How to get Over Sophomore Year, the Dreaded Filler Year

By Mateo Acosta, Staff Writer

After the daunting freshman year, your first experience in high school, you encounter the brutal, long, and boring sophomore year. To be completely honest, sophomore year seems to be a ‘filler year,’ and you just have to survive the seemingly never-ending year. Freshman year, you were new to the whole school, excited to go experience high school and be able to say you’re a high school student. Wow, impressive. Sophomore year, however, that steam and energy you had freshman year seems to dwindle away, so here is what I found useful to get through the long year that has all of its ups and downs.

  1. Get involved

Although it is arguably the most common cliché you have heard from your parents, teachers, peers, counselors, and others, I am just going to say it one more time to get the point across. It doesn’t have to be athletic, and you don’t need to be in everything from robotics and math team, to dance, theater, and tutor five days out of the week, but do involve yourself in a few activities you enjoy. It’ll look good on your college applications too. For me, I decided to tutor this year, and not only did I meet new people I would have otherwise probably not met, but it for sure made my day go by a little quicker every time I tutored.

2. Challenge yourself

At this point, I should really just write a book, How to Survive High School, all clichés included, and you would find this one there too, but it really does help. Sitting on your butt at home for five hours every day after school and on the weekends get repetitive and boring after about two weeks, and how much YouTube can you really watch and not get bored. So, challenge yourself a little, take some hard classes. Do something new, whether it is a new sport, wake up at 6:00 to workout, meditate, read an hour every day, do something new to challenge yourself. Soon, when you are challenging yourself, you will have less time on your hands to just sit around and complain about being bored and when you complete that hard lab, finish that book, complete your first week of waking up at 6 a.m. to work out, you will feel accomplished and energized to do more.

3. Get to know your teachers, not just as the person that teaches you their subject

You know the saying in football “kickers are people too,” well I’m going to use that here, teachers are people too. We always get caught up in school about whether I studied enough for this upcoming test, thinking the teacher was too hard on you and you deserved a better grade on that essay, ‘needing’ your teachers to input grades, blaming your teacher for not teaching you what was on the past test, and all the rest of it, so it is easy to forget that your teachers are people too, with lives outside of school. Now, I am not saying you need to know who they last texted and who their favorite student is, but forming a more personal relationship with your teachers makes it much much easier to get through the day. You seem to look forward to the class just because you enjoy the person you’ve gotten to know, and maybe, at the end of the semester, that relationship you’ve formed will get your 89 % to an A.

4. Have fun

As a student, it is common for me to see and hear of people staying up until the wee hours of the morning studying or completing work, never seeming to have any free time, and constantly drowning in school work. That is not healthy, you have another three years in high school, then college, and then maybe a few years more if you decide to get a higher degree, so you do not want to burn yourself out your second year in high school. Now, I am not saying never do your homework, wing tests, and never show up to class because you are out somewhere, no, never do that, stay dedicated to your work, but you have to find that balance. You can’t get home at 3:45 from school, eat, spend a few minutes on your phone, and then spend your evening, from 4:30 to 11:00 at night studying, never seeing the light from the sun, and do this for five days a week, for nine months, and just live for the weekend. That will never work, so try to find the right school-life balance, and if you feel overwhelmed don’t be ashamed to take an hour break from studying to go grab food with friends.

Your sophomore year may seem daunting, long, and tedious, but trust me, it will pass quickly, and all the hard labs, essays, and memories you had in September will seem like yesterday when you get to the end of the year. So cherish it, work hard, and good luck, you’ll be fine.