After high school, I knew I wanted to go right to my local community college, Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC). The only problem was that I had never given my future career a serious thought, and I really did not want to go into college as an Undeclared Major.
My two best friends at the time told me about a program they were joining, and they told me I should do it, too. The program was called Teachers 2000, or T2K for short. It was created to help those who wanted to become teachers successfully knock out all of their core-required classes while staying with the same group of people during those two years. I figured I had nothing to lose, and what better way to start my college career than with my best friends?
After my two years of community college were up, I had come to the realization that I did not want to be a teacher after all. In fact, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life going forward. I was stuck in a terrible educational purgatory with no light at the end of my tunnel. I decided that my only choice was to take a year off from school to really think about what next steps I wanted to take.
That year off turned into three years of working and avoiding the idea of picking a major and going back to school. I went back and forth on different options I had given myself when it came to career fields I could see myself in.
Becoming a vet tech involved too much math and science, neither of which were anything I was academically decent at. I knew going back to become a teacher would leave me miserable, so that was quickly taken off of my list. Once my only two options had been discarded, I was left more discouraged than at the beginning of my hiatus. Now, I sat online watching all of my friends from high school graduating college, getting real adult jobs, and living their best lives.
One day, I pulled out my laptop and went on Rowan's homepage. I spent the next few hours scrolling through their list of offered degrees trying to find something, anything, that could be my next step in life. I stumbled upon Sociology and decided to look into it. I found a long list of potential jobs once I graduated. The list was promising enough that I felt the need to apply to Rowan right away.
I can proudly say that I have officially survived my first semester back at college. Thanks to the endless support from my friends and family, I am on the right track to getting my degree and making a difference in this world.
Taking a few years off from college saved the faith I have in myself. Towards the end of T2K, I was nothing more than a disgruntled student doing just above the minimum to pass my classes. I had lost who I was inside and was beginning to hate school, which was a first for me because I have always loved school growing up.
If I had kept going with my group, I would have ended up even more miserable in the end. I highly doubt I would have finished school, wasting both time and money in the long run. Taking time off was inevitable, but I'm glad I took it when I did.
So, if you feel like you aren't on the right path, take a break. Clear your mind, work in a field you love, and find yourself again. Taking time off from college is not the end of the world. Find out where your passions lie and run with it.
Who knows, maybe a break is everything you need.