Sophomore year advice

Knowing that your behavioral habits probably won’t change because of something you read in the seventh page of the school newspaper, I’ll stay away from advice easy to digest but hard to abide by.

By now you already know how to navigate the labyrinth that is high school, but you still only have around a year of experience under your belt. It’s the perfect time to delve deeper into your own interests. Join or start a club, take some time to volunteer, or start doing the extracurricular that one friend of yours is nagging you about.

One thing that surprised me was how quickly things got rolling. No more human bingo, or any cheesy get-to-know-you games. Teachers are less lenient with deadlines and your classes get exponentially harder. One of your friends is doing varsity sports and this other guy or gal has a 5.0 unweighted grade point average and for some reason is breezing through 89102 Advanced Placement classes you didn’t think sophomores were allowed to take.

And soon, all this begins to take your toll on you.

“Why does so-and-so make everything look like a cakewalk?” you begin to ask yourself. “What am I missing? Am I a bad student? Am I going to drop out of school?” These thoughts will start swirling around your head and will clog up your brain as you hunch over the chemistry lab that is due the next day. You can’t focus so you get anxious and you get anxious because you can’t focus. This vicious cycle keeps repeating itself, and before you know it, your life is spiraling out of control.

Calm down. Take a deep breath.

Take your foot off the gas and relax your grip on the steering wheel. Know that the stresses you are going through are just speed bumps and detours on your trip through sophomore year.

School work, grades and extracurriculars are important, but the most important thing is to take care of yourself; your well-being and your own mental health. After all, in 10 years you won’t be flipping through your old yearbook reminiscing fondly about the English assignment you turned in late or the unit test you passed by the skin of your teeth. It’s the experiences you gain, the things you have tried for the first time, and even the dumb antics you pull off with your friends that will define your sophomore year. So sit back, buckle your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride.