Sophomores: take control of your world

By J. Louis Trzepacz September 26, 2018

“Sophomore” is a call to action. It is an opportunity “to become” rather than merely “to be” that marks experiences which test, reaffirm, challenge, explode. That might include looking into study abroad, researching an undergraduate research program, or going to the career fair. It might include new friendships, looking at Greek life in a new way, or accomplishing something you didn’t think possible.  

As a bit of history, “sophisters”—or second year students at Cambridge University—were expected to participate in the important task of formal debate, an expectation absent of the “freshmen,” or new students who did not yet have to debate. Similarly, it is in your sophomore year that you are asked to engage in a new way with your college experience. You may have thought that “new” is behind you; you’ve navigated a new living environment, you’ve experienced college level courses.

In your sophomore year, you are invited to take decisive actions towards your future. You will find, or begin to solidify, your direction. If you don’t have a major or aren’t sure about the one you do have, it is time to have experiences like the Arch Preparatory Course, which will help you make those decisions. As sophomores, the chances to engage with those who are different from you are quickly dwindling as firmly established groups form. A dizzying array of decisions begs to be made—don’t shy away from the opportunity to do so: to act.

There is much to look forward to, and much to be missed, if you aren’t careful. Many offices in Student Life, and across campus, have designed elements of the sophomore experience. Please understand our genuine and earnest desire to encourage you and help you to become the person you dare to become. Changing the world is not reserved for Rensselaer graduates—as sophomores, it is now your responsibility to change your own world, and to prepare to change the world for others.