Welcome to the Sophomore Year Initiative (SYI) web page! The goal of the program was to help first-time full-time freshmen persist and succeed at Lehman and beyond. SYI provided Academic and Career Advisement, Personal Counseling, and Tutoring Support for all first-time full-time freshmen during their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th semesters of study at Lehman. SYI also sponsored ongoing workshops and events to support academic success, promote retention and persistence, increase rate of progress to graduation, facilitate student early selection of a major area of study, and encourage campus and community engagement.
Students may find out more information about their Academic Advisor, Career Advisor, and Personal Counselor by accessing these tabs under "Student Support".
Why is sophomore year important?
The sophomore year can present students with many challenges. These include deciding upon a major, learning how to develop a deeper understanding of the desired major, finding the right classes, doing well academically, finding social connections, and discovering and strengthening self-identity.
What is the Sophomore Slump?
After the excitement and newness of college has worn off, students can sometimes begin to second guess their educational plans, personal relationships, as well as long-term aspirations. Students who experience additional stressors outside of school such as loss of a loved one, difficulty at home, and/or financial struggles can be especially susceptible. Sometimes, students can fall into a “sophomore slump” when a period of indecision combines with other stresses in a student’s life.
Lemons and Richmond (1987) define the sophomore slump as a “period of developmental confusion” and hypothesize that the “sophomore slump results from student’s struggles with achieving competence, desiring autonomy, establishing identity, and developing purpose.”
Feel like you may be experiencing a “sophomore slump”?
The Counseling Center at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania created a great series of questions about the sophomore slump. They include:
- What am I doing here at College?
- Why do I have more questions now than when I was a freshman?
- Are the people I hang around with really my friends?
- Why am I majoring in this, if I don’t even like it?
- Why do I feel constantly overwhelmed?
- Why am I so confused about my future?
- Why am I not having as much fun as last year?
- Why do I feel like my parents are always pressuring me to know what I want to do with my life?
- Does everyone else have life all figured out?
- Why do I feel so unmotivated?
If you answer yes to three or more of these questions, you could be experiencing the sophomore slump.
How can you overcome the “sophomore slump”?
If you think you might be experiencing the sophomore slump, there are many things you can do to cope. The SYI program staff is also here to help!
Take care of your physical well-being. Eat regularly, exercise, and get enough sleep.
Meet with your academic advisor. Sophomores will have a designated Advisor to help them to set goals, plan, and achieve success. Your Advisor will also help you to explore classes that look fascinating, make personal connections with faculty members, and help you look into and utilize available academic support resources at Lehman.
Visit counseling services. Accept that the sophomore slump is normal. Counseling Services has partnered with SYI. Meeting with a counselor will help you to identify those things that may be causing you stress, such as a demanding schedule or overcommitted calendar. With the help of a Counselor, you can strive to make changes, learn about yourself, and learn how to assert your growing identity.
Visit the Office of Career Services. Explore majors and internships. Career Services has partnered with SYI. Meet with a Career Counselor to receive assistance in researching major and career options. Your Career Counselor may also provide you with tools to research internship opportunities that will help you to put your classroom learning to real-world training. Learn how to build experiences that will enhance your resume!
Become involved in extracurricular activities. Visit the Office of Student Life and the Office of Campus Engagement. Participate in fun and free events at Lehman. Become involved in your department of interest and/or pre-major clubs and organizations. Volunteer and give of your time and energy to help others!
Become involved in Leadership opportunities. Visit the Office of the Urban Male Leadership Program and/or the Herbert H. Lehman Center for Student Leadership Development to learn more about how to become a member of either program and find out ways to develop your leadership potential.
Explore Study Abroad opportunities. The Lehman Study Abroad Office is committed to promoting international academic experiences. The office oversees all Lehman faculty-led, study abroad, and exchange programs. These programs will allow you to further explore your academic interests at an international level, often times, accompanied by Lehman faculty. Currently, Lehman sponsors five international programs.