02/25/2014 06:34 pm ET Updated Apr 27, 2014

The Sophomore Slump and Other Excuses

Being a sophomore in college is understandably less exciting than being a freshman. You've been on this campus before, you've gone to the sports games, and you've solidified your group of friends. You aren't anxiously anticipating the first day of school, spending hours picking out an outfit or decorating your dorm room for the first time. Everything seems a bit more familiar and comfortable.

While it is definitely nice not to be a little freshman, it's also kind of easy to miss the days of constantly getting excited over everything and learning new things every day. As a sophomore, things aren't as new and fresh. Maybe you aren't as motivated as last year, or you're now in this routine that while comfortable, is getting a little stale. At the end of last semester, my friend and I were complaining about our classes and just how our whole semesters were going. We brought up sophomore slump, saying that it was actually a real thing. But in the midst of venting and ranting, we realized that there could be an excuse for every year of college to not be at your peak: freshman year is a time of adjustment, sophomore slump happens to the best of us, junior year is supposed to be the hardest, and senior year is supposed to be the time to just slack a little.

We saw that you could constantly make excuses for anything and everything if you really wanted to. You could always point to some external factor that's out of your control as the reason for mistakes and problems. You could justify feeling stuck or bored throughout your entire college experience if you really wanted to. But, that isn't the point of college. College is supposed to help you grow as a person, and making excuses certainly inhibits any kind of growth. Sure, there are definitely things that aren't in your power to change. But, there is so much more that you have control over. There are so many decisions you can make. There are so many problems that you can resolve. And, there are so many adventures out there that are just waiting for you to live out.

Yeah, being at school for the second year isn't as new or exciting as living away from home and adjusting to college for the first time. But, I bet there's still more to explore. More to learn. More to try. In one of my past HuffPost Teen posts, I wrote about how I loved Steve Jobs' Stanford commencement speech, and how much I adored all the wisdom and quotes he managed to fit into 15 minutes. Well, I think this is another good time to bring up a quote from this beautiful speech. As he's ending his speech, Steve Jobs reminds us of the Whole Earth Catalog, and its advice to "Stay hungry. Stay foolish." These four words are a simple yet powerful reminder to never stop going outside our comfort zones. To keep pushing boundaries and limits, no matter what conventions or stereotypes or excuses are there to try to hold us back. While it's easy to fall into slumps and routines, we have to remember that progress and growth and excitement are always out there. We just need to stop making excuses as to why we can't seek them out.