Navigating Sophomore Year
Sophomore year can be a tough time for a lot of students. Within our learning outcomes, College Promise puts a lot of emphasis on students getting acclimated to high school, achieving good grades, and planning for the future. As a sophomore, the future can seem a long ways off, and students do not necessarily know themselves the way they do when they have matured and gained some life experience. Also, while grades are important, that positive feedback may not be enough to sustain them throughout an entire year.
As a result, your student may be experiencing what is commonly referred to as the “sophomore slump.” According to a U.S. News and World Report article, students can feel exhausted after the big transition to high school, they may still be learning about themselves, and they may begin to question pursuits that they have been pursuing in part for other people (like parents, teachers, and coaches).
The good news is that mentors are in a great position to help students navigate some of the complexities of sophomore year. Talking to students will help them process what they are feeling and how they should respond. Mentors can provide encouragement and help students consider new interests and activities. We recommend that College Promise Scholars participate in extracurricular activities sponsored by the school, religious affiliation, or community. Sophomore year is the perfect time to get involved because students still have multiple years of participation remaining.
Clearly, we do not expect mentors to take full responsibility for this stage in the student’s development. Some of the onus will be on students to actively engage in discovering themselves. Also, the school will have resources that the School Liaison or we can help you locate. The most important work a mentor can do is to show up and engage in these critical conversations. Your meetings will go a long way to making sophomore year a fulfilling time.