If you are returning for a second year of college, then chances are you enjoyed your first year.  But did you enjoy it so much that you would want to repeat it?

I didn’t think so.

When returning to school for your sophomore year, it can be easy to slip into the same habits that made your freshman year great.  Or, if your freshman year social scene was not all that stellar, perhaps you, too, need some fresh ideas in order to avoid a sophomore slump.  Keeping your social life fun and interesting can be as simple as making a few new friends and picking up a new hobby.  Make your sophomore year a great one, and try some of these out.

1. Even though you know people, it wouldn’t hurt to know a few more.

Yes, it is exciting to see your friends from freshman year, and you should definitely catch up with them.  However, if you do not continue to meet new people and build new connections, you will find yourself hanging out with the same people doing the same things every weekend, and while it may have seemed glamorous freshman year, it will quickly get old.  Make sure you continue to make new friends – even freshman.  If you live in the dorms, you are especially in danger of hanging out with the other “returners”, but you should extend an olive branch to the newbies.  You can never have too many friends.

2. Return to your beloved study spots, but find new ones, too.

I cannot wait to return to my favorite study spot in the library – the couches hidden behind the staircase on the third floor.  However, if you find your study spots from last year are not as ideal as you remembered them, search for new ones, like in a corner booth at the on-campus coffee-shop or underneath one of the giant oak trees on campus.  Sometimes, when a place is too familiar, you become so comfortable there that it no longer allows for the focused studying you remember.

3. Picking up a sport can help you pick up the pace of your social life.

I have been told everybody picks up racquetball in college.  Whether this is unique to my own university, whose recreation complex has several racquetball courts, or is common to college students everywhere, it is on my list of things to try this year.  Picking up sports and games like racquetball or Ultimate Frisbee are great ways to add interest and excitement to your social calendar.  It can also help you meet new people.  Another great way to get active is to join an intramural team.  Intramural sports allow you to play competitively, but in a setting where fun – not winning – is at the top of the agenda.

4. Enjoy the great outdoors!

Even if sports really just are not for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy beautiful weather!  Take a blanket and play Apples to Apples or watch a movie on the lawn or in a park.  Then you can have fun with your friends and soak up the sun at the same time!

5. The obvious – join a new organization.

There is truly a club for everything at most universities.  Quidditch teams, astronomy clubs, environmental organizations… The simplest way to become more active and meet more people is to find an organization that cares about what you care about, or maybe just sounds fun, and join!

Emma Brace is a sophomore at Kansas State, where she is an engineering major.  She enjoys playing frisbee on her dorm’s lawn, intramural tennis, drinking frozen mochas, and studying on the couches by the staircase on the third floor of the library.  She also writes a blog, Adventures in Wildcatland, where she rambles about movies, events, and college life in general.