Adjusting to Life on Campus as a Sophomore

Ever wonder what college is actually like when you’re a sophomore and spent your first year online? All I can say is that I feel like a freshman more than last year and for those of you feeling like this, you’re not alone.

First Impressions

As soon as I had my first week of classes, I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know campus. With that being. said, I still don’t know campus that well. At first, I didn’t know where my classes were or which building was which, so I ended up using Google Maps to show me how to get around campus and it was really helpful! Since this was my first time on campus, I definitely felt like a freshman, not knowing where buildings were and things of that sort. If I got lost, which would happen sometimes, I just made the most of it and it gave me an opportunity to explore campus even more!

Back to In-Person Classes

I thought taking in-person classes would be easier than taking virtual classes, but for me it’s been a bit challenging. I think this is because I’m still trying to establish a routine for myself and getting into the habit of setting my alarm clock way earlier than I need to instead of before of how I would just roll out of bed and attend my Zoom class. That switch is completely different compared to last year.

After having majority of classes in-person, I realized that I do like being in-person and I missed it. I forgot about how much fun it was to see your friends and just talk with other students in class. Also, how each of my professors engage and interact with us which makes class interesting, enjoyable, and I feel like I’m learning the material even more.

Feeling Overwhelmed? That’s Normal

During my first month here, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the new information I was discovering or trying to discover. For example, I’ve found that there’s so many events that are happening not just in throughout the year, but weekly! Trying to schedule and organize the events of I wanted to attend was overwhelming at times. I learned to take a step back and just chill, because sometimes you need to do that. Also, I’ve been getting tons of emails from my classes daily which can sometimes be a little stressful. I’ve learned to try to check them when they come in so I can deal with them at that moment instead of forgetting and potentially missing something important, which has helped!

Making Friends & Running Into Old Ones

Making friends on campus was weird at first because I wasn’t used to it. After being inside for more than a year, socializing was a little… awkward at times. I wasn’t used to it, but every time I met a someone, it was like we were all in the same boat. So far, all the interactions I’ve had with students have been so entertaining. I’ve met students from out of state, different countries, in-state that were close to home, students with different majors and it’s all been fun. Also, I didn’t realize how often I would run into someone I knew or an old friend and those have been the best moments! I would catch up with them and it would be like I just talked to them yesterday.

Coffee, Coffee, & More Coffee

Before attending college in-person, I didn’t understand the whole “students live on coffee” saying. Now, I get it. The amount of coffee runs I’ve done is more than I did last year by a long shot, but I love them. It truly is every student’s fuel. Every time I’m on my way to get coffee, I always run into someone and it’s just a nice way of taking a break from whatever I was doing. Walking to the cafe and breathing in the Fall weather– that’s the best feeling. Also, I have yet to find the best coffee on campus, so I’m still searching…

If you’re a sophomore and feel like a freshman, just know you’re not alone! At times, I still feel like one and you’ll be surprised at how many other students feel the same way. I hope my experience brings you comfort in knowing that I’ve been there and I’m still here!



Class of 2024
Hi everyone! I am currently studying in the Division of General Studies. I am from Niles, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago, and I am an only child. This means that I will be the first and only one in my family to attend UIUC, so I plan to bring you with me along the way! I hope to share my experiences and provide helpful advice and info about student and campus life here at UIUC for prospective students and others.

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