Sophomore year— a personal overview

The unspoken stuff about being a sophomore.


Anonymous, Reporter

November 3rd, 1969– President Richard M. Nixon gave his Address to the Nation on the War in Vietnam, where he popularized a term that is used to this day.

“And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support.”

The “silent majority” is defined as a large amount of people within a country or a group that do not openly express their opinions, commonly during times in which voiced opinions matter most.

Now, my sophomore class may not be the largest class that Mead High School has ever housed and educated (therefore making us the silent minorities), but it feels as if we don’t hear a great deal about sophomore year compared to freshmen, junior, and senior year.

Freshmen— greatly frowned upon as they are stereotyped to be the smallest, condescending, and most entitled student class in a high school setting, which is true in some cases and in others not.

Juniors— undoubtedly the most stressed student class with the official SAT that rolls around in the second semester, along with commonly toggling a job as well, and several other exams that come, along with AP classes to glam up their appearance in college applications.

Seniors— the adults or soon-to-be adults that need to catch their breaks every once in a while. Some stragglers still applying for college, some applying for scholarships, some who are simply trying to hold on until the end of the year for several different reasons, mostly to finally sleep well after four years of either the worst or best years of their lives.

But with sophomores… is anything ever really said? What is the best thing about the class? What is the worst thing about the class?

Does the sophomore class even have any magic to it as any of the other classes have?

There is a reason why we are considered the “middle children” of high school since the highlights of the year are mainly reduced to, “You get your license this year, maybe.”

Currently being a sophomore myself, I have had many experiences throughout the 2017-2018 school year, and I have collected some answers to the aspects of sophomore year.

Quick disclaimer, however: I do not tend to react well in social situations as I begin to panic both physiologically and psychologically, therefore I was unable to attend any sports games or really take anything from assemblies we had, so those will not be included.

What is the best thing about sophomore year?

On a general level, the opportunities— the broader opportunities that we receive compared to freshmen in terms of classes such as National Honors Society invites, more AP class options, and just being older than freshmen without much of the stress that juniors often times have.

On a personal level… this has been the worst year of my life so far. I have friends, I took my opportunity to join NHS, and take some of the AP classes open to sophomores, yet it was also another year in which I had to mourn the death of a loved one who was very dear to me which caused my health to take a downturn.

Which brings us to the next question,

What is the worst thing about sophomore year?

The oncoming stress that comes as a pre-junior in terms of studying for the SAT next year (or the PSAT), trying to get more involved with the school, and being constantly bombarded with the pressure to obtain a stable job.

Everything has been difficult to toggle, and knowing that it will perhaps be worse junior year is not much help. Your main lifeline is either supportive friends, teachers, counselors, or unfortunately but sometimes the suicide hotline or crisis chat.

What is the magic of sophomore year? What makes it count?

I was sitting in my English class one day, and Ms. Engelen mentioned something along the lines of how sophomore year is the year in which we change the most, in the most drastic way often times. I do not remember exactly if she mentioned it as a general statement or if she said it with emphasis, but mind that this was relatively early in the year.

As the months passed by, the more apparent and true her statement became to me, and I understood more.

Don’t get it mixed up— we definitely change as a whole after four years of high school, but specifically in sophomore year is when we begin to switch and realize that high school is not all fun and games as things become serious, compared to freshman year.

This year, my dearest friend Anthony passed away. I lost my best friend, and my health had hit an all time low that not even a regular sleep schedule or exercise can fix.

Despite everything that had happened, each event led to several revelations that hopefully make sense as one:

No matter what, our lives are worth it. Everything we do is not only for the sake of others, but it is also for the sake of our well-being. We have to remember to be thankful for what we have, and although sometimes it seems as if everything is a disaster, we have to remember to breathe and give it our best effort. We are never alone in this world, and there is always a light of hope. We just have to look in the right places is all, even if it takes a while.

Here is a quote translated from Korean from Kim Jonghyun:

“I think it’s okay to feel lost in your life. I think it’s okay not to reach that final goal [in your life]. You may earn things while being lost or could make something out of it through the emotions you feel. I think it should be your judgement. You don’t have to make someone else judge the satisfaction of your life. I hope that you don’t feel too anxious about feeling lost in your life.”

Two years left, everyone. Class of 2020, we can make it. We can all make it.