The perks and pitfalls of being a sophomore

Austin B.
Staff Writer

What is a sophomore? To freshmen, a sophomore is the future of their high school knowledge, but to juniors and seniors, sophomores are just freshmen with the slightest bit more maturity. Technically, the word sophomore is derived from the Greek words sophos and moros, which translate to “wise fool,” so in this case, both descriptions are correct.

Sophomore originally became used for classes in the 16th and 17th centuries at Cambridge University, when students were assigned names for each class in order to take part in a debate. This conversation was considered too intellectually advanced for the freshmen, so they did not take part. The word “sophumer,” which means “one who uses sophism,” was given to each class for this debate. For the discussion, there were the sophumers, junior sophumers, and senior sophumers. “Sophomore” can also be used as a synonym for the word “second.”

During sophomore year, teens’ immaturity can be at its pinnacle. This is why students of more advanced grade levels may dislike the sophomore class as a whole. Sophomores can act just as juvenile as freshmen, primarily because they have just made the transformation into something beyond the classification of “just another freshman.” Their minds are still developing into not being so adolescent. Sophomores were freshmen just a few months before the beginning of the school year, so they have not completely changed. While this immaturity may seem to be completely negative, they still have the creativity of being young. While thSophomore ABis is one advantage of being a sophomore, there are many other factors that could change the feeling someone has about being a sophomore.

Sophomores can be very unique compared to the other classes of high school. There are many advantages and disadvantages to being in the second year of high school. Sophomore David Schwieger says, “I like it. I’m not a freshman, and I know where to go.” However, some people feel differently, such as WHS junior Blake Landsiedel, who says that he does not miss being a sophomore because “I’m closer to graduating.” There are many reasons to like or dislike sophomore year such as the classes, the teachers, or just not being part of a different class, but many consider the sophomore class to be the “forgotten class” or “middle child” of high school. This is because during sophomore year, the students are not yet upperclassmen, but they are not freshmen anymore either. Being in the middSophomore 2 ABle of two categories is the reason that sophomores are not as noticed as other classes. Another reason that being a sophomore can be disadvantageous is because of the sophomore slump, or “second season syndrome,” a form of senioritis that is acquired by this younger class. It has two meanings: lack of motivation to do any sort of work that a teacher assigns, or a way of explaining why a sophomore is doing badly in class, at a sport, or any other reason that it could be needed to be used.

Being a sophomore can be stressful because of what students must deal with during their sophomore year, and the change in workload does not help the already overwhelmed students. As freshmen, students have a much less demanding year than they would as a higher class student. Sophomore and freshman science teacher Mr. Matthew Swanson claims, “It’s a lot less guided for sophomores. We expect them to do a lot more free thinking.” This is a very well thought out way to explain the idea that sophomores must adapt to the advances in work that teachers will assign. Social studies teacher Mr. Dan Page states, “It’s all about building up to the next level. Sophomores are starting to do work to prepare them for junior year rather than freshmen work to prepare to be a sophomore.” This is also very true, as it points out why teachers believe that sophomores deserve more advanced work. Teachers do not picture sophomores as the forgotten class, because many teach sophomores, so they know what to expect of each class. Mr. Page says, “They’re fine, just another class. The sophomore class is a pretty good class overall because they’re starting to grow up.”

By the time students reach sophomore year, they will have begun to develop into who they will be for the rest of their lives. Sophomores have begun the process of becoming adults but have not yet completely made the change. They must begin their search for colleges, jobs, and what they want to do with themselves after high school, and the motivation not to grow up can be sometimes considered the sophomore slump, as mentioned earlier, second season syndrome. While there are many positive factors of being a sophomore, it is the overwhelming number of disadvantageous aspects that create the sophomore slump.

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