The term “sophomore” is believed to be derived from the Greek words sophos (meaning wise) and moros (meaning foolish). Putting those roots together makes a sophomore “a wise fool.”
It’s ironic that one-fourth of the time spent at a place of higher learning would be under such a title, but I think that’s the beauty of it.
I like to view my sophomore status as the convenience of being able to choose when to flip the on/off switch on my maturity. Being a sophomore means I’m wise enough to be a fool.
There are a lot of benefits that come with age, experience and maturity (like a job and a steady income and stuff like that), but there are just as many, probably more, joys to be found in youth and the learning process.
When rapper T.I. said he had the spirit of a hustler and the swagger of a college kid, I like to think he was referring to sophomores. Sophomores have a swagger about us that allow us to be comfortable enough to be ourselves but still irrelevant enough to get away with it.
We kind of know what we’re doing, but still have a make-it-up-as-we-go quality that gives two semesters experiencing the best of both worlds with better results than the R. Kelly and Jay-Z tour and album.
While freshmen might sleep through a class on the day of a test, a sophomore takes the test on time then skips the next day. As a freshman you might buy a book for class that costs $100 and you never even end up using it. But as a sophomore you either buy the book extremely cheap or just coast through the class without it and still pull off a B+.
Junior and senior year you have to focus on credits for your major and start seriously thinking about the future and “the real world” after graduation. Sophomores don’t have that problem; we can still take whatever classes we want just to fill some credit hours. All those core requirements? Ah, we’ll take care of those next semester. I can’t worry about my 400-level accounting class when I’ve got racquetball in 20 minutes.
College is generally a four-year process and only one of those years is designated as the year of the wise fool, but all college students are still learning. Nobody is beyond being a fool, nor is anybody completely lacking wisdom despite some of the decisions people make on Thursday nights.
I can only speak from personal experience, so if you’re a sophomore and don’t fit this mold, please don’t be offended. It probably means that you’re mature. I commend you. If you’re a junior or senior and fit this description then you’re probably immature for your age. I commend you as well.
The way I see it is that if you like the sophomoric content of this column then I’m doing a great job. If you don’t like it then you don’t have to read me again until next year. I’m sure by the second week of school I’ll write a column ripping sophomores apart for being too clownish for their own good.
I read online that “you only have one year to be a sophomore, but you have your whole life to be a wise fool.” If those aren’t words to live by then I might as well be illiterate.