7 Things I Learned During Sophomore Year

I am about to be a junior in college which is absolutely crazy to think about. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was attending orientation and moving into my dorm room. That being said, sophomore year was one of the most life changing years for me and I would like to share just a few things that this year taught me and reflect on some of my favorite memories.

Don’t doubt yourself.
One of the biggest lessons I learned this past year was to stop doubting myself. Freshman year was difficult for me because there was so much change and not enough time to adjust. And freshman year did a number on my confidence level when it came to my capabilities. This semester, I found myself redoing homework assignments over and over again because I was doubting my answers. In the end, I would have had the right answers the whole time, but I didn’t think I had it in me. This went on throughout the entire semester and it caused added stress to my life. When I chose not to doubt myself, it was like a weight was lifted off. I no longer had that stress. Don’t doubt yourself. You are probably capable of more than you think.

Take time for yourself.
One of the biggest mistakes I made my freshman year was I was constantly doing school work. I would never take a day or a minute for myself. This led to burn out, and by the end of the semester I hated school. Which is really weird and sad for me because I love school. I was always on of those kids that loved to go to school, and I always had my nose in a book. This semester, I scheduled to do all of my homework from Monday to Friday and only did homework on Saturdays and Sundays if I had a test or a big assignment coming up. But for the most part, those two days were reserved for me to take time for myself whether that was sleeping in and lounging around or going out and shopping. It is very important to schedule time for yourself not only because you do need a break, but also because if you are having a hard week you have a day off to look forward to and motivate you to push through.

Join clubs + participate in them.
Last year I joined a ton of clubs that I later never participated in or that I quit a few weeks after the start of school. This year, one of my goals was to join a club and really dedicate myself to the club. I cannot tell you how important this was for me. Not only do you meet people who have similar interests as you, but you also are participating and creating memories. For the club I joined, we had to attend two events, one social, and 3 out of the four meetings. That being said, there was definitely more than two events and one social as options. I would suggest to do more than what was required, and instead do as much as you can. I had so much fun volunteering with this club and contributing to the community. One of the highlights of my sophomore year was how much I was involved in.

Actually sleep.
I know that this might sound like a crazy concept. You’re either pulling all-nighters studying and doing homework, or this is your first time on your own and you enjoying your freedom has led to you getting an average of four hours of sleep, maximum. I cannot stress to you the importance of sleep. Your body needs sleep in order to function, and you need to make sure you are taking care of your body so you can do your absolute best.

No one knows what they are doing.
Everyone likes to pretend that they have their life together, but no one at the age of 18-21 fully knows what they are doing with anything. And this is not an exception for college students. People want to have the picture perfect Instagram pages and want to present themselves as having everything together as they do amazing things. But you don’t see what is happening on the other side of the screen. You don’t see the blood, sweat, and tears that the other person is going through to be where they are now. You only see the end results, and don’t let that fool you into thinking you’re the only one struggling to figure everything out.

Be competitive.
On the first day of my chemistry class during freshman year, my professor said make friends with these people because you’re going to need help eventually. Don’t be competitive, these are your allies. Well, exactly a year later a different professor made it very clear that if we want to go to the next level in our future careers, then it is going to be us against the world. You’re not only competing with the kids at your school, but with kids all around the world. And you have to be competitive if you want to be your best. But, be competitive with yourself. You can’t compete with someone who is at level 23 when you are still stuck at level 3. If you do compete with others, you’re just going to burn out or get intimidated and quit. Compete with yourself, always try to be better than you previously were. And if you can continue this method, you will eventually outcompete the person who was at level 23, and you wont even realize it. You’ll be too focused on your own growth.

Take metaphysics + take it with someone who cares about metaphysics.
This class changed my life. But, I had a professor who truly loved what he taught, and he saw the importance this class played into our lives outside of school. At the end of metaphysics, I had a different perspective when it came to other people, myself, and God. This class is the reason I came to college, and I didn’t even know it until I took this class. I would highly suggest that if your school offers this course take it but make sure the professor is passionate about what he or she is teaching. Trust me, this class can change your life and open your eyes.