Give yourself time to recharge and rediscover your life
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
It’s been about a year since I decided to take a break from school. What was originally supposed to be a semester or two off to cure my burnout has turned into one of the most productive times of my life.
I started lifeguard training, got a great paying job, reconnected with my family, saved up money, started volunteering, and most importantly, I was able to just relax. There was no stress about essay deadlines, being late for class, group projects, or my grades, which was just what I needed. Taking this time off school was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I think everyone should do it if they have a chance.
If you don’t think you have the opportunity to take a break from school, or just plain don’t want to, that’s respectable and you are much stronger than I am. However, there are a lot of positive long-term effects that come with taking a break from school, so I would recommend it.
It’s important in the long run for your mind and your body. I think people who go to school too long get stuck in the academic world; I know I did. They forget what it’s like to be in the real world and not have a reading to do or a class to study for. People need that break to destress and recharge. Time off also prevents you from burning out, not just academically but physically and emotionally as well. Instead, it gives you the chance to work your butt off and save money for future academic expenditures. You also gain the opportunity to get experience in your field.
Taking time off school means you have more time to do the things that you’ve always wanted or needed to do. Volunteering was one on those things for me. It’s damn near impossible to find time to volunteer when you have a job and a heavy class workload ahead of you, so taking time off is the perfect opportunity for it. However, you don’t have to just volunteer. You can watch all the shows you’ve been meaning to see, read more books, join a sports team, research topics you’ve always been interested in but didn’t have time to, and do anything to better yourself.
You can also rethink your major. Taking time off has made me realize that I wasn’t 100 percent certain about my major, whereas now I’m confident with the area I will study when I get back to school. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on classes that don’t even interest you. There’s no point in lying to yourself.
If you’ve lost interest, don’t have the energy, or just don’t want to go to school, take a break! Education is not something that you should rush through. When I do decide to go back to school, I know I will return with passion and vigour that I can attribute to my year off. Do yourself a favour and take a semester (or even a year or more) off school. You’ll thank yourself for it later.