What to Think About Before Taking a Semester Off


Taking a semester off can be appealing if you need a break for health reasons, you have another opportunity to pursue, or you’re unsure that you’re on the right path and need to clear your mind. Whereas time off can be a great decision for some students, it is a big decision — and not one you should take lightly. Here are several things you should consider before deciding if it’s the right move for you.

1. What Your Academic Advisor Says

The academic advisors at your school will have helped many students navigate taking a semester off. They can explain the process and its implications. In addition, they may be able to offer you other options that you hadn’t considered.

You may also like to seek advice from other school officials — especially people who already know you. Consider what these people tell you when coming to a decision.

2. How It Will Affect Your Financial Aid

It’s crucial to know how taking a semester off would impact any loans, scholarships, or grants you have. For instance, there may be requirements that you take a certain number of credits each semester or graduate by a particular date. If you’re unsure, talk to someone in the financial aid office on campus.

3. What You’ll Do in the Meantime

Using your semester off as a chance to earn money could solve any problems with financial aid. Plus, it may give you the experience you need to boost your resume after you graduate or allow you to explore a field you’d like to work in. If you feel you need time to rest, you can always search for part-time, rather than full-time, work.

Of course, a job is far from your only option — it may even be the opposite of what you need. Other options for a semester off include studying abroad, an internship, volunteer work, or developing other skills.

4. Whether You’d Prefer to Transfer

An alternative to returning to your current school after returning from a semester off could be to transfer to another university. You could do this immediately or after a break. This may be the right solution for you if you’ve never felt completely comfortable at university or you’ve decided to pursue a different career to what you originally intended.

5. How You’ll Return

The biggest risk to taking a semester off is losing momentum — but you can avoid this by preparing for your return. This will involve things like deciding where you’ll live, picking your classes, and choosing which extracurriculars you’ll take.

Whatever you ultimately decide to do, it’s important to make changes to prevent burnout and stay motivated until graduation. Key to this is searching for a better apartment. You can find Queens University student housing at Foundry Princess. We offer everything you need to help you study, socialize, and relax, including study areas, an outdoor BBQ area, a 24-hour convenience market, and the option for a deep soaker tub in your apartment. Apply for a lease in time for your return to university.

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