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Sophomore Slump: How to survive the dreaded second year curse

As I nosedive into the pile of work that is the last quarter of my sophomore year, one thing has become clear: sophomore slump is real, and nobody is invin­cible to it. I have always been overly concerned about grades, and do my best to be well acquainted with the idea of a 4.0 GPA. I know that I've always been a determined student. I don't miss exams; I al­ways take notes and never use my laptop to do so. Somehow this semester, I have felt much more stressed out and stayed up later only to produce what seems like half the results. I also know I am not the only one.

No, I am not literally failing, but I am admittedly also "that guy" from high school who walked out of every test saying "I totally failed!" when I totally didn't. When I see a B-, my comments usually include that it might as well be an F. This is no insult to anyone who gets any type of grades, because I am certainly not perfect, and my ridiculous amount of time spent worrying about grades often gets me made fun of by my friends.

Despite the fact that I am above water, I still feel like something this year just did not click. My course load isn't any bigger, I am taking the same number of gen ed classes versus classes in my major, I probably have less essays to write, and yet I never have a minute to think straight. Once I finish one assignment or task, I remember about ten more that I neglected to finish up and get that worried feel­ing all over again.

As I said before, I know that I am not the only one struggling with the idea of a slump. I could blame it on more campus involve­ment, responsibility, the dreaded "I word" (read: internships), or just feeling lazy.

So what was my solution? I am not too sure if I came up with a sol­id one. I do my assignments when I can. They get done completely to the best of my ability, although I still don't feel any more accom­plished. I left Facebook for a while last semester, which helped, but it wasn't a proac­tive action so much as it was a reaction to being fed up and stressed out. If my head feels too clouded in the library, I go outside for some air. Studying journalism usually restricts me from using clich?©s, but my best advice is to keep calm and carry on.

Comparing yourself to others is only healthy if it serves as posi­tive reinforcement. I often com­pare myself to my older brother, a biomedical engineering student at Stevens Institute of Technol­ogy who happens to be one hair short of a prefect GPA, and takes extra classes as a reward for good grades. If I always thought I had to be like him, I'd be in a worse place than I am now.

As I learned all too well last se­mester, there is no point in sitting in a pile of 100 index cards when you have a very good grade in the class and have not eaten all day anyway.

Charlotte Lewis is a sophomore journalism major from Verona, N.J. She can be reached at


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