According to the U.S. News & World Report, 92 percent of students at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. graduate with a degree in four years, the highest rate in among colleges across the country. Graduating in four years, while the trend by a majority of university students, by no means should be the standard. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
There are many reasons taking time off from college is not a bad move. Here are three.
It can be good for your mental health
Taking time away doesn’t have to mean failure. From general core classes that have nothing to do with your major to balancing studying and friends, college is stressful. Nearly 80 percent of college students experience some sort of stress daily, according to an Anxiety and Depression Association of America survey published in 2008. Taking time to relax, regroup and reorganize for a quarter, semester, or year could mean the difference between barely scraping by and enjoying your time at school.
It can help you earn money
So, college is expensive. Four years at an institution could total close to $330,000, according to Forbes. This large number means student loans for a lot of students. Taking a semester off and spending time working in order to pay for school could cut down student loans, and fewer student loans mean less interest on those loans. Whether it’s at your local coffee shop or a fancy paid internship, taking a break from classes to earn some cash might save you a lot in the long run.
It can help you find out what you actually want to study
Personal time to figure out what is right for you through downtime, traveling, volunteering or working might introduce passions you never knew you had. College is a time to explore yourself and if that includes exploring what you never knew you loved, then the time has never been better. Traveling and learning new cultures while you are young is something you won’t regret. This could lead to a change in majors, which is also not something to try and avoid. In the end, you will be happier learning and prepare for a career you enjoy than spending time in something you heart isn’t into.
Taking as much time as needed to get a degree is not something to be ashamed of. Transitioning to college, choosing a major and navigating through the world of being an almost-graduate is hard, and personal growth is inevitable. Do what is best for you and you won’t regret it.