Sophomore year is a homecoming, a reunion of friends, a restart, a reorientation--often from a new residence with a new angle on the Stanford campus. This summer is a good time to reflect upon the first year, and plan how you will use your sophomore year to benefit from the opportunities that abound at Stanford. Here are some suggestions for reflection--we’ll be posting suggestions for action and planning throughout the summer.
As you return to Stanford, take some time to revisit your original "Approaching Stanford." Do you remember what you wrote in the "letter to your advisor" before you arrived? Update and refresh your interests and goals. Your first year at Stanford was filled with activity and novelty; let this year be filled with mindful choices. Find value in experiments that feel like successes and learn from the things you’ve tried that demonstrate what you don't want to do.
What do you want from Stanford, from life, from yourself, by the end of your sophomore year, by graduation, five years out? Consider where you want to be in the future, when and how you will go overseas. As you run into friends at the bookstore, Coho, Meyer, the dorm, or walking the dish, let yourself be inspired, rather than daunted or envious, as you hear what they've been up to. Each exemplifies a version of the many varietals that thrive at Stanford.
To optimize your experience at Stanford, talk with professors, classmates, new friends, residence staff, your pre major advisors, and other advisors. Ask questions, measure the answers. Compare notes. Understand that these conversations and relationships might be your greatest gift from Stanford and what you remember most when you leave.
And, of course, have a most wonderful Sophomore Year!