Slumping hard

<p>I'm a sophomore, and I thought I'd try to get some sage advice from all the parents on here. This semester, I'm realizing that I really am not so enthusiastic about my major (classics), I'm not that good at it, and frankly I don't really care about getting better. I'm in advanced level classes, as I was last year, so nothing really changed in the level of difficulty. I used to want to go to grad school, but right now the thought of it makes me want to drop out, not because I don't want to work hard, but because the thought of spending the rest of my life obsessing over things like the different uses of the subjunctive just sounds awful. </p>

<p>Luckily, I go to Brown, so it's pretty easy to change majors and I don't have to worry about filling requirements, but the problem is that I don't really have any idea what else I might want to do. Law school is a possibility, but I haven't really thought seriously about it at all. I almost feel like I should take a leave of absence, except that I don't have anything to do during that time off. But I don't think I'm making good usue of my tuition money, particularly since I'm spending far more time working at my food service job than I am doing homework or going to class, and I enjoy it more. </p>

<p>Does anyone have any advice on how to break out of this slump? So far, I have kept my grades up, so I haven't closed any doors there, but I'm worried that eventually I will just stop caring altogether.</p>

<p>Go visit your career services office. They should be able to help you start to figure out what things you might be interested in pursuing, maybe help you identify your passions.</p>

<p>I'm sure Brown has some academic & career counseling & internship opportunities. Perhaps it would be good to take a leave of absence IF you have a plan. How interested are you in food service? Nutrition? That can lead to interesting careers, including restauranteer, dietitian, nutritionist, etc. It's good to recognize you're in a slump & take steps to see what you can do to get a bit more direction. I'd start with academic advising & career counseling--maybe taking some courses in divergent fields might peak your interest & help give you new focus. It's not unusual to swap majors a few times before finding one that really appeals.</p>

<p>I'm really not interested in food service as a career. I like my job because I work with great people, I'm good at it, it pays well, and it serves as an excuse not to do my homework.</p>

<p>You could also talk with the career counseling office about taking some aptitude/personality tests, things like that to also help you explore and discover other areas or careers you might be interested in.</p>

<p>I understand where you're coming from. Classics didn't seem so appealing after having to memorize Kamares ware and Cycladic figurines. :( </p>

<p>Browsing Brown's website, it seems they have several resources for sophomores. Here's an advising guide for sophomores that seems to be pretty thorough.
<a href="http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Dean_of_the_College/downloads/soph_guide.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Dean_of_the_College/downloads/soph_guide.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>There is also an upcoming Concentration Forum on October 25 in Andrews Hall from 7-9 pm. </p>

<p>Relaxing would be my advice. Talk to advisors; talk to upperclassmen. Read the course catalogue and try to figure out if courses you find interesting clump together in a particular subject. Look at some of the "What can I do with a major in..." websites. Visit the career center. Don't try to figure out the future by yourself- I've tried, and I just end up with a massive headache.</p>

<p>They don't call it "sophmore slump" for nothing. What you are going through is certainly not unusual.</p>

<p>One thing that you might want to consider is planning a semester abroad. It's really good way to break things up and get a little perspective.</p>

<p>You could also take some solace in the fact that, other than the hard sciences, it really doesn't matter very much what you major in. Have you taken any courses that have been really fun?</p>

<p>Forget the subject matter and take some classes with wonderful professors. The teachers everyone loves. That, in my opinion, is the best reason to be at Brown. Trust that the rest will follow.</p>

<p>1ofeach, love your suggestion. Talk to other kids about what professors are great. I felt the same way my sophomore year. Took a Greek History (not my major or even close to it) with a prof that everyone said was great. That was 20 plus years ago and I still think about how much I enjoyed that class. When the prof is that enthusiastic about their subject, it rubs off on you..</p>

<p>Rabo - There's some wonderful advice above. Here's a thought that may suit your situation, or may not. You might consider switching from a single major to a double. That way you can get in-depth exposure to (presumably) two new areas that appeal to you. Good luck!</p>

<p>Rabo:</p>

<p>sophomore slump is a well-known phenomenon. It usually happens in the first semester of sophomore year. Even students who come into college with specific interests in mind often change their mind in sophomore year--which is why lots of colleges ask students to declare a major some time during sophomore year rather than during freshman year. </p>

<p>Another aspect of the sophomore slump is that students, having worked hard during high school and freshman year in college, experience a minor burn-out. Nothing, in that case, sounds exciting. And somehow, this hits hardest at around this time of the year. </p>

<p>You do have to figure out what it is that is affecting you; if it is a disenchantment with classics, you can change your major. Brown is particularly flexible, so you don't even have to change your major! You do have to decide what classes to take during the next 2 1/2 years, however.
Are there specific classes that you are enthusiastic about? Profs that you particularly like? What about classics did you like in the first place? I can't imagine many students being enthusiastic about ablatives, datives and gerundives, but perhaps it was the content of what you were translating that inspired you? In that case, you might want to take courses in literature or in philosophy, or in history or political thought?</p>

<p>If however, you feel that you are experiencing burnout, counseling may help you get over the slump. Taking time off would also be a good option.</p>

<p>Good luck. Know that you are not alone.</p>

<p>My love life made me miserable sophomore year, but academically it was great. I agree about looking into taking a semester abroad as a good way to shake yourself up and do something completely different. I also think taking a course with a famously good professor is wealth worth it. You might even consider auditing a course now. I did that every term starting my sophomore year and heard some great lectures without the stress of having to do all the reading or take the exams. You might also start looking into summer internships. The fact is for humanities types who are pretty good at everything it really isn't at all obvious what the ultimate right career path is going to be. My sister in law has been a librarian, a journalist, tried to be a priest (got rejected), a teacher and now is developing real estate. She thinks she's finally found her calling at age 50! She was an English major BTW.</p>

<p>You could consider looking at the classic "What Color is Your Parachute?" book, or something similar. For a number of them, see:</p>

<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/102-8340530-7763323?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=What+Color+is+Your+Parachute%3F&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/102-8340530-7763323?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=What+Color+is+Your+Parachute%3F&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I was a philosophy major as an undergraduate, and did some graduate work in literature.</p>

<p>I ended up working in business, and it was a better fit for me than academia because I liked the "real world" aspect -- which is something you seem to enjoy in your food service job. (I waitressed in grad school and enoyed that as well.)</p>

<p>In retrospect, I think I would have been better served to take courses that were more down to earth -- I've done alot of reading on my own in sociology, for example.</p>

<p>So my suggestion would be to explore courses with more immediate applicability than classics -- perhaps psychology, anthropology, women studies, economics -- especially if they have a practicum aspect to them and/or they have a reputation for interesting discussions.</p>