Sophomores succumb to slump, but there’s hope

Claire McMahon, Journalism 1 reporter

The halls filled with a silent buzzing, the scuffling of footsteps louder than the conversations around. The dim LED lights don’t show the faces either and not being able to read expression makes it harder to tell: just how is everyone really?

Over the recent months Oak Park students have been at school, most have noticed most students are quite silent and not laughing; there may be something going on or students falling prey to the “sophomore slump.”

It seems so far, high school, you start off easy and it just gets harder and harder until you feel like you just can’t do it anymore.

— sophomore Rylee Els

Sophomore slump by definition is “an instance in which a second, or sophomore, effort fails to live up to the relatively high standards of the first effort.”

Sophomore Jocelyn Rodriguez said, “Where you have a lot of work, and you just feel overwhelmed, and you can’t do all your work.”

Others share this opinion.

Sophomore Rylee Els said, “It seems so far, high school, you start off easy and it just gets harder and harder until you feel like you just can’t do it anymore.”

Many current sophomores are into the swing of this “slump.”

There’s also consideration to be given to the current sophomores not-so-normal start to high school. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way students learned last year.

Rodriguez said, “Especially with the way that we’re barely jumping in to our first high school year.”

Current sophomores really didn’t have a freshman year, especially if they were virtual. The way things drastically shifted also shifted students’ workload.

Sophomore Christa McCormack said, “I would definitely say struggling because we are kind of being put in a lot of work.”

With the greater workload comes stress and with that comes the increased importance of mental health. Mental health being one of the biggest reasons for this died-down energy.

Els said, “I’m trying hard, but I feel like I just keep giving up every day a little more and more.”

This is not something most 15–16-year-olds should be feeling every day in their normal lives. Mental health is so important because it determines what they do and don’t do.

But this problem is fixable. With a better focus on mental health throughout the school and more awareness on the programs at school that are there to help students with schoolwork, students can pull themselves out of this “slump.”

Currently, after school from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14, for students there is cookies and cocoa while you catch up on work and get help from teachers. For those who feel behind as well there is regular tutoring on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school and 9-11 a.m. Saturday mornings.