Save Our Sophomores

Jayde Teutsch, News Writer

While freshman year of college may be the most difficult for some students, others see the lack of guidance presented their second year as reason enough to call sophomore year one of the most daunting.  

At Wayne State College, there are several programs that make the transition from high school to college as smooth as possible. One of these resources includes the Holland Academic Success Center. This office provides freshmen with an academic advisor that helps them select classes, decide on a major and answer any odd questions Week of Welcome ambassadors didn’t answer during WOW activities.  

My freshman academic advisor was incredible. She helped me apply for the honors program and cared about the activities I was involved in around campus. I even saw pictures of her kids and talked about their extracurricular activities. She signed me up for classes using her big fancy book of knowhow, but I really didn’t put much thought into the classes I was signing up for. She suggested, I nodded.   

I wasn’t babied my freshman year and I did take responsibility for my education, but I was guided the whole time and had a safety net to catch me if I messed up. That all went away by the end of my sophomore year’s first semester. My advisor chose my classes for the fall semester and I had it approved by an advisor more suited for my major. This was the end of my guided assistance.  

I had to sign up for second semester classes all on my own this year, and it was incredibly nerve wracking. Finding the classes needed to satisfy my degree’s hour requirements was difficult because nobody ever showed me how to find that information. The degree audit provided by Wildcats Online was hard to navigate, and I found some people don’t even know the degree audit report is offered.  

“I had no idea about the degree audit,” Hailey Walsh, a WSC sophomore, said. “I don’t know why nobody told me about it except my roommate, but it’s an extremely helpful thing to be aware of.” 

I believe the help offered to college freshmen is essential and useful, but I think people should focus on not expecting students to be college experts the second their first year is over. Sophomores often make big decisions such as finalizing a major or choosing a minor. It is also quite easy to get off track or accidentally choose a class not required for your major. Confusion and miscommunication could be avoided if sophomores were taught to fend for themselves.  

This past summer before my second year of college was overwhelming because I knew everyone would expect me to know what I was doing. I’m a sophomore now so I must be doing everything right. I no longer need someone to hold my hand and give me a campus tour because I know all of that now. I instead need people to offer me the resources essential to adult success. Not knowing about my degree audit or never being told in depth how to pick an internship is odd considering everyone threw advice and comforting facts at me last year.  

“I think it’s important for the development of sophomores to continue receiving support after experiencing a plethora of guidance throughout their first year of college,” WSC senior Daisha Hoffman said. “If students in their second year are being thrown into the deep end, they’re inevitably going down.”  

I’m thankful for the support offered my freshman year because I probably would not have finished both semesters without it. I do hope the same people bombarding incoming students with soft love, start checking in on sophomores and making sure they’re doing alright on their own.