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The sophomore experience: a perfect balance (the teen)

By Leah Ruth

Section: Features

November 12, 2010

GRAPHIC BY Leah Lefkowitz/The Hoot

As a sophomore, it’s easy to love being a Brandeis student. I haven’t yet started stressing about what to do with the rest of my life, but I’ve learned how to work the system. I know the best times to get in line at Usdan, the best classes to take and the fastest way to get everywhere. I’ve made enough friends that there is always someone around that I can hang out with, but I am always meeting new people.

The best part of being a sophomore is that I know I’m not quite halfway done. I haven’t started experiencing any “lasts,” and I’ve gotten all of my troublesome “firsts” out of the way.

Becoming a sophomore has tested friendships, and has shown who was a real friend and who was a friend of convenience, a great person but not someone I really make an effort to hang out with now that we live on opposite sides of campus. Generally, I’m friends with a different group of people than I was last year, but I still try to have weekly Monday dinners with my old next-door neighbor, who quickly became one of my best friends. Continuing friendships certainly isn’t convenient as you transition from first-year to sophomore year, but if you can make it work, it’s definitely worth it.

At the beginning of the year last year, I signed up for countless e-mail lists and clubs. I struggled to balance my new commitments with my schoolwork, but it was just too much. Going in to this year, I knew that there were two things that I wanted to do. I chose to dedicate my time to two extracurriculars, knowing that being heavily involved in two things would be much more satisfying that spreading myself too thin and trying to be involved in everything.

I don’t miss the days when I had to nervously ask someone older (and therefore incredibly intimidating) which building I was supposed to be going. I don’t miss going to Sherman just because Usdan was too far away from Massell. On the other hand, the time is coming to declare a major, something I’m not looking forward to, and have definitely not given enough thought. And as excited I am to study abroad, the thought of choosing and committing myself to a country and program terrifies me.

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