Suffering from college burnout? Sick of pulling all nighters only to end up with grades that are lower than you expected? Tired of careless professors who put forth less effort than their laziest students? Fed up with paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for an education that you aren’t sure you even want? Perhaps it’s time to step aside and take a much needed break.
These days, it’s becoming more acceptable for college students to take hiatuses from their academic careers. It’s now viewed as a necessity and not a hindrance to achieving a degree. It’s akin to taking a lunch break at work: the free time allows you to rest your mind and regroup your thoughts, thus enabling you to become more productive when you continue where you left off. Of course, that isn’t to say taking a break from college is for everyone. Before making the move, evaluate your current situation. Are you unhappy with one or two classes? Has finals week got you stressed? If you can pinpoint a couple problems and resolve them in a timely manner, you may not need a prolonged break after all. Even if your problems are slightly more complicated, wait them out until the end of the semester when classes are no longer in session. Being removed from your usual worries for a short period of time might be enough to give you the energy to continue.
If you do decide to take a break, you should proceed with caution. It’s important to formulate a plan of action so you don’t get lost along the way. Set a date for your return to campus – barring dire circumstances, your hiatus shouldn’t last longer than a semester. Students who take too much time off often end up never returning. You don’t want to waste all the progress you’ve made in school. In the meantime, find a balance between rest and routine. Do something that makes you happy. Travel if you can afford it. Reconnect with old hobbies you left behind when you went off to college. Stay mentally healthy by keeping in touch with your friends and family. Consider finding a job or internship to keep your work ethic intact. The additional money you earn can go into savings and perhaps be used toward college expenses. As long as you remain happy and stress free, you should be prepared to make a triumphant return to your studies. Just be sure to do things differently the second time around – and put your well-being first.