4 Things You'll Learn in Sophomore Year of High School

Your sophomore year of high school is momentous for a number of reasons. For many students, it’s the first year they feel like they truly understand high school. It may be the first time you really feel like the end is in sight. It may be the first time you take an AP class or get an after-school job. Typically, it’s a big year for students.

And what can you expect to learn in your sophomore year of high school? If you’re looking for a syllabus, your best bet is to check with your instructors—but there’s a lot going on outside the classroom, too!

It’s time to embrace new opportunities

If you’re still navigating your way through the high school experience as many sophomores are, now is a great time to seek out new opportunities. You’re still busy, but you’ve got a little bit more time then you’ll have later when you’re more focused on the ACT/SAT, college applications, or graduation. Now is your chance to try out extracurricular activities you’ve always been curious about or take a new leadership position in a club.

[RELATED: What is an Average ACT Score?]

Sophomore year is the perfect time to do some exploring—joining the debate team may lead you to explore a career in law later on, or you may discover a hidden talent for golfing when you give it a shot. Either way, this time in your life is all about figuring yourself out, and trying new things is a perfect way to do that.

Preparation begins now

It’s important not to stress yourself out over future academic hurdles, but there’s no time like the present to begin working toward significant academic goals. If you’ve got your eyes on a particularly prestigious college or hope to achieve a nearly perfect SAT score, you’ll alleviate later stress by beginning some of the prep work now.

This can mean reading more books, striving to maintain a strong GPA, or glancing over SAT prep books. To find out where exactly you’re starting from, consider taking SAT practice tests to identify strengths and weaknesses and work (however slowly you want) toward your ultimate academic goals.

This is no time for a sophomore slump

Because your high school life is so much different than your life in junior high, the stress can sometimes take a toll on you. Toward the end of the year, you may even find yourself slacking a little bit. But this is no time for the infamous “sophomore slump”—hang in there until the end and your cumulative GPA and subsequent scholarship applications will thank you for it!

To avoid the slump, make sure you’re keeping yourself focused on your long-term goals, being careful not to place too much pressure on yourself. Take things as they come and maintain a well set-up study space that you’ll be able to rely on throughout the school year.

Time will always move quickly

It can seem like you’ll be in high school forever, but sophomore year exists as proof that this isn’t the case. Before you know it, you’ll be hyper focused on applying to colleges and reaching your target ACT score. Time is never going to stop moving quickly, so appreciate the time you have to explore and prepare now.

This goes for your social life, too—make sure you’re taking advantage of the events that are unique to your age group. Ensure that there’s time in your life for extracurriculars and socializing, and work to build that sense of community that you’ll rely on later.