Last summer, things were very different. Despite the numerous C’s I received at my high school, I graduated with a great transcript and a solid 3.6 GPA. It took my 2-3 years to really get a handle on high school and now I had to say goodbye to an environment I finally thrived in. As an optimist, I told myself I could hang on the college level. But still, I had my concerns. Would this be high school all over again: a rough start that I’d spend my upperclassman years trying to mend? What would the block plan be like?
My first class being classics didn’t make me feel any better. It was my first time studying classics (or reading them, period). I envisioned Block 1, FYS CLA 278: Tragedy and Catharsis, as being more of the former than the latter. I pictured a room of classics lovers, eagerly sharing their knowledge and building on a foundation that I didn’t have. As a Type A person, I refused to let the summer pass without making some attempt at mending my literary weakness. With the help of my brother’s classics loving girlfriend I was reading ahead in our Euripides textbook, learning about the house of atreus, and looking at diagrams depicting the festival of dionysus. This assuaged my fears.
There were also many other concerns: would I like my roommate? How does this making friends thing work again? Wait… why did I leave a world city–Chicago–for Mt. Vernon, Iowa? But despite these fears, I was excited by the novelty of it all.
Now things are different.
Academically, my freshman year of college was my best year of all time. I overcame unfamiliar subjects like Classics and Cellular Biology. I took on my least favorite subject from my K-12 years, history, and realized I still hate it. And I will always hate it. I took on classes I enjoyed in the past, like psychology, and was shocked that people major in it and come out alive. I loved OCAAT, discovered that my majors are a perfect fit, and found out that small town Iowa isn’t so bad. Random assignment worked out and I liked my roommate so much that we’re rooming together this year too. And within these crazy 8 blocks of school I even managed to make some friends.
Here’s where Andrew Luck comes in. Much like my transition for Walter Payton College Prep to Cornell, he was a progidy coming out of college into the NFl. Everyone wanted to know how he was going to do, the same way my family waited to see if lightning could strike twice on my academic transcripts. Andrew Luck started off great: he won the starting job; but he also went through adversities, such as losing his coach. No one was expecting this team to go to the playoffs. But they did it. They lost their first game but they played really well. It was a successful first year, they made great progress and managed to do so with an assistent coach. But much like me, Andrew Luck has the sophomore slump looming overhead.
There are less unknowns this time around.
And, in some ways, that’s left me even more anxious and eager than last year. I know what’s coming and I can[‘t] wait! When I talk to my friends it’s about how much we want to go back to Cornell and how much we are not ready to go back to Cornell. The prospect of doing last year all over again is daunting. But with a new school year, there are also new challenges: I am just now doing my English major requirements, my classes will be harder, I’m in a LLC (which is a year long service project), and I have an additional workstudy job. On top of this, I want to blog more, write more, read for fun, and workout.
After a successful first year, I feel like the stakes are higher. I’ve proved I can do well… so now I feel even more pressure to rise to the occassion and do it again. In fact, I’m planning to be even better this time around.
Being a rising sophomore in August is the calm before the storm and I feel like I should be preparing for it… but nothing can really prepare me. At this point it’s all waiting. Waiting for my books to arrive, waiting to pack, waiting for the 31st. And as I sit here resisting the urge to email my professor, inquiring when the syllabus will be available, I realize that as a rising sophomore I am excited for all the things I am afraid of.
Here’s to fighting the sophomore slump.