The sophomore year can be a time of uncertainty and students may experience a “sophomore slump.” And it’s no wonder!  Sophomores experience a whole new set of stressors than they did during the first year. The thrill of the first year has faded and your student may be questioning some of the choices they made, they may think that everyone else has their future figured out, and they may feel added pressure from you to choose a specific path. And in the midst of it all, some may wonder if MSU is the right place for them. There is also added pressure to declare a major, find an internship, identify study abroad and/or service-learning opportunities, and more.  The academic pressures increase, while the energy levels decrease.

In this year of soul-searching, it is important for sophomores to stay active and connected to the university community. Whether through involvement in student activities, or sporting some Bobcat Pride at one of our football games, these connections and supports will serve students through their “sophomore slump” and throughout their career at MSU.

After their freshman year of exploration, the sophomore year is a time for students to find direction, and to start to move toward graduation with a chosen major. This year is also a time for students to begin to consider their future after college, and start to look into opportunities to explore their career aspirations. Encourage your student to identify and pursue some goal-centered activities to help explore some of their interests. Also be aware that your student may lean on you more this year as a support system to help him or her through what can be a confusing and overwhelming time for many students. Your advice and guidance, as well as your role as a mentor, will help anchor your student and propel them to have a successful year.

Here are a few links that could be helpful to you and your student:

  • Study Abroad: Is your student interested in studying abroad? Sophomore year is a great time to study abroad - students can choose to study abroad for a year, a semester or even a summer!

  • Engagement: As students progress through their collegiate career, extracurriculars become even more important. Encourage your student to join a club if they haven’t already.

  • Leadership: Sophomore year is a great time for students to begin developing their leadership skills. The MSU Leadership Institute’s objective is to work on a system-wide basis providing, coordinating, planning and organizing leadership opportunities for students. The Institute provides a variety of student-focused leadership opportunities designed to enhance and provide essential career and life skills.

  • Scholarships: Did you know that students can apply for scholarships within their department every year? Encourage your student to check out scholarship opportunities in their department.