Taking a Break From College and University -Pros and Cons

“Taking a break from College and University” seems scary, but it’s often a hidden treasure! Are you feeling overwhelmed, unsure, or in need of a breather?

Many students share these feelings but hesitate to pause their academic journey. It’s okay to take a break!

This will rejuvenate your mind; help you rediscover your passions.

We will guide you through the process, providing valuable insights to make your break transformative. Buckle up as we navigate the uncharted waters of educational sabbaticals together!

Can I Take a Break From College and University? 

Yes, it is possible to take a break from college or university, the specifics vary depending on the policies of your institution. This kind of break is called a “leave of absence”.

Here are important things to consider:

Policy: Check with your school’s administration to understand the school’s policies around taking a leave of absence. Some schools have formal procedures to follow and deadlines to meet.

Financial Aid: If you are receiving financial aid, you should verify with the financial aid office how taking a break may affect this, you may need to start repaying student loans if you’re not enrolled for a certain time.

Academic Progress: Discuss with your academic advisor how taking a break will impact your academic progress. They can help you understand the implications for your course sequence and graduation timeline.

Housing: If you live in campus housing, you’ll need to clarify what happens to your housing assignment if you take a break.

Re-Admission: Re-admission refers to the process of re-enrolling after an extended absence. Universities often require students to reapply after a certain period off. This involve meeting current admission standards and space availability in the program.

Visa Status: If you are an international student, a leave of absence may affect your visa status. Check with your school’s international student office or an immigration attorney.

Pros of Taking a Break From College and University

Gains Practical Experience

Taking a break from college will allow you to gain practical experience. This means you will engage in activities outside the classroom that provide learning opportunities.

During this time, work in internships, or volunteer in your field. By doing so, you will apply the theoretical knowledge gained in class.

This experience increases understanding of your profession and boosts their employability.

Taking a break will enable you to develop practical expertise that complements your academic learning and prepare you for future career success.

Enhances Life Skills

Taking a break from college enhances life skills. Focus on developing essential abilities beyond academic knowledge.

Improves your communication, time management, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.

Engaging in activities allows you to gain independence and resilience. These life skills are invaluable in personal and professional contexts, enabling you to navigate challenges, collaborate effectively, and thrive in various situations.

Taking a break allows students to broaden their skills and become well-rounded individuals.

Explores Career Interests

Taking a break from college offers the advantage of exploring career interests. During this time, delve into different job opportunities.

Undertake informational interviews to gain insights into various career paths. This exploration will help to discover your true passions, strengths, and preferences.

By experiencing different work environments firsthand, you make more informed decisions about your future career choices.

Taking a break provides the space for self-reflection. It allows you to align your academic pursuits with genuine interests, paving the way for a satisfying career.

Improves Academic Performance

Taking a break from college improves academic performance. Stepping away from the constant academic pressure allows you to recharge.

This break provides an opportunity for relaxation, and pursuing other interests, which enhance mental well-being.

When you return to your studies after the break, you will be motivated, focused, and productive. The break offers a fresh perspective, allowing you to approach coursework with renewed energy.

Taking time off prevents burnout, maintains a healthy work-life balance, and improves academic performance.

Provides Time for Personal Growth

Taking a break from college provides valuable time for personal growth. Engage in activities that promote physical and mental well-being.

Break allows you to gain understanding of your aspirations. It provides the space to develop independence.

By investing time in personal growth, you return to your studies with a clearer sense of purpose and a stronger foundation for future success.

Broadens Perspective

Taking a break from college offers the advantage of broadening perspective. Stepping away from the academic environment allows you to explore the world beyond class.

Engage in activities that expose you to diverse ideas.

By immersing yourself in different environments, you gain a broader understanding of the world and develop a more inclusive mindset.

This exposure to new perspectives enhances critical thinking and open-mindedness.

Taking a break broadens your worldview, fostering a deeper appreciation for diversity and enabling you to approach your academic studies with a more enriched perspective.

Facilitates Network Building

Taking a break from college facilitates network building. It provides an opportunity to connect with people outside the academic setting.

Experience will introduce you to diverse networks of professionals who will offer valuable insights and potential future opportunities.

Building relationships beyond the campus will expand professional circles, enhancing personal growth and increasing the chances of discovering new paths and connections that will lead to success in the future.

Develops Independence

Taking a break from college develops independence. When you step away from your studies, you explore new experiences.

You learn to make essential decisions. This break allows you to develop a sense of self-reliance as you navigate through various situations.

By gaining independence, you become better equipped to handle college demands when you decide to return.

Allows for Exploration of Passions

Taking a break from college allows you to explore your passions freely. It gives you the time to discover what motivates you.

Without the pressure of academic commitments, they will engage in activities that ignite your curiosity and bring you joy.

Exploring passions during this break will help you to understand your interests, strengths, and career aspirations.

It allows for personal growth and self-discovery, paving the way for more fulfilling and purpose-driven paths in the future.

Cons of Taking a Break From College and University

Loss of Momentum

Taking a break from college leads to loss of academic momentum.

Once you’ve stepped away from your study schedule, it will be difficult to regain the study habits necessary to successfully complete a degree.

Disconnect from Academic Community

It will be hard to reconnect with your peers and professors when you return. This will leads to isolation, which will affect your performance and motivation.

Financial Implications

Depending on the duration of your break, you may face increased tuition fees if they rise during your time off. Also, if you have student loans, a break could affect your repayment schedule or grace period.

Degree Completion Delays

Taking a break prolongs the time it takes to complete your degree. This delay impact your early career development and income potential.

Risk of Not Returning

Studies have shown that students who take a break from college are less likely to return and complete their degree.

Life circumstances can change during a break, and you may find it challenging to prioritize education again.

Outdated Knowledge/Skills

Especially in rapidly evolving fields like technology and science, the knowledge and skills you’ve learned might become outdated if you take a lengthy break.

Job Market Competitiveness

Employers often prefer recent graduates because their knowledge is up-to-date and they are already in the academic mindset. A gap in your education might need to be explained during job interviews.

Impact on Grad School Applications

If you plan to go to grad school, taking a break could be seen negatively by admission committees, unless the time off was used for relevant work or research experience.


Can you take a break from grad school?

Yes, you can take a break from grad school, known as a leave of absence. It’s crucial to consider the effects on your research progress, funding, relationships with advisors, future job prospects, and your institution’s re-admission policy.

Always consult with your academic advisor before making a decision.

What to do if you need a break from studying?

If you need a break from studying, try relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.

Engage in physical activities. Read a book, listen to music, or pursue a hobby for a change of pace. Remember, maintaining balance is key to effective studying.

How can I recharge my brain after studying?

To recharge your brain after studying, get sufficient sleep, eat a healthy diet, and stay hydrated.

Engage in physical exercise to boost your mood and energy. Practice mindfulness techniques like meditation. Socialize with friends or family, and pursue hobbies you enjoy to relax and distract your mind.

Can I take a break during my PhD?

Yes, you can take a break during a PhD, known as a “leave of absence. Consider impacts on your research, funding, advisor relationships, and future prospects.

It’s essential to consult your advisor and understand your university’s policies before making a decision.

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