Hey there. Looks like you’re not a freshman anymore…
You avoided the Freshman 15, made it through the year without killing your roommate and actually managed to maintain a decent GPA. In other words, you’re finally a sophomore.
Sophomore year is just as important as freshmen year, if not more so.
Here are some tips to make it through the all-important sophomore year:
Now that you’re a sophomore, you are finally starting to take classes in your major. Because you’re not just dealing with general education classes, it’s time to make sure that you actually enjoy what you’re planning on doing for the rest of your life.
While it’s not wrong to change your major at some point during your college career, changing your major drastically (or a number of times) will obviously push back your graduation date.
Keep in mind that most scholarships and grants expire after four years.
Attending every club’s inaugural meeting, eating the free pizza and ignoring all the follow-up emails is typical freshman behavior, but isn’t as acceptable for sophomores.
Choose a few clubs that you enjoy and look for more opportunities to excel in them. While running for president may be a bit premature, aim for a chair position or for secretary/treasurer.
Be sure to add a few pre-professional clubs (like American Advertising Federation for example) to your resume as well. Usually the advisers of these clubs are professors or prominent people in the school. Getting involved and making a name in your field can come in handy when it comes to recommendations and other opportunities.
It’s also not too late to try new things. Sophomore year can be the perfect time to try out clubs that interest you, but maybe didn’t have time to pursue your freshmen year.
When you came into college, your resume most likely contained all your high school accomplishments. Now that you have a year of college under your belt, it’s time to update! Not sure how to take your resume to professional level? Have your college’s career services center help you out. Schools often have consultants that specialize in resumes.
Finding an internship and making contacts
Having an internship in your field will give you leg up in the workforce when it comes time to find a job after graduation. Not only does it help you make contacts in your industry — make sure to add your employers on Linkedin — but also because after a summer or semester of hands-on experience, you’ll have a pretty good idea of whether that field is for you or not.
By figuring this out your sophomore year, you have the chance to complete more internships in different fields (if you need to) during your junior and senior years.
Many of us have had Facebook accounts for years, meaning that there still might be those incredibly embarrassing photos from high school on your profile somewhere. While it’s not necessary to delete them, be sure you are aware of who can see what on your profile.
Facebook offers a feature that allows you to review all posts and photos you are tagged in before they appear on your timeline. Utilize this feature if you have a friend who insists on posting unprofessional or unflattering photos of you.
At many schools, on-campus housing is not guaranteed to upperclassmen. So, sophomore year may be the time to take the off-campus plunge.
Start to think about what it will cost to live off campus, specifically costs in addition to rent: utilities, security deposits, phone bill, Internet access, etc.
And remember, many off-campus options offer more space and more freedom for less money than on-campus housing.
There are many different study abroad programs to choose from depending on how long you want to stay and where you want to go.
If you have any interest in doing this, it’s a good idea to start planning this sooner rather than later.
For programs that last a full year or an entire semester it is best to start looking for prices as soon as possible. The earlier you start looking for study abroad programs, the earlier you can start to save up or looking for scholarships.
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