Congratulations! You’re no longer labeled as a college freshman, you’ve started adjusting to the college lifestyle, and this year when you head off to school, you don’t have to worry about not having any friends. As exciting as it is to no longer be at the bottom of the seniority totem pole, as a sophomore you also lose the always-handy excuse of “I’m a freshman.” You’re expected to know your way around campus, declare your major, and really start being—or at least acting like—an adult. So what are the essential items to pack for your sophomore year?
- A Business Suit. While this may not be as applicable to students who are in the liberal arts, chances are you’ll have at least one formal presentation in a major class. Also, this year is the time to start thinking about internships and you’ll likely need a suit to make a quality first impression in interviewing or when attending a career fair or speech.
- Gas Money. Many schools don’t allow freshmen to have cars on campus, but sophomores typically can. While it’s convenient to have a car at school, don’t forget about the additional expenses that it will create and plan for this in your budget. Not bringing a car to school? Still consider setting aside some gas money to give your friends who will have a car and who deserve at least some payment and thanks for cruising you around.
- Your passport. At many schools, this is the time when you’ll need to decide if you’re going to study abroad and where you want to go. These applications and the research that goes into making your choice can definitely be time-consuming. Make sure you have everything you’ll need to apply, including important paperwork like your passport. If you don’t have one or it’s out of date, you need to allow time to get a new one, usually 4-6 weeks.
- Toilet paper. No, really. Chances are, you lived in dorm-style housing freshman year, sharing a bathroom with most of your floor. Hopefully, you’ve moved up a rung on the ladder of college housing and are living in a suite or apartment style room this year and only sharing a bathroom with your roommates. While this is great, it also means you’re responsible for stocking and cleaning your own bathroom. Don’t forget the essentials!
- Motivation. Just as freshman classes were a big step up from your high school courses, sophomore year will bring more challenging coursework, especially as you delve into your major/minor classes. Professors will have higher expectations for you, so don’t expect that now is the time to slack off. If you struggled with the adjustment during last year, now is the time to really focus on improving your GPA. You don’t have many semesters left before you’ll be applying for jobs and internships and some companies won’t even look at the rest of your resume if you don’t meet their GPA cutoff.