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It’s Okay to Take a Semester Off

Let’s be real for a minute: sometimes taking a semester off of school is needed. Whether that be for mental health reasons such a depression or anxiety, academic reasons like feeling rushed into a major you don’t love, or simply needing the time off to re-evaluate what you want to do in life… Sometimes it’s just necessary for your own well-being.

For me, taking a semester off school was the best thing possible I could do for my mental health and academic success. I took a semester off when I was put on academic probation that was caused by my lack of work ethic and motivation because of depression and anxiety. There were many days (sometimes weeks) that I couldn’t pull myself out of bed to go to class or, when I got to school, even walk into class. I was anxious to be around people because I thought they were always looking at me or laughing at me when in reality, they were probably off day-dreaming because studying for a calculus test was just too mind-numbing. When I came back, life at school was completely different. I was able to focus in class and get better grades, I had finally picked a major I love, and I made the best group of friends/support system I could ever ask for (love my Her Campus Millersville girls!).

Taking a semester off school in no way makes you a bad student or less of a person if you need time to take care of your mental health. For many, taking the time off is a way to re-center yourself and focus on what you really want, whether that be deciding that you want to continue your college degree, or maybe take a break from college all together and discover what you love. It is still important to seek the help you need if you have left for mental health reasons as well as career choice reasons. It never hurts to explore your options with other colleges or trade schools, as well as meeting with advisors from both.

We all deserve to cut ourselves some slack and if that means leaving college for a bit, then so be it. Take care of yourself and your future because it is well-deserved and you deserve the best!

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Ashley Haywood


I'm a senior English major with a focus in writing studies and I hope to someday write for a publication within in Lancaster area. I drink more coffee than I probably should, my cat is my baby, and I'm obsessed with my planner. You'll always find me on campus in the library with a cup of coffee in hand! 
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