After just the right number of pizza slices, “sick”–but–actually–hungover emails to professors, breakdowns in Huntsman, and midnight talk sessions with your roommate, your first year is over in the blink of an eye. Summer comes and goes, and sophomore year awaits.

Come sophomore fall, new expectations magically appear. Suddenly, you have problems greater than figuring out which statue people pee on and which they have sex under. You’re now expected to know what you want to spend the rest of your life doing and accordingly, to apply to clubs and internships that’ll strengthen your résumé, your LinkedIn and Handshake profiles—on all 10,000 of the different platforms you can use to share all your wonderful achievements.

Classes are more in–depth, and missing them because of a headache/Netflix/hangover has larger consequences (although you'll still do it; some things never change). Academic and social pressures have quite literally gone from 0 to 100, and when you look around, it seems that everyone is dealing with them perfectly fine. In fact, everyone seems to be thriving. Key word: seems.

But in fact, people are looking at you the same way—wondering how you have your shit together. Everyone is trying their best to cope with these new responsibilities and added pressures, a lot of which we put on ourselves. Being at an institution like Penn, we often feel like we are expected to magically figure it all out during sophomore year.

Yes, it may be time to be more serious and schedule more than just pre–games before going out, but this doesn’t mean we have to cut out all the fun of Penn. Sophomore slump hits right when you forget just how terrifying freshman year was. 

So remind yourself that it will get better; adaption takes time. Support and love the people around you and be understanding of lash outs and shitty moods: we’ve all been there. Schedule breaks—let loose and put your mental health first. We still have three more years of college. Once we’re thrown out into the real world, that’s when we’ll really get it together. Probably.  


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