By Guest Blogger Kristen Daukas

When my daughter was a sophomore at college, she sheepishly FaceTimed me one day, in a near panic, because she felt she needed to take a break the following semester. She thought I would put up a fight, but it was the exact opposite. Instead, we talked about her mental and emotional health and that she was the steward of those things in her life. If she felt that she mentally needed to take the time to regroup and get her life together, then that was the most important thing. School will always be there, but if she’s not in the right place emotionally and mentally, that needs attention first and foremost.

Gap Semester

Advantages of Taking a Semester Off From College

There are so many positives to letting our kids take a semester off during their time at school. Here are a few:

Taking a semester off from college can provide students with mental and emotional benefits that will make their college experience more positive and successful. From creating more stability in their lives to having the chance to develop healthier habits, there are a variety of advantages to taking some time away from school.

Time to Mentally Rest

At their core, college semesters should teach important lessons so that we can become well-rounded individuals. But sometimes, those lessons can come at a cost, leading to physical and mental exhaustion and stress. Taking a semester off not only provides them with the opportunity to rest but also gives them the space they need to work on themselves — developing better time management skills or improving their self-care routine. This break allows them to assess their mental and emotional state and modify their approach, if needed, for the next semester of college to be more successful than the last one.

Take a Semester Off

Learn New Interests

While coursework often keeps students busy during their studies, this break gives them a valuable opportunity to explore interests outside of academics. Whether exploring activities and hobbies in their local area or even traveling abroad, taking this time away from school lets them find new ways to grow personally and, ultimately, professionally. It also allows them to hone transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, and leadership which would look great on any resume or job application!

Cultivate Healthier Habits

Improving their physical health can have tremendous effects on their emotional well-being too! Taking a semester off isn’t just about having fun or resting up; it’s also about taking the time out of their busy schedules necessary for personal development. They could use this break from school to focus on cultivating healthier habits like eating correctly and exercising regularly – things that serve as simple building blocks for good physical health but may be overlooked by students who get overwhelmed by coursework and assignments.

Gain Personal Growth through Gap Semesters

Regardless of the reasons behind it, taking a break from college is an essential part of personal growth that should be taken seriously and respected. As parents and educators, we must support and understand students making this decision – giving them the space they need without placing judgment or pressure on their choices. Ultimately, what matters most is that they feel comfortable and secure taking a semester off to make the most of their college experience. It’s also important that if someone does take a semester off, they stay connected with professors and ensure all coursework is kept up to date. That way, they can hit the ground running when they’re ready to return! By understanding the benefits of taking a semester off and providing students with the necessary support, we can help foster more successful educational experiences for our young adults.

Time Off

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