Published: Feb. 25, 2020
student studying

Being a sophomore in college comes with its challenges. A student’s sophomore year is a crucial time in their academic life. It’s the time they need to make a decision on a major to stay on track to graduate, it’s when they should start thinking about building a solid resume for a future career and it’s when the novelty of college may start to wear off. If you haven’t already, speak to your student about how they are feeling and share some of these tips to help them avoid the sophomore slump.

Join clubs and organizations

Joining a club or organization can be a great way for your student to find their place. Even with their first year behind them, they may still be having trouble making friends and building community. This is completely normal. Suggest that they check out BuffConnect to see if any of CU Boulder’s 500+ organizations peaks their interest.

If your student is already involved in a club or organization, it is the perfect opportunity for them to step out of their comfort zone and take on a leadership role. By taking on more responsibility, they can develop skills that are perfect to add to a resume.

Find a mentor

Mentors can be great sounding boards for your student. Whether it’s another student, staff or faculty member, a mentor can provide academic, social or career advice that can translate to helping your student. Having someone to go to with questions helps ease the mind no matter the situation.

Get a job on or off campus

Having a job while in college can help your student become a well-rounded individual capable of juggling multiple responsibilities at once. CU Boulder has countless on-campus job opportunities for students ranging from more service orientated work to office jobs in departments across campus. On-campus jobs offer flexible scheduling to accommodate student schedules and other commitments and allow students to meet others interested in the same type of work. 

Don’t be afraid to suggest that your student look for employment off-campus as well. Many businesses around Boulder are looking for hard-working employees. These jobs can help your student develop professional skills and gain experience that they can add to their resume. They can also start building their professional network with the connections they make at their part-time job. These connections, whether it’s with a supervisor or other co-workers, could lead to future employment or a reference later on.

Setup informational interviews 

Informational interviews are a helpful way for students to learn potential career paths and different industries. These interviews are often informal and serve as a great networking tool to help your student connect with others and have their questions answered. Additionally, it can help your student become more comfortable talking with professionals and recruiters.

Suggest that your student connect with individuals in a career field of interest. They can start with a large network of more than 180,000 CU Boulder alumni on LinkedIn.  While it may be tempting to ask questions over email, encourage your student to set up a 20-30 minute phone or in-person interview instead. By having these informal meetings, your student can gain a better understanding of what work can be done now to help set them up for success in a future career they are looking to obtain. Share these tips with your student to help them set up some informational interviews.

Attend campus events

If your student is having a hard time making friends, attending campus events will allow them to meet new people. Campus events bring so many different students together from across campus. Encourage your student to browse the CU Events calendar to see what’s going on this week.