Your Sophomore Year
Welcome back for your second year at UMD!
As you encounter UMD’s new freshmen in the hallways and in class, it is probably easy to recognize how much you have learned over the past year. From becoming aware of university policies and procedures to forming friendships and developing personal study habits, you conquered many of the challenges of the first year of college.
Your second year of college is a time to recommit to your education and to strength your personal goals and identity. This can be an energizing time, but a few challenges may arise as well. What challenges might you encounter during your second year?
- Students may find the need to commit to an academic major overwhelming. Recognize that there are simple steps you can follow in choosing a major or career path. A career counselor or a professional advisor in your collegiate student affairs office can guide you through this process.
- Some students might question their ability to succeed in school after having a difficult first year or due to experiencing new challenges in more advanced courses. Continue to fine-tune your study habits as you discover different courses require different study techniques and amounts of time. The formula you heard about last year still applies – more study time = better grades.
Explore the free, on-demand online workshops for tips and advice from experts in college student success.
- Thinkng about life after college may cause some uneasiness. This is the perfect time to explore potential career fields and graduate or professional school options. Again, Career Services is an awesome resource for this type of information. Also meet with your academic advisor for advice on professional options related to your chosen field of study. These discussions might influence the elective courses you incorporate into your graduation plan as well as planning of internships and research projects.
- Relationships that formed during the first year mostly because of convenience and location may weaken. Stronger and deeper ties will develop but take time and energy. Look for new opportunities to become involved on campus. Many students increase their involvement in student organizations during their second year and find that it’s a great way to meet students with similar interests.
- With new living arrangements and classes, UMD may feel a little unfamiliar again. Time and new connections will improve your comfort level.
Yes, there are some ups and downs during the sophomore year, but remember that these are normal and will ultimately lead you to a stronger commitment to your education and to greater personal growth.
Visit the 30-60-90 Student Success Roadmap webpage and review the key benchmarks for the 2nd year including those specified by your collegiate unit (links to unit benchmarks are at the bottom of the page). Utilize the links on the webpage to connect with campus resources committed to supporting your success.
Remember that you need to reach 60 credits in order to move from sophomore to junior status. As a second-year student, you are encouraged to set the goal of reaching the 60-credit milestone by the end of spring semester or with the addition of one or two courses this coming summer. Consult your APAS report and update your graduation plan to make sure the courses you enroll in fulfill your degree requirements.
Above all, believe in your ability to succeed. We do!
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UMD is currently seeking feedback on ways to improve the sophomore year. If you have comments or suggestions, please contact Mary Keenan, coordinator of UMD Student Success Initiatives.