You’ve been warned about the Sophomore Slump. I’ve been warned about the Sophomore Slump. We’ve all been warned about the Sophomore Slump. As my first year at Brown drew to a close last spring, a preemptive sense of nostalgia crept over me. It was surely all downhill from here.
I returned this semester as a sophomore, teeth gritted against the inevitable plunge in motivation. No matter several positive developments—I had a nice room, I had friends, I could locate Smitty B on a map—I expected my life to turn sour at any moment.
There is still plenty of time left for me to lose all sense of purpose, but so far sophomore year has been a marked improvement over freshman year. Take the Activities Fair, for example.
As a wide-eyed first-year, I shuffled numbly through the Activities Fair, shunted along by the hordes of fellow frosh. I added my name to countless listservs, collected reams of informational papers, and was shouted at by scores of upperclassmen representing every imaginable organization. I joined a couple groups, but the most lasting effect of the Activities Fair was the damage to my eardrums, thanks mostly to the Taiko drummers and the Brown Band.
This year I experienced the Activities Fair from the other side of the table, as a recruiter for a student group. Instead of shuffling, I stood resolute, like a solid rock in the torrent of first-years streaming past. I handed out papers and
strong armed encouraged a new generation of Brown students to add their name to a listserv that most will likely ignore. Watching the first-years shuffle by, I realized that, though I have next to no idea what I want to do with my life, I at least have a better idea than I did freshman year. The experience was not only empowering, it was downright cathartic.
By the end of the fair my ears were ringing again, but this time they rang with triumph. Not yet Sophomore Slump. Not yet.