The College Dean’s Office recently formed a Sophomore Year Experience Committee with the goal of providing sophomores with more academic and professional guidance.
“The motivation … is to figure out how to assist Georgetown … sophomores’ transition from a more supported first-year environment to a more independent junior-year environment,” McDonough School of Business Academic Counselor and Associate Director Rebecca Cassidy, committee chair, said.
According to Cassidy, students face a variety of new challenges in their sophomore year.
“Academically, most sophomores have general education requirements that are getting tougher but have not had the opportunity to begin classes within their major,” Cassidy said. “At the same time, sophomores are being asked to choose a major by the end of their sophomore year.”
Other challenges include applying for internships and deciding whether to study abroad.
“Sophomores are being asked to make big life decisions, often at a time of indecision and confusion about life plans and goals,” Cassidy added.
According to Cassidy, the committee is still in an early developmental phase and will design events and services based on student feedback. The committee sent a survey to the Class of 2015 in early February, asking about the areas in which sophomores needed the most assistance.
“We hope that the results of the survey will help guide the committee to develop programming that will provide sophomores with the information they need to move through sophomore year with less stress and anxiety,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy added that the committee is also collaborating with different departments across campus and needs increased publicity to encourage sophomores to utilize advising services.
“The challenge is getting the word out about these services to those who need it most,” Cassidy said.
Steven Carrubba (COL ’15) and Brandon Kwan (COL ’15) expressed enthusiasm for an additional source of guidance for sophomores.
Though Carrubba said that he did not experience a significance increase in academic rigor, he felt increasing pressure to pick a major, apply for internships and think about careers.
“Freshman year, you don’t give any thought to this,” Carrubba said. “You are just taking in the college life.”
In addition, Carrubba said that the social atmosphere is different between freshman and sophomore year.
“I feel as if dorm life is a little different,” Carrubba said. “Freshman year, everyone is really close with each other, but this year, everyone has their own friend groups; it is more disconnected.”
“It’s harder to meet people,” Kwan agreed. “Freshman year, you have one thing in common: You are all new.”
Kwan also said that he is receiving less guidance than he did in freshman year.
“People expect us to be more independent,” Kwan said.
Katie DuBois (COL ’15) said she would take advantage of the committee’s new resources.
“Sophomore year is a time when we are all declaring majors and thinking about careers, so we need more guidance in that area,” DuBois said.