"Slump," verb: To fall or sink suddenly.
Alternate definition: When students who have just survived their first year fall into a rapid overtaking decline. Everything feels disconnected, motivation doesn't exist, frustration is high and grades are low.
This is, of course, the "sophomore slump": a period where college life isn’t living up to the newness of our first year.
Yes, it is real. If, as a sophomore, you’re questioning whether or not you’re in it, it's probably safe to say you’re in it.
Side effects include burnout, potential academic decline and loss of morale. Everything is hard. You’re feeling beaten down and tired. You ask yourself, "Why didn’t I feel this way last year?" or "Why do I feel the need to compare this year to last year?"
It’s human nature to grow attached to a routine. I still vividly remember the air freshener scent of my first-year dorm and the fall playlist I stayed loyal to while walking everywhere on campus.
I only knew UNC through those attachments. I only knew of living in my dorm and I only knew of mediocre dining hall food. In the beginning weeks of this new year, my sophomore year, it felt like I didn’t know how to do college because I wasn’t in my usual routine.
This is normal. You don’t need to feel enthusiastic about going to a frat party where “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame will undoubtedly play — you did that last year. You also don’t need to feel embarrassed if you still want to do those things; they were fun last year!
But to attempt to get over my slump, I had to acknowledge that I’ve aged out of some experiences. I also needed to grasp that becoming an adult continues to get hard — even after what some argue is the hardest year away from home.