You often hear talk of the sophomore slump- a time where students can experience heightened uncertainty and lower motivation, in addition to second guessing choices they have made in their first year of college.
However, as we find ourselves in our second semester as a virtual community, and with the uncertainty the pandemic has brought to our lives, we recognize that this same type of slump is likely impacting students at all levels – a college slump, if you will.
Below we lay out strategies and resources for overcoming a challenging season in college.
Socially, you may be feeling isolated and/or disconnected from your friends. With little opportunity to connect these days, you may be craving peer interaction and support in ways you never have before.
It can be hard to take the initial step, especially if you are burnt out on video calls, but try mixing it up a bit.
- Get a group of friends together to play a video game or trivia, virtually.
- Organize a study group over video chat. Even if each person is focused on individual work, having the presence of others with you can be a big mood booster!
- Is the weather nice? Grab a mask and meet up with a friend to take a walk/hike or have a socially distanced lunch in a park.
Additionally, don’t forget that Campus Life is still offering opportunities for student engagement. Check out their myUMBC page or follow the Student Events Board (SEB)’s for a list of events, both virtual and socially distanced. Many student organizations are also staying connected online, whether through social media or virtual meetings.
Academically, you may be feeling a lack of motivation to attend class or study. You be challenged by virtual learning, as it may not align with your preferred learning style. You also may be questioning your choice of major and wondering if you should completely change your academic path.
- The Academic Success Center has great online learning resources, including a series of interactive videos
- Check in with your professors during their office hours or chat with a TA to get assistance with specific questions you have about your course content
- Advisors in the Office for Academic & Pre-Professional Advising welcome the opportunity to discuss your academic plans, including any potential major changes you are considering.
Generally speaking, slumps are a normal part of any college experience. It may seem like everyone around you has things 100% figured out, but most certainly, that is not the case. It’s what you do in the midst of a slump that will set the course for your remaining time at UMBC. The solution is almost always to take some form of action, no matter how small the step. If making social or academic changes seems too much right now, perhaps a step in the direction of your mental health and well-being is a better fit. If that’s the case, we encourage you to visit University Health Services and Health Promotion or the Counseling Center for support.