Laurentians Tackle the Sophomore Year
The sophomore year can be the toughest year in a student’s college experience. The excitement of the first year has worn off, and three more years of college can seem like an eternity to a 19 year old. Yet, the decisions made in the second year often shape a student’s college and professional career.
“The sophomore year is a pivotal year for students,” says Colby Hoffman ’20 of Hingham, Massachusetts. She was among the first cohort of St. Lawrence students to enroll in a Sophomore Seminar, a series of new courses supported by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and developed by faculty to focus on questions of personal values.
Some of the seminars feature the same type of practical, hands-on, experiential learning that students so often praise in the First-Year Program. They may learn how to create podcasts and documentary videos. Some seminars have community-based learning components, such as a semester-long project with a partner social services organization. Still others address pressing contemporary issues, such as the diversity of ways to practice Islam; the impact of sports on national discussions of race, identity, and policy; or how to evaluate the influence of Twitter on a presidency.
Hoffman enrolled in “Making the Most of Your Sophomore Year,” where students discussed how their personal interests could inform their professional aspirations. The class met with Career Services to learn how to find internships and job opportunities, participated in resume and cover letter writing workshops, and conducted mock interviews.
“I knew I was already learning how to be a better communicator, how to write, how to fill out an application, and so on,” she explains. “What this course taught me was how to talk to others about the skills I’ve learned at St. Lawrence. It also motivated me to complete applications for summer internships right after winter break, enroll in the Sophomore Boot Camp, and set up phone interviews in February and March. By April, I had landed an internship as a marketing and events intern at Boston Magazine. I honestly don’t think I would have received that internship had I not taken the Sophomore Seminar.”