The Sophomore Year – Overview

The sophomore year can be a pivotal time in a student’s career at Pitzer. Sophomores have made it past the introduction to college in their first-year and are now at defining moment.  Sophomores may be experiencing a variety of the following: academic challenges, academic disengagement, dissatisfaction with the collegiate experience, major and career indecision, and developmental confusion (Hunter et al., 2010).   

Our Sophomore Class initiatives aim to help sophomores use this year to:  

  1. Develop purpose  
  2. Select an appropriate major and make career decisions 
  3. Redefine social engagement on campus (Hunter et al., 2010), 

Hunter, M.S., Tobolowsky, B.F., Gardner, J.N., Evenbeck, S.E., Pattengale, J.A., Schaller, M.A., and Schreinder, L.A. (Eds.). (2010). Helping sophomores succeed: Understanding and improving the second-year experience. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

Sophomore Year Checklist 

Educational Engagement 

  • Review this advice on Academic Advising specifically for Sophomores: 
  • Select/confirm your major 
  • Consider adding a minor 
  • Explore the connections between academics and future career prospects.
  • Meet with your academic adviser. Start considering who you might want as an adviser after you declare your major.  
  • Visit your professors during their office hours at least once a semester. 
  • Explore study abroad programs
  • Use academic coaching, tutoring, and writing resources, like the Writing Center
  • Connect with classmates; discuss forming study groups and exchange contact information. 
  • Begin researching graduate and professional school requirements, as applicable. 
  • Research scholarship opportunities for graduate or professional school.  

Building Community 

  • Become an active member of a student organization. 
  • Join a student organization that supports your major or future career and one organization that interests you personally. 
  • Participate in campus events and traditions.  
  • Find a mentor. 
  • Keep in contact with your friend group and consider reaching out to new friends 
  • Start preparing for where you will live for your junior year, and arrange roommates/suitemates.  

Individual Development 

  • Career Planning: 
  • Visit Career Services
  • Find an internship or field related work. 
  • Finalize your resume and cover letter. 
  • Consider attending a career fair.  
  • Increase your financial literacy: getting a credit card, budgeting basics, understanding your Financial Aid  
  • Engage in reflection 
  • Reflect on your values and passion. What is your calling and purpose? 
  • Reflect on who you are and who you want to be. What is your motivation? 
  • Look into practices and routines that can assist you with balance in your life. What are your priorities? 
  • Take time to consider who your role models are in your life. Why are they your role models?  


  • Prioritize taking care of your body, mind and spirit by finding a supportive group of friends/ community to check in with.  
  • Strive to Thrive: Follow @pzstrive2thrive Instagram for ongoing wellness tips and attend wellness Wednesday virtual events 
  • Engage with Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS) via groups or workshops for ongoing support and interaction with peers  
  • Join wellness/ mindfulness apps to help you stay on track 
  • The Pitzer College Financial Wellness Center provides online resources on topics such as introduction to budgeting, credit vs debit cards, credit reports and scores, financial planning, types of financial aid (to name a few).  Any Pitzer student may create an account and complete the online courses from the library at their own pace.

Diversity and Inclusion 

  • Attend events hosted by the President’s Racial Justice Initiative  
  • Attend a Community Engagement Center (CEC) Ethics and Orientation Training and start volunteering with community partners  
  • Research and create your own reading list to further your own education on a variety of diversity and inclusion topics, such as anti-racism, LGBTQ communities, inclusive language, immigrant rights, etc.  
  • Seek out multiple ways to educate yourself on anti-racism efforts, such as 
  • Pitzer affinity groups, which are a part of Pitzer Student Senate’s Identity Board, can serve as supportive peer groups for students who may identity with one or more of these organizations.  
  • Attend Claremont Colleges resource centers open houses, resource workshops, presentations and trainings  
    • Center for Asian Pacific American Students (CAPAS)
    • Queer Resource Center (QRC): Ally Training 
    • Chicano Latino Student Affairs (CLSA) 
    • Office of Black Student Affairs (OBSA) 
    • EmPOWER Center 
    • Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC): 
    • Chaplains  
    • Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS) 

Fall 2021 Co-Curriculum highlighted initiatives and programs:

  • Major Themes: Major declaration and exploration, wellness, connection to Pitzer, re-orientation to campus, class-identity, leadership development, study abroad preparation, peer support and mentorship, academic support, sense of loss from not completing the first year on campus…

Connect with your Sophomore Year OSA Staff

We are here to support you throughout your sophomore year of college at Pitzer. Send us an email if you would like to connect or need some questions answered. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Brandon Johnson, Director of Intramurals, Club Sports and Recreation 
  • Carolina Rodriguez, Assistant Director, Career Services 
  • Kirsten Carrier, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life and Conference Services  
  • Kristin Williams, Health and Wellness Outreach Facilitator 
  • Lexi Lai, Associate Director of Campus Life
  • Jill Hawthorne, Associate Director, Constituent Engagement and Campus Partnerships
  • Tasmia Moosani, Residence Director