Your parents and older siblings talk about college as the best time of their lives, but for you, it has turned into a vicious circle of classes, homework, and stress. Before you drop out of college, consider taking one or two semesters off. Let us share the most common reasons for academic sabbaticals and how you can make the most of them.
You Need A Break From College If
You Can’t Afford Tuition
If you rely on parents and student loans to pay tuition, you might run out of money in the middle of your studies. It is a common occurrence since tuition rates are on the rise. So instead of increasing your debt, you can take a semester off and find a well-paying job to save up some money. It will allow you to get real-life experience, ease your student loans or help your family if one of your parents loses the job.
You Are Stressed, Depressed Or Anxious
Your physical and mental health is far more important than a college degree. You don’t have to get used to feeling tired and stressed out over group assignments, essays, and reports. If you experience insomnia or anxiety, suffer from mood swings or panic attacks, it is time to put yourself first. Take a break for a few months; it will help you restore balance. Once you are back home, don’t Netflix all day long, instead take up an active hobby or consult a counselor to get over the most pressing psychological issues.
You Need To Support Your Family
An illness, trauma or death in the family are common reasons to take a semester off college. If you need to support a family member or grieve in peace, classes and homework are far from your mind. There is no sense in staying at school if you will be distracted, miss the critical information and get bad grades. Still, some students prefer to remain in school if they don’t want to be fixating on family troubles, and studies help them cope better.
You Are No Longer Interested In Your Studies
Despite all the career guidance you got, two semesters in you may find yourself disappointed in your major. High school graduates often make mistakes about their choice of the future career, but it’s not the end of the world. If classes no longer bring you joy and excitement, take a step back and talk to your academic counselor and parents. They will advise you on the best course of action. You might find yourself drawn to a new field of study.
You Get A One-In-A-Lifetime Offer
While college diploma looks good on your resume, the extra experience will set you apart from other job applicants after graduation. So if you get a chance to volunteer for a Presidential election campaign, take an internship with Google or help vaccinate children in Africa, go for it. Taking one semester off to try yourself at new things, meet interesting people and change the world for the better is an admirable decision.
How To Go Back To College After A Semester Off?
Whatever your reason for taking a semester off, your family will be angry and surprised. They want what’s best for you and are anxious because you might not want to return to college. To ease their minds, explain how you will make the most of your free time and go back to school with extra motivation. A semester or a year away from school will help you to:
- Experience life. College graduates are often overwhelmed by adult life once outside the protective embrace of academia. During your semester off you can experience the main hurdles you will face once you get a diploma, so you will have the edge over the competition in the job market. Besides, extra points in your resume will attract the prospective employers' attention.
- Set your priorities straight. In all the rush and excitement of college application and freshman year, you did not get much chance for navel-gazing. You don’t know what you want in life because you did not get enough time to assess your strengths and weaknesses, your interests and dreams. Now you have enough time to define the priorities in your life even if the college will not be at the top of your list.
- Talk to your friends and family. Once you come back home, you get a chance to become closer to your parents and siblings. Do not shut them out just because they don’t understand your decision to take a semester off. Instead, talk to them, explain your reasons like an adult, and you will be surprised how much support and useful advice you will get.
- Take online courses. To keep your brain limber and tuned for learning, sign up for online classes your college provides or any MOOC you enjoy. This will show your commitment to continue studies after a semester or a year off to your family. Besides, extra credit will allow you to catch up on your education quicker.
Taking a semester off college is a difficult decision. You might face disappointment and anger from your family and friends, but if your choice is based on solid reasons, not a flight of fancy, stand by the decision you make. And remember that taking a break is not the same as dropping out. You can always go back and continue your studies where you left off or in another field.
In case stress over homework is your primary reason for taking a semester off, let our professional writers ease your burden. They will take care of your writing while you have a well-deserved rest and catch up on sleep.