A Sophomore Year in Review

Isabella Ledet, Staff Writer

Most people say that sophomore year is the most insignificant. Freshman year is the beginning, junior year is the beginning of being an upperclassman, and senior year is the rush to the finish. Sophomore year gets lost in the shuffle.

But college is so short that it would be stupid to chalk an entire year up to “the year in the middle.” Sure, at the end of the day, sophomore year is just the year in the middle, but it is just as real and important as any other year.

Freshman year is world-building. College is a new horizon that just keeps expanding and growing, making that first year feel longer simply because of all the changes. 

So, since most things are already established by sophomore year, it moves far faster than its predecessor. I still feel like I just moved in to film orientation like it was a few weeks ago. I have lived in this room almost as long as I occupied my room in O’Dwyer last year, but I feel like I have only lived here for the blink of an eye. I feel like syllabus day just passed, and there is still so much time to get to know the mysterious classmates that sit behind me in Advanced Calc and to write more opinion articles for The Villanovan.

Sophomore year is the year where everything is supposed to be figured out. Most colleges have undergraduates declare their majors after the completion of sophomore year, as if people have any clearer idea of their future than they did the year before. But what have I done? What has been accomplished in the blink of an eye that was this year? I was promised plot developments. Where were they?

And yet, as I look back at this year, I realize how much has really happened. I realize how different of a person I have become since last year. I realize that even though this year did not have the world-building like freshman year did, it built so much more.

Freshman year was the foundation. It was putting up the forms, pouring the cement and letting it dry to form something solid. And while that feels like a lot, it is not a house, it is not a home.

A solid foundation is important, which is why the gravity of freshman year is so great, but sophomore year is getting the wood and doing the framing. It does not take very long to frame a giant building, but that does not mean that it is close to being finished. The lumber has been assembled rapidly and has now formed something that generally resembles a building.

Junior year will be putting the finishing touches on the exterior, perhaps weather-proofing the thing so that the inside can be decorated and the home can be completed by senior year.

So, sophomore year is not the year that can just get written off. Without framing, there can be no home. It would not exist. So, maybe sophomore year did not have all the plot developments that I would have wanted it to have, but it had what it needed. I strengthened the connections that I had already made. I made incredibly strong new connections. So, in that sense, I have come very far. 

If I take a moment to look back to the beginning, to think about the sunlight pouring through one frosted window and one regular window, and the yellow-shirted orientation counselors wandering around outside, I realize just how incomparable this year really was. I simply cannot truthfully say that nothing happened.

I return to the words that keep me going day in and day out: everything happens for a reason. Unfortunately, I cannot see the full blueprint as this home is being built. All I can do is to continue to frame upon my strong foundation, make the house bigger and build on it until it is a home.