Well, it’s that time again, folks. It’s back to school season, and I’m a sophomore.
The beginning of the school year, like always, offers a plethora of new, utterly terrifying prospects that every new student has to undertake. It’s a time of uncomfortable introductions, that awkward adjustment period, and loads of stress.
This year, I’m beginning my sophomore year of high school. This, like any year, is the time that I psych myself out and prepare to cry myself a river, because if there’s anything I’m good at, it’s throwing pity parties.
Last year, I did a post about my freshman year experience, which I will link here:
Go ahead a read that one if you want to, but for now, the topic of discussion is 10th grade.
Sophomore Year Break-Down
The Week Before
I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I was for freshman year. By the time sophomore year rolled around, I knew the drill and the rules of the game. Of course, there was an underlying feeling of despair and desolation, but that’s just school for you.
High school is like a board game: If you follow the rules, observe the people around you, and make good choices, you’ll be fine. However, just like any game, a lot of it is up to chance.
This year I am taking more advanced classes, introducing my first AP class and advancing further in my other subjects. I finished my summer assignment at the end of July, but I have friends (Including Bella, the other admin on this site) that were really pushing it to the end, finishing the night before school started.
Please, make it easier on yourself and start at least a month in advance, depending on the size of the assignment(s). I could not endure more than an hour of work a day at most, so it took a very long time.
But, yeah, I was feeling pretty alright. I walked my schedule at my campus and made sure my bag was packed the night before, but that was about it for preparation.
The First Day
Actually, scratch everything I said, it was all lies. Uh… yeah. Flashback to when I wrote the ‘Week Before’ paragraph, I suppose I did believe I was completely fine.
Spoiler alert: I was most decidedly not.
I don’t know why my body decided to commit the ultimate betrayal and leave me throwing up on the morning of my first day, but hey, life really be like that sometimes.
There is a very tangible shift from freshman year to sophomore. I don’t know what I was expecting, but my classes already seem a bit more… hardcore.
Just like with last year, it will take time to adjust to my new schedule. As I’m writing this, I’m exhausted, gross, and not really too optimistic about tomorrow. I felt kind of lost, in a way, and so very tired. At this point, my exhaustion is a personality trait, because I genuinely can’t think of the last time I wasn’t tired.
Hi, nice to meet you, I’m emotionally unstable.
The First Month
Sophomore year is hard.
Like… I shouldn’t be complaining because I am so fortunate to be able to do well in my classes and get a free education and all that jazz, but please, bear with me for a moment as I grovel.
People are really complex. This is a fact I’m well-versed with, and one that has not changed in its prominence in my life.
Because, Jesus, am I bad at talking to people. This obviously will not apply to everyone, but this is about my experience, and I have come to realize that school makes me feel bad about myself. Wow, I know, we love self-deprecation, but really.
How am I supposed to talk to people??? When I look the way I do??? People won’t like me??? I don’t know???? What are social skills????
Oh, God, I’m sweating.
Perspiration aside, this year has left me sitting in my room one too many times, silently listening to “Country Roads, Take Me Home” and staring at the ceiling, because LORD. Being a functioning human being is WORK.
I sit in class in wonder as my friends just start… talking to the people around them? What is this sorcery?? I mainly stare at my paper and doodle the same flower over and over until the bell rings, looking terrified out of my mind and refusing to make eye contact with anyone, so i WoNdEr WhY nO oNe TaLkS tO mE?
There’s so much collaboration that I swear my poor, easily-excitable brain is constantly on the verge of combustion, and group projects? nO, MA‘AM.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my classes. Most of my teachers are awesome, and I know at least one person in every class, which is so much better than from freshman year. I just second-guess myself constantly and there are days that I come home and think, “I should never talk again, I’m a wreck.”
I swear I have good intentions, but my execution is horrible. Ha, that’d be the title of my memoir: Good Intentions, Horrible Execution.
If I were to give out any ‘advice,’ it would be to plan. Because, really, unlike freshman year, it’s all up to you on how much time you have to take to complete assignments. Believe me when I say that there have been nights where I do eight to nine hours of homework straight and can feel my brain cells stuttering for breath, rasping out their last wishes to, like, give their assets to their cell friends or something, I don’t know, don’t read into it.
Teachers expect you to be on top of dates and to prepare for things. You will not be babied and your teachers will not accept excuses.
Take advantage of every moment you have to get things done early. Start working on things as soon as you get them, especially for AP classes.
On a lighter note, I am having way more fun than I did last year. That sounds sarcastic, sorry.
But, really, sophomore year is the first time I’ve really felt like a teenager, and though it hasn’t even been an entire month yet, I feel like my morals and what shapes me as a person have begun to become clearer.
And, yes, I’m still working on the whole… branching out, having the ‘high school experience’ thing, but for now, I’m content with my small group of friends and those small moments of happiness.