Sophomore slump

When a second effort fails to meet the standards of the first

A sophomore slump (also known as a sophomore jinx or sophomore jitters) is when a sophomore fails to live up to the relatively high standards that occurred during freshman year.

It is commonly used to refer to the apathy of students (second year of high school, college or university),[1][2] the performance of athletes (second season of play), singers/bands (second album),[3] television shows (second seasons), films and video games (sequels/prequels).

In the United Kingdom, the "sophomore slump" is more commonly referred to as "second year blues", particularly when describing university students. In Australia, it is known as "second year syndrome", and is particularly common when referring to professional athletes who have a mediocre second season following a stellar debut.[4]

The phenomenon of a "sophomore slump" can be explained psychologically, where earlier success has a reducing effect on the subsequent effort, but it can also be explained statistically, as an effect of the regression towards the mean.[5][6]

Industry-specific terms

In the world of music, there is a common phenomenon known as the sophomore album curse/syndrome, where newly popular artists often struggle to replicate their initial success with their second album,[7] which is often characterized by struggles in changing musical style. Artists such as Billy Bragg (Talking with the Taxman About Poetry),[8] Dr. Strangely Strange, Black Reindeer, Roddy Ricch' (Live Life Fast),[9] and Jack Harlow (Come Home the Kids Miss You)[10] have referenced the effect in their respective album titles and artwork. American indie rock band Grandaddy used a double entendre for their second album, titled The Sophtware Slump.

In English football, second season syndrome is the phrase that is used to describe a downturn in fortunes for a football club in its second season after its promotion to the Premier League, particularly if the first season after promotion had brought a strong finish.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Feinstein, Jessica. Sophomore slump sneaks up on students. Archived 2012-09-19 at Yale Daily News. 25 March 2004.
  2. ^ Henderson, Angela. Sophomore slump afflicts many students. Archived 2011-06-07 at the Wayback Machine The Lantern. 28 May 2008.
  3. ^ Lynskey, Dorian. Are you suffering from DSAS? The Guardian. 19 September 2003.
  4. ^ "Mortimer shakes 'second year syndrome'". ABC News. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  5. ^ Regression Toward the Mean
  6. ^ Investigating Sophomore Slump
  7. ^ "It's brilliant second album syndrome". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Talking with the Taxman About Poetry", Billy Bragg, Elektra 9 60502-1 (1986) LP
  9. ^ Hynes, Hayley (17 December 2021). "Roddy Ricch's "Live Life Fast" Receives Incredibly Mixed Reactions From Listeners". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  10. ^ "Come Home the Kids Miss You Reviews". Metacritic. 17 December 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  11. ^ Gandy, Rob (2016). "Second season syndrome". Significance. 13 (3): 26–29. doi:10.1111/j.1740-9713.2016.00916.x. ISSN 1740-9713.

External links

  • [1]Howard Wainer (2007), "The Most Dangerous Equation", American Scientist 95