I started college in August of 2014. The first semester was wonderful. I had a great season in marching band and had done well in all of my classes. The spring semester wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t as good as the fall semester had been.
Then my sophomore year everything started to go south with my mental and physical health. I started to become depressed and my anxiety increased. The more my mental well-being declined the more my physical health declined. I was getting hives all over my body every time I showered. I was getting colds that lead to bronchitis about once every couple of months. I had multiple viral syndromes that doctors thought was either mumps or mono. It was tough. However, I somehow managed to still go to all my classes and did pretty well. This lasted through fall semester of my junior year of college. Despite how miserable my life had become I still made it on the Dean’s list. How I was able to do that, I don’t know. That spring semester in 2017, everything came to a point. I had to withdraw from college for the first time. I felt defeated. I had done so much work for those 10 weeks before this happened. I was disappointed that I couldn’t finish the semester.
Over the summer I was getting better. But I wasn’t back to normal. I tried to take a summer class but that didn’t go very well and I ended up dropping the class. I then naively thought that I was ready for a full load again for the fall semester. Boy was I wrong. I started to backslid quickly with my health and within a month and a half I had to medically withdraw from the semester for the second time.
When I think back about having to withdraw I am glad I did it. I needed help and I wish I had asked for it sooner. Taking time off of school can be scary. I was scared that I would go way off track. I wouldn’t graduate in the typical four years and I would be behind. But if you are struggling with any kind of health problem, know that school will always be there. Taking time off can be a good thing.
I learned a lot while recovering. I learned that my health needs to come before school and that taking care of myself isn’t a bad thing. I shouldn’t be ashamed for taking time off. Just because I am taking a different path with my education doesn’t mean that I am worth any less.
And if you decide that college isn’t right for you after all, that is okay too. I know college isn’t the best thing for everyone but I personally am excited to go back and I feel ready this time. A college education will bring me closer to my goals in life. It will help prepare me for the future career I have been hoping for.
If you are considering taking some time off, it is okay to do so. Of course think of your options though. Know the impact that it will have on financial aid packages and your situation.
Thanks for reading! If you have a similar experience (or a completely different one) please share it by commenting.
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