn’t being “courted” to join campus organizations or be involved as much as the year before, when actually there are probably more organizations available to her in her sophomore year. She also might be having second thoughts about her major and what her future is going to look like. We all have those feelings but for a college student, these feelings seem to be very large obstacles.
Not every student goes through this “slump” but it does happen to many college students. How can you help?
- Be patient with her. She is probably surprised herself at her feelings and emotions during her second year. Help her understand these feelings are normal for many students.
- Help her to understand why she might be feeling the lack of energy and motivation. Is the novelty of college wearing off? Do her goals seem too far down the road? Is having to make decisions causing her stress?
- Highlight the positives. She knows her way around campus, has made friends and is developing working relationships with her professors. She has access to leadership positions such as a SOAR Leader or Resident Assistant, study away programs and she is able to take more courses in her chosen major.
- Encourage her to stay involved on campus outside of the classroom and to try something new each semester.
- Remind her that she can proactively combat the slumps she might feel. Encourage her to take care of herself physically, take a class just for fun, visit the career center to start learning about internships and careers in her major, engage in community service opportunities and put into action the skills she learned during her first year.
- Remind her she is an upperclassman. She is not the new kid on campus anymore. Celebrate her accomplishments from her first year.
The biggest thing you can do for her is to let her know you support her and love her. She always wants to hear you are in her corner.
Do you have a questions for Priscilla? Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.