Compared to the first year of college, the second is less nerve-wracking and anxiety-provoking. Move-in goes smoother because you have items from last year. The first week of classes is easier because you know the locations of all the buildings. There are more familiar faces because of your connections from last year.
With lower anxiety levels, nothing feels as permanent or life-shattering as it did when you started as a first-year. For the most part, you know what to expect. However, leaving home for a second time to begin sophomore year might not be as easy as it seems.
After spending roughly three and a half months at home for the summer, it may seem like more of a jolt to the system than leaving for the first year did. The first few months of that year of college is a whirlwind full of introductory social events like Manresa, exploring campus and the city and an inundation of new clubs and activities. If you miss home, you barely have time to think about it.
Then, after spending an entire school year away from your family and your hometown friends, coming home for the summer feels like a breath of normal, comfortable air.
Leaving in August to come back to campus feels like ripping that away once again.
Sophomore year you are not required to attend any type of orientation, you already know most of campus and the surrounding city and you know people from the clubs and activities you did last year. If you miss home, you find out about it much sooner. You are also more likely to miss home because what has been dubbed the “sophomore slump” is not nearly as exciting as the first year.
The one thing I encourage you to hold onto is that feeling of home. Hold onto the feeling you get when your dog runs up to you, when you cuddle up under your favorite blanket or when you watch your favorite childhood movie.
As I stated in the first part of an article that I wrote last January entitled “No matter where you go, you can take home with you,” just because you have left your physical house and the neighborhood that you grew up in does not mean you will never truly be home again.
Home, especially when you have gone to school, moved cross-country for a job or made a family of your own, is a feeling. It is something that not only exists in your parents’ house or the park next to your old school, it exists in everything you put your heart into.
If you are feeling that “sophomore slump” this semester, or any kind of slump, know that the encouragement, support and love you get at home is still available here. So yes, the second year of college can be less exciting and a bit less stressful, but let that feeling of home invigorate you.
Channel that happy energy you get from wearing your comfiest pajamas or eating one of your mom’s recipes into sophomore year, into that difficult class, into that awesome group of friends, and the drag you are feeling will fade into a quiet contentment. Then, when you have put your heart into all these things, you will feel at home.
During your first year here, Xavier probably never really felt like home to most students. A lot of us, including myself, experienced loneliness and anxiety. We never really had a feeling of yes, this is where I live, this is where I go to school.
This year, you have the chance to change that. Hopefully, if you insert the feeling of home and your whole heart into all that you do here, you will soon catch yourself at the store or out with friends wondering when you can come home to Xavier’s campus.
Emily Price is a sophomore psychology major. She is a staff writer for the Newswire from Miamisburg, Ohio.