This fall I’ll be returning to William & Mary as a sophomore. Since I was a spring transfer whose first semester was last spring (2023), I still feel relatively new to the W&M community. It’s been difficult finding a place in campus in such a short period of time, yet now I’m almost halfway through college. There’s pressure to make friends, maintain high grades on every assignment, network and get involved, and find jobs in such little time.
Summer has been a time for reflection about the change coming as each class moves up a year. There’s unspoken feelings about unbecoming the youngest class on campus. Sophomores and juniors can feel unimportant as they lack the ‘bookend’ status that freshman and seniors possess. The focus is on freshmen as they need the help transitioning to the new environment and seniors as they prepare for their last year before graduation. This leaves two remaining classes. What is it that sophomores and juniors have to look forward to?
Moving up the class ladder has its benefits and disadvantages. As you move up a year in college, classes become more challenging, the academic load increases, free time decreases, and the time before graduation ticks away. However, the more time spent working on your academics provides you with more opportunities, experience, and knowledge that will help you in your future career. You’ll strengthen the bonds between friends and create lifelong connections. You’ll network with professors and alumni who can advance your professional career. You’ll move into an air-conditioned dorm if you remain on-campus. You’ll explore a new level of independence in your home away from home. And most importantly, you’ll serve as role models to those new to William & Mary.
It’s crucial to remember that college is a multiple year experience. There is plenty of time to work towards all of your goals and also have fun in the process. While you’re not the youngest of the school anymore, you can take your new status as an opportunity to help those who are.