Lessons From Sophomore Year

May 7, 2014

 My second year of college is officially over and it was....good, bad and everything in between. Looking back, it was a great year but I certainly hit a low point around January/February. This time, though it wasn't fun, actually helped me learn a lot about myself and just life in general. So while I don't like to get too philosophical and adivce-y on the blog (I just don't feel like I'm qualified--I definitely don't have life figured out!) I wanted to share just a few tidbits of wisdom I learned along the way:

1. When it comes to friends, quality > quantity 
I know, I know, you've this over and over again right. You have boards on Pinterest with some derivative of this advice re-pinned thousands of times. This is a lesson we all hear from the beginning, but, in the end, we all need to have our own experiences to realize just how true it is. I finally figured it out this year, but it definitely wasn't easy. 

2. You don't deserve to be treated like $%&*  
This goes along with #1 but toxic friendships are a waste of your time. Get rid of those people ASAP. It won't be easy and it won't be fun but it will all be worth it. Trust me. I could rant on this topic for hours so maybe I should just write a separate blog post for this doozy... 

3. Getting a 'B' is a blessing 
In high school, getting a B = failing. Period. Now, I'm totally comfortable getting a B. In fact, I think it's fantastic! Whenever I calculate my grades mid-semester, I always think they're going to be way worse than they actually turn out to be. I instantly jump to the worst case scenario and have a panic attack calculating how hard the hit to my GPA will be. But seriously, relax! There is more to life than grades and GPA. 

4. It's also ok to get a 'C' 
Now, I'm not saying I strive to get C's. If I'm being really honest, getting anything below a B does really bother me. Obviously always try your best, but know there might be that one class where you best just isn't good enough (*cough* Calculus *cough*).  Lots of smart people fail classes, it's just a fact of life. You're human and you're going to make mistakes, but one bad grade doesn't define your entire college career. So give yourself a break!

5. Constantly comparing yourself to others will get you nowhere
This feels a bit hypocritical of me to write, because it's something I still struggle with on the daily. But truly, this is a complete waste of time and an insult to yourself. Yet, I still do it! If you ever figure out how to truly master this, please, tell me how. 

6. Just relax, it will be fine 
Again with the hypocrisy thing, I still struggle with this on the daily. I'm the queen of over-thinking things and my mind always jumps to the worst case scenario. Some nights, I would lie awake at night just thinking of everything that could go wrong. Yes, that is horribly unhealthy, but I can't help the way my brain works sometimes. So starting now, I'm making a conscious effort to just chill out. Who's with me?

7. It's alright to say "no"
Don't want to go out to that stinky, sleazy club? Don't want to drive your friends around like you're a school bus? Then don't. Just say no. People pleasing your way through life really won't get you as far as you think it will.

8. You can try and do everything, but you shouldn't. Refer to #6 and focus on doing a few things, but doing them well 
 This year, I kind of went into freak out mode. Everyone around me was busy with clubs and jobs and internships and I wasn't doing anything. So I started doing everything, and all at once. Big mistake. Choosing one or two things and really committing to them wholeheartedly is usually the way to go. Believe me, the whole "quality is better than quantity" thing applies to many different aspects of life.

9. Do what makes you happy 
Don't like your major? Change it. In the end, doing what you love is really the most important thing. Don't let some stupid Yahoo! news article tell you that you'll never get a job if you major in Psychology. Make (well-informed) decisions for yourself, and don't let the negative opinions of others push you to do something you hate. In the end, no six-figure paycheck is worth that.

So that's pretty much it! But now, I'm dying to know your opinions! Do you agree/disagree with my advice? What other lessons do you think are important? Tell me in the comments!

xo Sydney 


  1. I completely agree! When I was in college I strived for A's with 2 small boys at home and a full course load I was completely stressed out. Finally I quit stressing and just did my best and I ended up graduating with a 3.45 Cum Laude degree and I wasnt in tears every single night!

    1. Right?! A 3.45 is awesome and honestly some grades just aren't worth sacrificing your health/sanity! Thank you SO much for reading!!

  2. I totally agree. Aiming for the top marks isn't something you should do when you get into higher education, it's all about what you can manage whilst still maintaining an acceptable amount of sanity! I think January/February is always a hard time for people getting back after the holidays and throwing themselves back into assignments, it's the getting through it that teaches you the most, maybe more than your classes are teaching you! I found college/university the place where I really did learn what kind of person I am and what makes me happy. A wonderful post x

    Megan / pixiecrop.com

    1. It's so true! So much is happening in college and you really do learn who you are. That means going through a lot of ups and downs! Thanks SO much for reading! I really appreciate the kind words!! xx

  3. I absolutely loved this post. That quality over quantity statement definitely goes further then just with your friends, but can be applied to a work setting too. We were in the same boat this year in terms of trying to do everything... there's something about Sophomore year that makes people suddenly become 10x more involved on campus and I definitely got that memo a little late. So glad your year turned out okay, you've always got a HCBN friend in me to turn to if you ever need a boost!


    1. Ok, this comment seriously made me day! Thank you SO much for reading and I'm really glad you loved it! xx

  4. Those are some great lessons! Congrats on finishing your spin more year! Keep carrying those with you over the rest of your time in college! I love number 1! It is so true especially when surrounded by so many people. But the quality of who you are with is more important than the number of people you are around. It's hard at times but knowing it and coming back to that knowing can get you through! Happy Wednesday!

  5. College is such a reality check! I graduated high school in the top 8% of my class, and when I got to college, I thought it was going to be a breeze because I had such an inflated sense of self. I was sorely disappointed my first semester. I quickly learned though, like you said, sometimes you just have to take your C and move on! :)

  6. Oh, and the toxic friend thing. I'm 28 and have just started to learn this - you're lucky you've realized it so soon! ;-)

  7. I totally needed this back when I was a Sophomore! But, now that I'm a round 2 college attendee (Putting myself through another year for another degree ahhhhh!) I agree with all of these! I have very few friends, but the ones I do are true and are always there for me! Also, that changing majors thing really speaks to me!

  8. I really love this! I found the same thing when it comes to activities. I was freaking out because I wasn't president of twenty clubs all at once, and my roommates are much busier than myself. But I realized that everyone has different priorities - for me, having time to blog and also being able to get eight hours of sleep is a bigger deal than being involved in twenty clubs. I also can relate to the "do what makes you happy" thing. The environment at my university is very much career-focused and so everyone is out to maximize their earnings. It's easy to get caught up in that and forget that at the end of the day it's all about being happy! Thanks for the reminder :)


  9. Girl, the degree to which I get you right now is ABSURD. All of the above have applied to my own year as well!
    This year, I finally became ok with dropping some "friends" who weren't actually that.
    This year, I became more than ok with B's, and I got a C in calculus last year, too. C is for Calculus, right?
    This year, I finally stopped comparing myself to every person under the sun and am learning to appreciate every ounce of me that's DIFFERENT from everyone else.
    This year, I quit the two internships I was juggling simultaneously to focus on my own life, and I'm so happy.

    Thanks for this, Sydney. You speak the truth!



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