Lessons of suffer-more year

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Sophomore year, also termed as sophomore slump or even worse, suffer-more year, holds such a bitter reputation for many students. Exactly what is it about the second year of college that makes it so hard or so infamously miserable? Is it because after this year, you finally begin to realize that your college career is already halfway over? Or is it because you’re finally able to declare your major, and suddenly, the academics, extracurriculars and connections that you make really begin to matter? Nevertheless, it’s an inevitable path that students must take in order to receive that diploma at the end of four years. Despite the many hardships that seem to never end during this second year, when you reflect back on it, hopefully you’ll be able to appreciate this year as one that has taught and matured you the most.

The theme for our entire college career is that of constant change. So why would sophomore year be any different? Leaving behind freshmen year, when everyone was so eager to befriend one another, second year allows you to slowly but surely discern between the shallow relationships that you might have thought were genuine and the friends that truly treasure your worth. It’s no longer about quantity over quality.

On top of that, the constant reminder remains to learn to let go. Some things and people just aren’t meant to be, and that’s 100 percent okay. Just because certain relationships don’t work out doesn’t mean that future ones won’t. Don’t let it hold you back from stepping out of your comfort zone again to create new relationships. Eventually you’ll see that it was only you holding on so tightly to a thin string and that the other side had long been resting on the ground. People come and go, and unfortunately, it just so happens that college is where it occurs the most.

As cliche as it may sound, without failing, how will you ever learn the value behind succeeding? Just because you don’t get the job or club you applied for or your test scores don’t match up to the amount of time you spent studying, view these missteps as gained experience. Essentially, everything that you do, applications, studying, interviewing — these are all practical skills that will follow you into the “adult” world. Even though you didn’t get the desired result this time, don’t give up and strive even harder for it next time. While some doors close, others are waiting to be opened.

Treat yourself well. Eat on time, eat healthy, exercise, sleep. So often we tell ourselves that we don’t deserve these basic human necessities and instead suffer mentally, physically, and emotionally. At the end of the day, it’s just going to be you and yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, who else will?

It’s okay to not have your life together. There might be holes in your resume, an average GPA hanging at the bottom of your transcript and you might still be figuring out what you want to major in or what interests you. You’re only a little over a year into this entire college process. Despite what many other’s say, there’s still time in your student career. Be the turtle in this race, not the rabbit. Taking a longer route or a longer amount of time than those around you doesn’t mean that you’re behind or that you’re not as smart. It’s simply a way for you to gain a broader perspective on the world and a deeper knowledge about yourself as a person.

While attending such an academically rigorous institution like UC Berkeley, voices will continue to haunt you, telling you that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not worthy to be a student here. Though this process of falling may gradually overwhelm you. someday you’ll find yourself at the bottom of the pit and wonder how you got there. Those voices are lies, and as fragile as life may seem at the moment, the sun will continue to rise tomorrow. Some days are better than others, but one day, one day in the bright future, the good days will surely decide to stay.

Suffer-more year or sophomore slump, whatever you want to call it, may not necessarily always be one for the books, but it definitely is a great milestone that we should all take pride in surviving.

Contact Sunny Tsai at [email protected].