Challenges I (Still!) Have as a Sophomore — Part II

Hi, again!

Last time I wrote to you, I told you the first three things I still struggle with as an undergrad sophomore. I wanted to fit everything into one letter, but to not overwhelm you, I put it in these cute, digestible chunks. Either way, here are the last two things I’m still learning how to deal with in my undergrad sophomore year here at Wash U!

  1. Stress and Time Management

I knew coming into college that I needed to utilize my time management skills in every day life to balance the workload of all my classes, my health, and my social life. The latter I’ve already mentioned has basically gone out the window, and the second I’ll elaborate on more soon. However, my college life has become an endless cycle of planning, partial completion, exhaustion, and procrastination.

With each semester comes new challenges because we get new classes! My painting studio last semester, for example, is wildly different from the korean culture class I’m taking this semester. Both have their own amount of work that I need to complete however.

I don’t think there’s a way to prepare for all the work you have to do (even if you look at the syllabus or plan your next five weeks out by the hour), but I have learned that the key to staying sane is planning your down time. Your schedule WILL change and it will not go exactly as planned, but the one thing that you should keep concrete is your breaks.

You can’t make good work or get good grades unless you mind and body are in the best condition to do so. Get in that two hour nap! Make that trip to the concert nearby for fun with friends! Taking time to unwind and recharge is hard to keep up with when you’re trying to get everything done, but it’s necessary. Hey, I’m still working on it too.

  1. Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Living away from home has fully made me understand that I have no idea how to manage my diet. Because of convenience in time and location to my classes and dorm, I developed a terrible tendency of eating half and half (which are chicken strips with fries) for dinner every day…without eating another full meal for the rest of the day.

Also, as someone that doesn’t go to the gym or play sports, I never worked out either. I haven’t gained the Freshman 15 luckily, but I still fail to think about my health and being active because I find myself so busy.

I’ve started going to training at the Rec center and have a more diverse palette of food every day now. Also, I plan on utilizing the mental health services on campus as well because I know I need it and that it’ll benefit me!


Overall, there are so many resources on campus that are here to support us during our very busy yet seemingly short four years of undergrad here, but I need to start utilizing them. I’m learning how to prioritize myself rather than the results and grades; both are equally important at least. 

So, don’t worry about finding the answers to things so quickly because throughout your time here as a student, there will always be challenges or things to get used to and that’s completely fine. We’re here to grow and learn as people to develop into our best selves; the challenges is what we’re here for!

Keep thriving,

Allana Thompson