I Took a Leave of Absence During College & Here's What Happened

This article has been syndicated from Breakfast at Tiffany Marie's, an InfluenceHer Collective Member. Read the full post here. 

Taking a leave of absence and just hitting reset on my life — it all seemed so simple. I sent out an inquiring email without telling anyone to find out a few details on what steps needed to be taken hypothetically. Next thing I know I’m sitting on the floor, the phone clenched in my hand hearing the words "you must submit your form to me by the end of today to be able to withdraw from this semester."

Let’s rewind a little…

I threw myself into college after growing up like the majority with the notion that this is what needed to happen. You graduate high school and immediately head off to school again to build your future, so it seems. Besides struggling in math a bit I was actually a really good student, here's the catch: I'm not a fan of school. Somehow when I said this to everyone no one thought to explain the idea of a gap year or pursuing something different. So when I moved across the state, battled a crazy roommate, art teachers straight from h*ll, and manipulative relationships, I spiraled. 

What they don’t tell you about that leave of absence…

Not to feel guilty

To take care of yourself

That you will start getting an overwhelming amount of emails from your loan providers…

No one tells you how to deal with the first month — even two — and then the last month of your time away. You hear those sharp words and questions from others about school a little more loudly. The stories of people taking a leave and never going back seem to pop up more than usual and everyone around you seems to have their lives together!

They also don’t tell you the growth and progress that can be made! I know this always isn't the case, but I can tell you from my experience that I ended up seeing the light at the end of the tunnel pretty quickly. I knew I wanted to throw myself into work and in turn, I threw myself into new hobbies and blogging. I established myself in a way that I never expected. Everything happens for a reason and if you learn to embrace that time off, you will surprise yourself.

Here is what they should tell you:

You know what is best for you!

Your health will always come first. If you are not taking care of yourself everything else will start to reflect that.

College isn’t going anywhere no matter how old you get.

Taking a break can help you reevaluate and see what you actually want to do once you graduate.

A lot of growth happens within a year and it could give you the chance to appreciate that degree you are pursuing more than you do right now.

It will be a whirlwind, but worth it if you use it wisely.

Ask a ton of questions & make sure you are set financially for this change!

If you are feeling a little lost right now, let it be known that you are not the only one. Along with all the questions and thoughts on the subject of my leave of absence there was always a story of someone that took time off. Explaining how much it helped them to create a silver lining when I needed it. So I hope this can be your silver lining or at least a reminder that this is your path, no one else’s.

Read the full post here