How to be a Sophomore: A Survival Guide

What the second year of high school involves and how freshmen can prepare for the step up


What are some tips to surviving Sophomore year? The second year is when AP exams show themselves, depending on your track. Whether you choose an AP or an Academic course, Tuscarora Sophomores Amira Noutcha and Tomi Bolarinwa impart their wisdom on how to get through with reasonable ease.

Step 1: Don’t procrastinate. Procrastinate, a word that means delaying or putting off doing something, is used in the everyday vocabulary of a High School student. “Do not put anything away,” Bolarinwa urges. “Do it when you have to, while you have time.” Tests, quizzes, and homework can pile up, and waiting until the last minute is not the best tactic to get you through Sophomore year.

Step 2: Stay on top of the workload. “The workload compared to the Freshmen year… it’s been more…” Bolarinwa says. Again, tests and quizzes are frequent. However, homework tends to be the time-taker, depending on the classes you are going to take. Along with her homework, Bolarinwa tackles many clubs such as HerStory, Literary Magazine, and Key Club. “I’m taking on a lot more responsibilities, and so it’s been a lot more.”

Step 3: Get involved, but don’t overwork yourself. Some people like Bolarinwa find a way to balance school life with fifteen other clubs or responsibilities, but this can lead to high levels of stress. To reduce the pressure of other commitments, you can choose from your club and sport choices while knowing that you’ll have to save time for schoolwork too. For example, Noutcha is in some clubs and planning to do winter and spring track, and is still able to say that the workload feels mostly the same in Sophomore year as it was in Freshmen year.

Step 4: Be a part of the community. This circles back to clubs and sports, which help you diffuse into the life of a Tuscarora student. Both clubs and sports allow you to meet other students you wouldn’t have otherwise. “I felt a lot more part of the community because I’ve been able to make friends that are doing other stuff because of clubs. I’ve had more friends like Junior friends, Senior friends, Freshmen friends, even,” Bolarinwa says. Another perk is that when you get involved with the community, you rarely find time inching by. Bolarinwa admits, “Our high school year has actually gone by way faster for me this year… I felt like the first quarter just started.”

Step 5: Enjoy your classes. Oftentimes, students just roll through their classes with the mindset that it’s going to be an extreme waste of their time. Noutcha and Bolarinwa can tell you that isn’t 100% accurate. “My favorite class is French because it is so fun. I really feel like I am able to express myself and I love all my classmates… Madame Ozdogan is literally the best,” Noutcha gushes. Like her, you can actually find yourself enjoying classes if you give them and the teachers a try. In many instances, teachers have found the fine line between fun and school to keep you engaged. Similarly, Bolarinwa says, “My favorite class this year is Math Analysis… It’s my favorite class because we’re only like ten or eleven people in that class and it feels like such a small family.”

Sophomore year isn’t the end of the world. If you keep cool and try to enjoy yourself, it can even be fun. Tuscarora can be described as ‘eccentric’ or ‘something else’. So here’s to good luck, with the hope that you can find good attributes to describe the Tusky life.