Fight off the sophomore “slump” and have a strong second half of sophomore year!

Sophomores are at a pivotal point in their high school career.   Here’s why:

  • Many sophomores earn their driver’s license–and have more independence.
  • Sophomores plan their junior year schedule, the last complete year colleges will see on applications.
  • Classes and extracurricular involvement may start to shape a student’s career interests.

Sophomores should be over the freshman year jitters and apprehensions that go with so many “firsts” in high school.  Now is the time to set a course for sophomore year success.

Identify Interests and Choose Classes

Students at this point should assess what they’ve learned.  They should identify subjects and extracurriculars they enjoy and want to pursue.  If grades aren’t what they could be, ask for help or find a tutor.  Set a goal for improvement by the end of the next trimester or semester.  Choose junior year classes carefully, as this is the last full year of grades submitted to colleges.  But students shouldn’t be deterred from accepting challenges!  Many colleges look at unweighted GPAs, but they’ll notice whether a schedule is easy or difficult.

Make Extracurriculars Count

Sophomores should start to make their mark in extracurricular endeavors.  They can take on more responsibility in a club or organization or reach out into the community to pursue volunteer work that is meaningful to them.  The key is for students to commit energy to activities they care about and be involved over a period of time. (A long list of one-time volunteer stints doesn’t have the same impact on a college application.)  If a student has no extracurricular involvement (that includes work, sports, activities and volunteering), now is the time to get started.

Start to Think About College

Although sophomore year may seem early, students need to think about college.  They may love high school, or maybe they can’t wait to be finished.  Either way, they need to start thinking about what comes next.  A simple way is to research colleges in Wisconsin that can be easily visited to start getting a feel for what a college campus feels like (and how different it is from high school)!

Sophomores should map out a schedule for ACT preparation.  If involved in a sport, students will benefit by having a test score early in recruitment if they hope to play in college.  If not, it is still wise to plan ahead.  Students can plan testing for a time during junior year when preparation won’t be in conflict with sports or other activities and for a time that makes sense academically.

Summer will be here in just a few months, so making summer plans is part of the list for the second half of sophomore year.  Summer options include a job, preparation for the ACT, camps or similar activities, or volunteer involvement.

Knowledge Edge can help!  Sophomore year success requires planning and thinking.  Check out our website for information about tutoring, ACT preparation, and Homework Help we can provide to support students in and around the Mequon and North Shore area.