Why Taking a Semester Off Is Actually Terrifying

Why Taking a Semester Off Is Actually Terrifying

I hope I made the right decision.

In every person's college career, a question they ask themselves is, “Should I take a semester off?” We get burnt out after a while in between the studying, and lectures that we kind of ask ourselves why are we pursuing this degree in the first place? We lose sight of why we’re even here spending the money to get our degree and things get a little claustrophobic.

A lot of people take time off between high school and college to get a better sense of what they want to do in college and why. Sometimes people take their break in the middle of their college career because they need to breathe a little. Whenever you decide to take your time off is up to you. I personally decided to do it on my senior year when I only had eight more credits left. But I never do things the right way anyway.

I’ve never considered taking a semester off because I always felt that it’s better to just get it done and over with. I didn’t really consider whether or not completing three straight years of college had really burnt me out from my degree until my final year when I asked myself, “What the heck am I even doing here anyway.” I also didn’t plan to take a semester off until it just happened. I had thought about it for a while and considered whether or not it would be the best thing for me, but I hadn’t made an official decision until the day I dropped all of my classes.

I have a million other reasons why I decided now of all times to take a semester off, but I won’t get into those. Instead, I’ll cover the feelings I have right now about taking a semester off. I’m mostly writing this article for people who are considering whether or not taking a semester off is right for them.

I’ve had people who graduated describe the sensation of not going to school again in the fall to feel like a really long summer vacation that just got cold. I’ve also had people mention that it took them a bit to form a structure after they graduated. They had a plan pre-graduation and didn’t follow through. I make the comparison to graduation because it feels like taking a semester off is like a mini-graduation.

I’m taking a long break. I’m using the time off to focus on things I wouldn’t have been able to focus on, like larger projects not related to school, or perhaps just writing in general and how I really feel about it after a few years in school. I think the great thing about taking a semester off is the freedom to really think about what you’ve done so far instead of waiting after graduation to clear your head all at once.

I think the scariest thing about taking a semester off is the fear that I won’t ever go back. I hear about the horror stories of people taking a semester or a year off and not returning to school five or ten or twenty years after the fact. I’m sure that I’ll come back when I need to but I recognize that life sometimes gets in the way.

Do I recommend taking a semester off? For now, I say yes because a lot of good can come out of it. You have time to decompress and focus on your goals in whatever degree you have. If you need to figure out financial stuff, it’s also smart to take the time off that you need to organize that. I might change my opinion on that as this pans out. I guess I’m most excited about achieving goals and completing creative projects I otherwise didn’t have the time or energy to tackle.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.


To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.


" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.


3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.


4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.


5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs


6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.


7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.


8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.


9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.


10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.


11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.


12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout


13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.


14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.


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