It’s really no secret: not everyone is destined to pursue post-secondary studies straight out of high school.
Despite the pressure that’s put on students to get their degrees as fast as they can, sometimes it’s just not fitting, practical, or even healthy to rush aboard the university bandwagon. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or just finished your first post-secondary year, there’s a chance you’ll realize that you’re not ready for it (or maybe that it’s not ready for you). And that’s okay. That’s so okay. Because although pursuing a degree is important, it’s really not worth sacrificing your time, money, and happiness if you feel that you need a break from school, or if you’re altogether uninterested in post-secondary studies.
We’ve gathered a bunch of reasons as to why there’s no shame in skipping out on school for the coming year. And who knows? Maybe you’ll relate to one or two (or all) of them.
“Help, My Program Sucks Ass”
If you finished your first year thinking, “That was awful. 0/10. Would not do again,” there’s a good chance you landed yourself in a program that isn’t right for you. University and college is meant to be enjoyed and learned from, not dreaded. Don’t be afraid to leave school short term, do more research on schools and programs, and then pick something that will make you happy and allow you to excel.
Suffering an Identity Crisis
Who am I? What’s my purpose? What should I eat for dinner? If you ask yourself these questions frequently (especially the latter), you could be doing yourself the biggest favour of your life by taking the year off to find yourself. This could include figuring out your future career, improving your quality of life, or straight up getting to know yourself better.
“I Need More Guap!”
We all need to make those dollar bills somehow, not to mention that school itself is terribly expensive. If you’re looking to save up for school, landing a full time position is a great way to do it instead of running headlong into a mountain of student debt. You could also be ready to join the workforce permanently, and that’s fine too if you’re happy with what you do.
I’m Just Chillin’
I don’t mean this in a “too cool for school” sort of way. Realistically, nobody is too cool for school (except for Robert Downey Jr.—he dropped out of high school to become Iron Man). Taking the year off to chill just means that you’ve experienced burnout over the years and need some time to relax before transitioning into post-secondary life. If you’re able to care for yourself and remain productive in other ways, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this option.
Partying Like It’s 1999 (Er, 2015)
For some, partying is love. Partying is life. However, it’s highly detrimental for party addicts to get their freak on in their first year of post-secondary, much less throughout their academic careers. If you think you might get a bit too wild during school, get it all out of your system during a gap year. This may not be the most parent-approved option, but it’ll sure as hell be a rad year.
Finding New Passions
Do you ever scold yourself for not having any hobbies? Well, here’s your chance to change that. Instead of going to school, you can invest in classes for things you’ve always wanted to learn. You could also take the autodidactic route and seek books, online tutorials, and other cool self-teaching tools to help you draw, dance, or do whatever it is you want to do.
Being a Good Samaritan
No matter who you are, volunteering is an objectively good thing to do. It takes a real gold-hearted champ to lend their own time and effort to supporting a cause without any monetary payback; why not get in touch with your benevolent side and give it a shot? Not only can you put volunteer work on a resume, but it feels damn good to think you’ve had a positive impact on others.
Improving Your Health
Us humans are not always in the best of shape. Sometimes we’re silly and fracture our fibulas after performing shenanigans on a skateboard (read: the author), while other times we’re subject to ailments out of our control. Whatever the case may be, if you’re suffering from a condition that demands your immediate attention for recovery, don’t rush off to school. Make sure you’re healthy before taking on any new responsibilities.
Dealing With Family Issues
No family is perfect, but sometimes the road gets a bit bumpier than we’d like in our home lives. During times of adversity, it might be a good idea to hold off on school to focus your energy on setting things right at home. Managing school stress and family stress simultaneously is hardly healthy, and I reckon that most would put their families first.
Pursuing a Startup
Got a great business idea floating around in your head? If you’ve got expertise in the field and are confident in your management skills, you could always build a startup. It might take a fair bit of research and investment on your part, but if it’s successful, you could be rolling in some mad cash before your peers graduate post-secondary.
Have you decided to take this school year off, or have you already done it before? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Ryan McGuire.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.