Written by: Grace Scott
The word sophomore derives from two Greek words: sophos, meaning wise, and moros, meaning fools. Wise fools. A “sophomore effort” is a lackluster follow-up to an impressive debut. “Sophomoric” means immature yet overconfident. A “sophomore slump” is the well-documented phenomena that is, well, what it sounds like. Some may say students find it difficult to find a place sophomore year. They look on to horrors of the college search and application process, all the while fostering a sense of smugness in having finished a year of high school.
That being said, sophomores don’t have a thing. There’s nothing novel about the year—when you tell people what grade you’re in as a sophomore, they don’t know what to ask. There’s no established question, as there is for freshmen, juniors, and seniors. There’s no “Do you like high school?” No “Have you started looking at colleges yet?” or “Where are you going to college?” The sense of urgency that accompanies the junior and senior years hasn’t hit yet… but that urgency lies on the horizon. Sophomore year is the calm before the storm.
Some argue they just don’t feel it anymore. Studies show that sophomore classes in college have the highest dropout rates. A quarter of college sophomores report not feeling “energized” by school. They’re just there. They’re there, and they begin to question if they should be. Fortunately, that’s not an option for high school sophomores, because school has a lot more to offer than you might expect during your second round.
I highly recommend a Google search of “high school sophomore slump.” It yields countless threads of anxious parents agonizing over their children’s failures—foreshadowing, so they fear, a life of such failures. It makes for interesting reading.
In reality, sophomore year passes. I’d advise sophomores to enjoy the nothing while it lasts, because it’s over all too soon. Reality will strike, and there will no longer be time to stand still and watch time pass. Sophomore year is the stall before the drop, the intermission between two acts. But hey, sophomores, remember: it’s October, the year’s not over yet. In fact, it’s just begun. Make it yours.