Tips for Coming Back to School After a Break

Many people take a year off from school after they graduate from high school. Some take a break between graduating with a Bachelor’s and pursuing a Master’s. Others consider the summer and winter as they’re breaks from school but rarely do you hear about someone taking a semester off in the middle of their academic career. But that’s exactly what I did.


I decided to not return to Salisbury for the second semester of my sophomore year. Many factors went into it but it was not an official decision until about a week and a half before I was to move in again. I didn’t have a game plan nor did I know if it was the right choice. I did learn more about myself and save up money for the following semester that I was planning to attend. If you’re planning to take a semester or a year off think about the following when you make the decision.


Before taking time off:

  • Ask yourself if your parents agree with your choice and if they’ll support you in the decision.
  • Brainstorm things that you can do during your time off whether it’s going on a trip, volunteering, or working.
  • Think about how this will affect your educational career. Will it put you back a semester, a year or do you have enough credits to not be as heavily impacted by this decision?

During your time off:

  • Try and be as productive as you can while also enjoying the break you decided to take.
  • Look ahead and apply for readmission so you don’t scramble for enrollment dates or courses to take last minute.
  • Think about what your course load will look like when you return so that you can prepare accordingly.

When you come back to school:

  • You might be a little rusty from the time off so look into a planning system that works for you. Having a plan and a routine is key to getting back into the rhythm of juggling classes, studying, clubs and work. I use a bullet journal as my daily planner and also have a giant calendar above my desk so that I can look ahead and prepare for upcoming exams and quizzes.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. After almost 8 months of not being in school (spring and summer) I had forgotten how to study efficiently and had forgotten some course material. Look into on campus tutoring and ask your professors for help during office hours. They are there and willing to help you get back into learning and want to help you succeed.
  • ENJOY SCHOOL! A break off is a great reset button but that doesn’t mean you should dread coming back to school. Take what you learned from the time off and apply it to school and vice versa. Don’t come back to school and slack off just because you wanted to stay home a week longer. Put in your all to prove that having time off was right for you and that your stronger than ever.