The Pros and Cons of Taking a Semester Off in Community College

by A Guest Author

taking a break at community collegeDespite the fact that your parents keep telling you to appreciate your time in high school since you'll never have it easier, the push to ace your SATs and earn a diploma may have left you feeling a little burned out, especially when it comes to contemplating further schooling.

Although everyone will likely push you to continue your education without delay (everyone being your parents, teachers, counselors, and so on), you might be thinking about taking a semester off to have a little fun, take a trip, or simply catch your breath (and catch up on your sleep).

Perhaps you'd like to get a job to save some money for school (or just to see what it's like having a job).

Or maybe you've already started taking community college courses and you're just not feeling it.

Many students decide to take a little break during their time in community college.

And while there are definite benefits associated with this decision, there could also be a few drawbacks.

Here are some pros and cons to consider before you leave the yellow brick road for that dreamy field of flowers.

The Positive

On the plus side, a semester off gives you the much-needed break from study that you've been pining for.

When your heart just isn't in your academic pursuits it can take your head out of the game, as well, and this could be a recipe for disaster (or a downward spiral in your grades, in any event).

It could be a case of all work and no play, easily remedied by the reboot that a little time off can deliver.

Or perhaps you're struggling to figure out just what you want to do with your life, much less choose a major.

Taking some time away from your education could allow you the distance you need to let your mind settle and come back to the problem with a fresh perspective.

In the meantime you can get a job.

Believe it or not, having a minimum wage job can greatly alter the way you look at school.

Your semester spent flipping burgers or answering phones could just change your mind about a willingness to commit to school.

Once you see the terrible jobs that await someone with only a high-school education, you might return to school the following fall or spring with a whole new outlook on the prospect of attending classes, studying, and earning a degree that will lead to better jobs and a brighter future.

The Negative

Of course, there is a downside to skipping a semester, as well.

It could be a lot harder than you imagine to go back.

You might enjoy partying or earning your own money more than you anticipated.

Or perhaps your parents, none too keen on your decision to quit school, will kick you out and cut you off, forcing you to fend for yourself.

It's a lot harder to attend school when you have to work to pay your rent and utilities.

You might lose any scholarship money you had coming and it's possible that you may never regain the opportunities that you had when you started.

You could end up a college dropout for life.

You might say that's not you, but it happens, and plenty.

So before you decide to take a semester off, think about what you stand to gain versus what you might lose.

It doesn't take a conflict resolution degree to see that the wrong decision could end badly.

You simply have to decide which path is right for you.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucy October 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Hello. Excellent job. I did not think this. Thanks!


Chad Agrawal October 24, 2012 at 12:00 am

Hey Lucy, glad I can help!


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