Freshman Year vs. Sophomore Year: A Comparison through Gifs

Taking an 8 A.M. Class

Freshman Year:


After months of both anxiety and excitement, you finally get the email that your schedule is ready to be viewed. You open it excitedly, knowing you are now officially a college student. A quick scan shows you that you have Calculus at 8:10 a.m. You smile. After waking up at 6:00 a.m. for the last four years, you know you’re going to relish those extra hours of sleep.

Sophomore Year:

2BtKaYou laugh at your delusional freshman self as you scroll past every class that meets before 10 a.m. when planning your schedule.

Going Out Every Weekend

Freshman Year:


Sophomore Year:

You realize that the world doesn’t stop because you said no to one party. You realize that you don’t need to stay up until four a.m. every day in fear that you’re going to miss out on something.  You also realize you might be more grateful to your parents for paying for your Netflix account than for them paying for your tuition.

Dressing for Class

Freshman Year:


You dress for class with as much effort as you put in for dressing for a Friday night. Logic? You never know who you’re going to run into or if the Eyewitness News 7 van happens to be driving by.

Sophomore Year:


You absolutely cannot afford the time or the money required to change your outfit three times a day or wearing all your cute stuff so fast that a laundry day is required every three days. Additionally, your workload is so intense this year that you applaud yourself just for changing out of your pjs and putting on sweatpants to go to class. And as far as looking good for people? Personally, I don’t leave my dorm without sunglasses: fifty percent for its intended purpose and the other fifty so I can avoid making eye contact with people I know and be forced to talk to them. Trust me, I’m actually doing you a favor… you don’t want to talk to me when I’m returning from my four-hour lab on Busch, stuffed in a bus where I can barely breathe.

Taking (and Failing) Your First Exam

Freshman Year:


You study. You wait for your grade. You call your parents to ask if they can get their deposit back because there is no way you will graduate, let alone even pass the semester.

Sophomore Year:


You have had enough first exams to know that one bad grade isn’t the end of the world. You know what to expect and you know how to study to succeed. You also know that if you want to do well, you can’t rely on your study-the-night-before-the-test methodology that got you through high school. You now go to office hours, join study groups, and seek out tutors at the learning centers. You force yourself to pick up better study habits because you can no longer use “I didn’t know” as an excuse.


Freshman Year:


Coming into college, you know almost no one. Besides a few high school friends scattered among different campuses, you have to start from square one. This can be intimidating at first because who wants to spend their first meal alone at the dining hall? So you befriend everyone. You take selfies with people you will never talk to again, you try to learn everyone’s name on your floor, and you add thirty contacts to your phone the first two weeks of school in fear that you won’t be able to make any friends.

Sophomore Year:

anigif_enhanced-buzz-644-1382129198-18 tumblr_m2v9n7YjNc1r1zvsb

So maybe you don’t remember the names of all the people in that picture from your first day of college or maybe the people you hung out with the first week of freshman year are now just strangers on the bus. But you have found your group of friends, and you’re holding onto them tightly. You don’t have to go out of your way to impress these people, but rather, you can be your goofy, silly self with no fear. (But it’s still nice to meet new people because then you can reuse old jokes :P)

The Dining Hall

Freshman Year:

frosh meal

Freshman 15? As if. You have a solid plan ready to defeat all of those rumors. And of course, the dining hall food itself can’t be as bad as everyone says. You are ready to take on the world…a.k.a. Brower. Two hundred fifty-five meal swipe plan, here I come.

Sophomore Year:


Sadly, I have said this line. And I have followed through with it. Sophomore year motto? Reduce your meal plan. Increase your exercise (via means of walking to Chipotle) or bring back the entirety of your mother’s fridge via Tupperware. You don’t expect anything from the dining halls anymore, although you still sometimes visit them. Brower: 1. You: 0.

Buying Textbooks

Freshman Year:


You rush out to buy every book on every syllabus before classes begin. You think you scored a great deal on Amazon by saving $10 on a $295 textbook. You are so happy to be on top of everything.

Sophomore Year:


You regret every textbook you bought last year. Now, you wait for classes to begin to see if your professors require textbooks, and if they do, if they will allow old editions, which are always cheaper. Google is your best friend.

Figuring Out Post-Grad Plans

Freshman Year:


If you came in undecided, you are overwhelmed with the idea that there is so much to explore and that you won’t have enough time. You are pressured by family, friends, peers, and society to tell them exactly what you are going to do these four years, and then afterwards. It overwhelms you. If you came in knowing exactly what classes you will take each semester, when and where you’re going to do your first internship, and what office you will be working in in five years, you might suddenly realize that whatever you had in mind is not what you want to do anymore; it’s not what you thought it would be. Or you might simply be overwhelmed by how hard your chosen major actually is.

Sophomore Year:


I thought about declaring four different majors within my first three semesters at Rutgers. Every time I thought I figured out what I wanted to do, I found something else that I loved just as much. And I guess that’s the beauty of college: you are always learning, always exploring, if you choose to. And never stop choosing. You’ll never get so much time to explore and truly find your passions. And despite what you think, not every single person walks into college knowing they’re going to be a pediatric nephrologist (My initial reaction was, “Yeah what?” But now I understand that they are specialized doctors working with children with kidney and bladder problems). But by now, you have a sense of direction of what you see yourself doing, what you like doing, what you smile talking about. You have had time to seek out research opportunities or take a class with a professor who makes you fall in love with something you never considered before. So sure, you have moments now where you feel like you are lower than rock bottom and completely directionless, but you’re not; you’re just learning.


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