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Don’t Make These Sophomore Year Mistakes

Welcome to sophomore year! Want to succeed? Great! From last minute reading to a cocky attitude and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. Make mistakes, but not too many. Let’s take a closer look at seven mistakes to avoid during your sophomore year.

Sep 6, 2023
  • Student Tips
Don’t Make These Sophomore Year Mistakes

Mistakes. We all make them. If we didn’t, we’d never learn, would we? On the grand scale of things, making loads of mistakes during your second year of university shouldn’t affect your life too much—but you should probably try to avoid them anyway. Why?

These mistakes have ramifications for your future, even if you don’t think so.

Let’s take a look at some classic sophomore year mistakes—and why you should avoid them. There are seven. How lucky.

1. Last minute readings

Why is this a bad idea? It sets you up for failure—and it’s completely avoidable. Don’t do it. You should have learned last year, right? Learn now. Get your reading schedule under control. How? Get your syllabi, look at your reading load and parcel it out.

You may have learned last year how long it takes you to read different kinds of text, but your reading assignments are likely to get longer, and more complicated, from here on in. Make a schedule and stick to it.

Let’s not forget about the absolute monster you become when you’re stressed out about all the reading you have to do. Don’t be the reading monster. Step up.

2. Thinking you’re wiser than a freshman

First off, you can’t even use your freshman status as a way to brush off mistakes. You need to act like a competent, functioning member of your campus, while still recognizing that you’re no wiser than you were last year, except for the fact that you know a few shortcuts around campus.

You don’t know as much as you think you do. Confidence is great. Cockiness? Not so much.

Wise up by paying attention and learning something.

3. Losing a scholarship

Big mistake. Scholarship renewal is never a sure thing, and for many students scholarships can mean graduating debt-free. Even more important – scholarships could mean the difference between staying in school or dropping out. Losing a scholarship is a big deal. How can you avoid losing a scholarship?

Keep your grades up and your record clean. In other words, do your best and don’t get in trouble.

While you obviously don’t want to break and state or federal laws, you may want to give your school’s handbook a read. Breaking school rules can also make or break your scholarship.

Another tip? Don’t plagiarize. Make sure you understand exactly what plagiarism is, how your school responds to it, and the consequences of it for your scholarship.

4. Not thinking about your job prospects

Head in the clouds? You’re normal. But you may want to come down from the clouds once in a blue moon to think about life after school. Why? Because it’s happening sooner than you think.

What should you do? Get some work experience, even if it’s not in the field you think you might want. Get a part-time job, a summer job, a volunteer position, or an internship.

Go to one of those events your career services office. Conduct a mock job search—as use that experience as an in if you want to meet with someone at your career services office, but don’t know what to say.

Now is the time to start thinking about what you might want to do, who you might want to ask for recommendations, and where you might want to be.

Get going.

5. Not meeting new people

Freshman year was grand. Keep your crew from freshman year, but don’t be afraid to branch out and meet other people. Join an organization. Participate in a club. Do something that interests you and meet some new folks.

You never know—you might just make a new friend.

6. Not staying in touch with your family

Talk to your family at least once a week. Even if you don’t think you want to, or you don’t think they want to hear from you—they miss you. Going months without talking is not the relationship you want to have with them.

Let them in. Why? Your family is your family. That’s that. For better or for worse.

7. Overloading yourself with responsibilities

While you should get out and meet people and do stuff, don’t overschedule yourself to the point of insanity. That defeats the whole purpose of giving yourself the time and space to grow and learn.

The point is this: a full course load, exercise, and an activity or two is all you need to feel stressed enough. Don’t overdo it. Try new things—and then figure out where you want to commit.