What is the Second-Year Slump?
Second-year students may experience what is commonly referred to as the "second-year slump." The newness and excitement of college has worn away and what lies ahead are at least three more years of hard work, papers, exams, and a large financial investment to obtain a college degree.
The second-year slump is a time of uncertainty as well as a time for growth. How will you know if you are experiencing symptoms of the second year slump?
Do you find yourself asking any of these questions:
- Why do I have more questions now than when I was a first-year?
- Are the people I hang around with really my friends?
- Why am I majoring in this, if I don’t even like it?
- Why do I feel constantly overwhelmed?
- Why am I so confused about my future?
- Why am I not having as much fun as last year?
- Why do I feel like my parents are always pressuring me to know what I want to do with my life?
- Does everyone else have life all figured out?
- Why do I feel so unmotivated?
If you think you might be experiencing the second-year slump, there are many things you can do to cope. Below are just some of the offices and resources available to help you overcome your second-year slump.
Academic Support and Opportunities
Do you need help with study skills, time management, or other struggles you might be having with your academic courses? How about a tutor? Check out the academic support that is available for you at UVA. There are videos, tip sheets, and articles about strategies you can use to help you develop the skills and confidence you need to succeed in your classes. There is also tutoring available to students. Learn more and access these resources at the Academic Support website.
Second year is also a time to explore additional opportunities for growth. At UVA, these include education abroad, undergraduate research, and the pursuit of fellowships. Education abroad is a unique learning experience with opportunities to study, intern and/or conduct research outside of the US, gaining an international perspective and developing important life skills. Second year is an important time to prepare for, and in some cases participate in, an education abroad experience. Learn more at the Education Abroad website.
Undergraduate research encompasses academic research and creative inquiry, under the direction of a faculty mentor. Opportunities such as the USOAR program are open to second years. Fellowships provide support for study, research, travel, internships, entrepreneurial endeavors, or other professional placement. Second year is an important time to learn more about fellowships available during and after your undergraduate career. Learn more about both of these endeavors through the Office of Citizen Scholar Development, home of Fellowships & Undergraduate Research.
If you need guidance on identifying possible career paths, the perfect place to start is to have a conversation with a Career Counselor in the UVA Career Center. Schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor. The Career Center also has many Career Communities for students to explore. Learn more about our Career Communities and to join one.
The Career Center also offers career assessments that can help you identify career interest, your values, and give you a starting place for your career path. Learn more about the career assessments.
Student Health & Wellness
The Student Health & Wellness Center is a great place to go for assessment and treatment for a variety of health issues. Counseling is available for students, opportunities to talk with a Peer Health Educator, and many other resources and services to help support your health and well-being at UVA. Learn more about the many services available to you or to schedule an appointment.
The Contemplative Sciences Center wants to support your flourishing as a student at UVA. Take advantage of their free well-being resources including courses, drop-in meditation and yoga classes, online apps and more!
Cultivate a Public Service Mindset
The Public Service Pathways program is designed to help you connect to public service as a personal commitment, a lifelong practice, or even a career. Enrollment in the program happens the early fall of your second year or early spring if you are a spring transfer student. Through the program you will gain the knowledge, experiences, and career guidance needed to make positive change in the lives of others in community with like-minded students, faculty, staff, community members and alumni.
Get involved in the Local Community
If you are interested in giving back to the community and getting connected to Charlottesville, check out Madison House to find ways to get involved in the local community through participation in service activities on and off Grounds! Madison House is the independent volunteer center for students at UVA.
Join a Contracted Independent Organization (CIO) on Grounds
CIOs are officially recognized student organizations that have entered into the CIO agreement with the University. There are hundreds of CIOs on Grounds for students to explore and meet others who share your interests. Check out the CIOs on Grounds.