The Truth Behind a Leave of Absence

Taking a leave of absence can be a very hard decision to make. There’s so much formal paperwork to fill out and so many unanswered questions about what’s to come. Hopefully, this article can take a bit of that stress off of you. And if you think that, for whatever reason, a leave of absence in necessary­–you know yourself and your situation better than anyone else.

There are many reasons why a leave of absence may be required, but the primary two reasons are mental health struggles and financial concerns. College is definitely a stressful time, and more often than not it, unfortunately, takes an exhausting toll on students. Plus, it’s really expensive! Not only does that increase anxiety, but it may not be possible to follow the perfect “4-year financial plan” for college or to take out all of the required loans.

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The most important aspect of a leave of absence is that it truly does help. Having some R&R at home, and getting into a better headspace for a few months can definitely give you the ability to push through the rest of your college education. It can also easily give you enough time to figure out if your current situation is right for you financially. You can talk to your parents and the school to both figure out a better game plan and check for scholarships. If needed, you could always get a job during your leave to make a little pocket money. But, what about all of the other scary things that are affected by a leave of absence? What about friendships, classes, and graduation?

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Friendships will be okay. If someone is truly your friend, they won’t let a few months allow your relationship to fizzle. Just stay in touch as well as you can! Text them updates here and there, and video chat them if you’re able to. When you see them again next, it’ll be like nothing was ever different.

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Classes and graduation are a bit trickier, as it really depends on what you choose to do during your leave of absence. If at all possible, try to find some classes at a local college that are inexpensive and that you can use as transfer credits. You can knock a few classes out of the way and stay on track for graduation pretty easily. If this isn’t something you’re up to or you can’t financially manage, don’t worry. Many people graduate late, sometimes even at the end of the first semester of a school year. You can usually request to take part in the graduation ceremony of the class graduating that spring if that is something you wish to do.

Overall, everything will turn out to be okay! A leave of absence may be a very good option, as it gives you time to recuperate and figure out a plan for the future. It can seem like a very scary concept, but it is ultimately a smart, beneficial decision for many students.


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