By Avery Strychasz
Being a sophomore is wild. No, seriously. When I moved in this past weekend, I had no clue what to expect. When you are a first-year, move-in day is aflutter with nerves, excitement, stress, joy, sadness and enthusiasm; as a sophomore, it’s kind of emotionless. There is nothing new anymore. Yes, it is exciting to see your friends again, and the anticipation of classes is still there, but the feelings are different.
There is a strange phenomenon that occurs after finishing your first year of college — the realization that all those people that told you that “time will fly” were right.
Suddenly, things that used to be justified by the naivety of being the new kid no longer work as excuses. You can no longer put off thinking about choosing a major or where you should look for an internship, because suddenly those dates that were so far in the future are happening now and you are not prepared.
Sure, as a sophomore, you know where the good study rooms are and the quickest route to your class, but do you really think you can navigate life outside of the bubble of your university?
The answer is probably not. It is up to you to figure out if you are OK with that. On one hand, you can never be fully prepared for what life will bring you. There will be obstacles that you can never have anticipated, but you will deal with them and move on.
On the other hand, there are opportunities every day that can help you to excel not only in your future endeavors but also in your day-to-day life at Xavier. This is where the advantage of being a sophomore really starts to play out.
No longer do we have to worry about a new environments and new surroundings. Our energy isn’t 100% directed to the hunger games that are finding friends, clubs and good food at the Caf. Now our eyes can be opened to all the opportunities that can help us experience life beyond Xavier.
I know it can feel like last year never happened and that you are back at square one. Understand that you are not alone in that feeling. Nearly everyone is in the same position.
Remember that now we have the advantage and the opportunity to use our feelings of uncertainty to challenge ourselves beyond our capabilities. This can apply to a professional or personal setting. It is important to remember that you are no longer the underdog.
If you see something you want, go get it or at least try. Don’t worry about whether or not you think you are capable of handling a challenge, because you are. You are uniquely qualified to conquer life even when faced with a situation that you have never experienced. In fact, it is in those moments where your true abilities will make themselves present.
So, seize your sophomore year and don’t give into the classic cliché. Make your time count — not only here at Xavier, but also all facets of this year.
The university is calling this our “redemption year,” and it is well past time that we go out and accomplish exactly what we intended when we arrived last year.
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