The Struggles Of A Sophomore

Nicole Ardila/PantherNow

Nicole Ardila/Staff Writer

Like many of you are right now, I am struggling with S.O.S.S., “Stressed-Out Sophomore Syndrome.” Well, it’s not a real thing, but after being in college virtually for my entire first year, it’s something that people should be more aware of. The transition from online to in-person is not light at all. In fact, it’s causing many sophomores to have a meltdown.

You may be asking “well, what’s the difference for the juniors, seniors or incoming freshmen? They did online classes too.” The answer is, a big difference, and let me tell you why.

Our senior year of high school was also disrupted, meaning we took the last semester of 12th grade online, and our entire freshman year of college online as well. That is a long time of being cooped up at home, not socializing with new people, nor getting to meet professors or make new connections from the start.

We also didn’t have the proper opportunity to transition smoothly and acclimate to the college environment. 

Other than that, the remote setting made us very lazy. We’d wake up five minutes before class starts, doze off during lectures because we could watch the recordings after and procrastinate on our assignments. And let’s face it, online classes made it easier for us to use our phones when we weren’t really supposed to. 

I adapted to the wrong idea of college by starting off online. Now that I’m attending classes on campus for the first time, I feel completely overwhelmed. 

Guido Gonzalez/PantherNow

Some people start off a bit more ahead than others by taking college-credit classes in high school. If that’s your case, you’d start your major-related classes sooner or even have completed your AA by the time you’re 18. 

I personally am one of those. Since I finished my general electives during my first year, I am suddenly going from taking irrelevant classes online, to “my-career-depends-on-this” classes on campus an hour away. 

It’s scary what is already expected of me. Sometimes I still feel like the freshman who was just starting college. In reality, I’m a sophomore who still has no idea where to park, and has to interview city officials by next week.

The switch was definitely a wake-up call for me. College is real life and doesn’t work around your schedule… or while you’re in your pajamas. 

During the pandemic, I had three different types of jobs in which I worked around my online classes, and did my assignments whenever I had the free time. I still even had the time for family, friends and working out. 

This semester, I had a meltdown on the first day. 

For those who commute to class, you’d understand that it kind of forces you to stay on campus all day to make the most use of it. This limited the time I had for my job outside of FIU. 

As a journalism major, I didn’t realize the amount of work I’d be drowning in soon. I’d have to be writing articles, doing research weekly for class and student media, and attend meetings and events even on days I don’t have classes. 

This semester I decided to put my mental health and education first.

I had to make the hard decision of quitting my job. I couldn’t handle everything as I became a full-time student, and I wish I was more prepared for it. 

Some people cannot manage to work under all that stress and pressure, it has nothing to do with being financially stable. But for some, we just have to get our priorities straight. Focusing on everything related to my career was more important to me than the part-time retail job that won’t get me anywhere. 

I have much respect for those who are both full-time students and employees.

As much as I loved my job and being independent to make my own money, I couldn’t keep up with my school, work, and personal life. We’re often forced to pick between quitting our jobs and making time for classes, or taking fewer classes to make time for our jobs. 

It’s not embarrassing if you’re in college and don’t have a job; financial aid and scholarships have definitely helped me, so take advantage of them. For those of you who do need to work, there are work studies that provide you a job that works around your class schedule. Another option is working only in the summer and holidays to save up money.  

If you feel like you can’t balance everything at once without wanting to curl up in a ball and cry, then don’t be afraid to end something that is making you suffer mentally. You can also talk to your academic adviser or a counselor at FIU CAPS. 

I learned that sometimes we have to step back and breathe. Take a moment to realize what is benefiting you and what isn’t. 

Nobody can prepare you for what life throws at you. The pandemic was unexpected and we had to adjust to it. The Class of 2024 was a bit forgotten in the sense of preparation and transitioning from high school to university level; Because when we came back to campus, I suddenly felt like I wasn’t ready for college. 

There’s a saying that “life doesn’t give you more than you can handle”. While that is true, as a college student, it can be overwhelming since we are young and new to the scary world of reality. 

As we start adjusting to in-person classes again, the important thing now is to let go of the unnecessary things little by little. When you feel overwhelmed, remember the things you can control, and just focus on what you have to do today.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community

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