Sophomore September is a Success

PLNU’s Associated Student Body (ASB), in collaboration with Sophomore September, led an event called “sophomores and smoothies.”

A new tradition at Point Loma Nazarene University was introduced this month of September. “Sophomore September” is a month dedicated to second-year students who may be feeling burnt-out, unmotivated and disconnected. PLNU’s Residential Life spent just about a year working alongside the Center of Pastoral Leadership, Alumni Relations, Career Services and the Office of Student Life and Formation to put together a month full of activities to keep second-year students engaged and excited for the year. 

“Our vision behind Sophomore September was to be able to curate a month of engagement opportunities for sophomores that would connect them to resources, involvements and various offices across campus that are available and beneficial spaces of support for them in this year,” said Nease Residence Hall residential director and chair of the Residential Life Sophomore Committee, Kathy Lee via an email interview.   

Each year, the Residential Life Sophomore Cohort Committee is tasked with finding new ways to meet the needs of second-year students. According to Lee, the committee spent a year researching and receiving feedback from students on how to better help students navigate their second year of college. 

“The hope is that students will make meaningful connections throughout engagement with Sophomore September and in turn be motivated to take advantage of the resources and opportunities for involvement available to them throughout the year,” said Lee.

At the “sophomore supper” event, held on Sept. 7, second-year applied health major Riley Putnam had the opportunity to meet a physician assistant student in the PLNU Physician Assistant graduate program.

“It [sophomore supper] got me thinking about my future and networking and tangibly set me up with good resources and people to connect with,” said Putnam.

PLNU’s Associated Student Body (ASB), in collaboration with Sophomore September, led an event called “sophomores and smoothies.” At this event, members of the ASB board worked blenders and fruit for an hour to make either strawberry and banana or açaí smoothies for sophomore students. 

ASB director of activities Jordan Roby said, “The ASB Board hopes that these new traditions will continue to bring students together with different parts of the campus community and with each other and help those who are still adjusting to the college experience.”

“It [sophomores and smoothies] was a great time. It was so nice to sit on Cunningham Lawn with other sophomores and catch up about the year. I loved it and the smoothies were fabulous,” said second-year psychology major Kristina Patterson.

At each event students can go into their “myPLNU” app and scan the QR code for opportunities to win more prizes. This also helps the Residential Life Sophomore Cohort Committee keep track of attendance and know which students are participating and how many they have participated in.

“We’ve had pretty good engagement at events and with the fairs which is awesome and good interaction with the ‘myPLNU’ app,” said Lee. 

According to Lee, all sophomores will receive a “special Sophomore sticker” regardless of their participation in any of the events throughout the month. Students who attend at least two post-chapel fairs and one event during Sophomore September receive a custom sophomore tote bag or shirt along with the sticker.Those who attend at least three post-chapel fairs and three events get their name in a raffle to potentially win even bigger prizes in addition to the tote bag/shirt and sticker.

“I know there are still more events to come, but just hearing about the different opportunities to engage with Alumni Services, Career Services, ASB and more have been helpful tools and resources to help sophomores succeed in the future,” said Roby. 

Sophomores have enjoyed the opportunities presented to get connected with their potential careers through Sophomore September. Second-year child development major Delaney Gendall said, “I went to the Q&A event and I gained tips about how to get to know others and what professionals may look for in someone during the interview process for jobs.”

This new tradition is making a difference. “It [Sophomore September] has been beneficial because it helps students prepare and be more open-minded about the future,” said Gendall.