6 Things I Wish I Heard Going into Sophomore Year

24 Jul
  1. It is Okay to Change Your Major or Change it Again
    I want to stress that it is okay if you’re still not certain which path is best for you because you are still in your second year. There is time to explore your options to make yourself happy in the long run. Even if you change your major 20 times, it is best that you find what is the right path to take to get you to your future career. I started school as and Architecture major and I thought that was where I was going to stay for the rest of my college career. Unfortunately, at the time, I couldn’t handle the rigorous course work that was put on my plate and I decided the major I had picked was not a good fit for me. After this, I decided to try business as a major and that fell through as well in my sophomore year. My heart was not in business school, so again, I was at the beginning of searching for a major. After a lot of consideration and talking to advisors, I found my fit as an Art major. This was the best decision that I made during my college career because it was what made me the happiest.

  2. Your Advisor is Your Best Friend
    I know that literally everyone at the U of A stresses this, but it is very useful so I’m going to stress it again. Whether it is your major’s advisor or a potential major’s advisor, they can offer you the best help when exploring majors or picking the correct courses to take to obtain your degree. Along with this, they can help you if you have any questions about your major, future jobs, or graduate school (if that’s where you want to go). I make it a habit to see my advisor at least twice a year just to make sure that I am on the right track to graduate as well as speak to her about what I have been experiencing in my courses.

  3. Ask for Advice
    This goes a little bit further into talking to your advisor. Do not be afraid to ask them questions about their past schooling or about other students’ experiences. Also, utilize students that are in upper division courses, supervisors, or even other students in your classes to ask questions to about their college experience, past classes they have taken, and even their future plans. You can learn so much by the people that you interact with every day if you start a simple conversation. Also, most likely you will make a new friend at the same time! I always ask my professors, supervisors, and other classmates for advice and they help me out a ton!

  4. Life Happens
    Not everything in college is going to be easy and you may have already experienced that in your first year on campus. You have to always keep in mind that you have a life outside of school and sometimes that requires you to turn your focus on outside situations. My sophomore year of college was difficult because I was going through family issues while trying to balance school and it’s hard. The best advice that I can give is to be upfront about what is going on in your personal life if it ever affects your classes. It may require some documentation, but professors are humans too. They will understand if you are going through something hard and cannot completely focus on assignments. They may offer you support as well as an extension on assignments if it is necessary for you.

  5. Embrace Change
    Throughout your college career, you are going to change no matter what. You may find yourself spending time with people you haven’t before and not spending time with others that you used to. You also could find that your values may shift as you start learning more about the world and yourself. That’s perfectly fine and a good thing! You learn so much when you’re in college and you will be a lot different than when you were straight out of high school or after your first year. It’s better to accept the fact that you’re growing and go along with it rather than trying to stay the same person you once were. I changed a lot during my second year due to the amount of classwork as well as my friend circle. Instead of spending time with old friends of high school, I started immersing myself in others that had the same major as I did. It wasn’t a bad thing, it was just different and I had to adjust myself to the dramatic change.

  6. Start Thinking About What Happens After College
    As I sit here as a Senior, I wish that I spent more time thinking about what I am going to do after college than solely focusing on what I had to do at the time. It is never too early to discover what you want to do after college whether you go straight into a job or look into graduate school options. Take the time that you have to try to look ahead to see where you want to be in the next five years or where you don’t want to be. All of the time you spend doing this will be helpful in the end when you get to your last year.

I hope this list helps you start thinking about the things you will experience in the upcoming years of college. All in all, everything that you do matters to your future and never forget that. As I look back on my years as a wildcat, I know that these things would have helped me tremendously on my journey.

Best,
Courtney (:

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