Consider taking time off – The Daily Aztec

As the semester draws to a close, there is one thing all the students can agree on: learning online has been a challenge.

I am easily distracted and sometimes find it difficult to participate verbally in class. I’m more exhausted at the end of the day than I’ve ever been with face-to-face classes and the motivation to enroll in class on Zoom has long since been exhausted. Also, the lack of physical social interaction had a huge impact on me, to say the least.

Students cannot learn effectively online or justify taking student loans or paying full tuition fees to learn from home, especially if they live out of state or live in another country like a large part of the student body of the State of San Diego.

It’s not worth the shot.

Following California State University announcement September 10 that the majority of courses will be held online next semester in addition to the decision of SDSU officials to to cancel spring break and schedule four “rest and recovery days” spread throughout the semester to avoid a new wave of COVID-19 cases, the university should also have reminded students of the option to take time off, as well as the steps necessary to do so. This can be of interest to students, especially if they are not getting the education they intended to receive at the start of their academic career.

Leave of absence means that you are not currently enrolled, but intend to re-enroll and come back. Individuals will need to speak with their advisors and the registrar, but there is usually no penalty involved. Students can take a leave of absence for up to four consecutive semesters at the SDSU without having to re-apply and they must submit a leave request on the SDSU web portal.

When students unsubscribe from courses, their financial aid is suspended and they are not required to pay tuition. Their financial aid will reactivate upon re-enrollment, which can be a sigh of relief for the students who benefit from it. Scholarship policies vary, but some may require constant enrollment and may be withdrawn for students taking time off.

If students are having difficulty, for whatever reason, they should be encouraged by the university to take time off and return in more optimal circumstances, as well as to stress the psychological value that leave can have for them. to bring.

A senior graduate, who prefers to remain anonymous, who took time off last spring and plans to graduate from SDSU in December, believes taking time off may improve a student’s mental health.

“Before I took my leave, I was mentally and physically exhausted from having a full-time job and a full-time school,” she said. “I tried several times to go to therapy in and out of school to help relieve anxiety and depression, but SDSU had limited resources that could allow me to get help while staying. on the campus. In addition, without a car, it has become more difficult. However, once I was on leave I was able to find time to ask for help. I found that my biggest benefit in taking my leave was that my mental health improved. It took me all the leave and even the summer to mentally prepare myself for the stress of school on my own.

While taking time off may be beneficial, it may not be financially feasible for some students. The oldest graduate said money was a concern she had to weigh before making her decision.

“Back then my main concern about taking time off was whether I could afford to take time off. At the time, I was working on campus, and if you’re not a student, you can’t work on campus, even on leave, ”she explained. “Not only did I have to find another job to pay the bills, but I also had to make sure the job was financially stable.

Another concern that students may have when considering time off is to graduate later than originally planned. However, the senior graduate explained that this was something she didn’t dwell on for long as she understood that everyone had a different schedule for graduation and still had took a leave of absence.

Personally, I had a hard time seeing friends graduate before me because I took time off. Other than that, you never stand out the way you would in high school, ”she explains. “You start to realize by the time you graduate that there are more people who are ‘late’ graduating like you. Something a professor told me at the start of my undergraduate years that impressed me, it is that “the university is made to be appreciated, why rush”. “

Students have been urged to compromise their education and mental health in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With online learning going to be the new normal for the foreseeable future, students should consider whether the value of getting a four-year degree is worth giving up on the college experience temporarily.

The college experience will not go back to “the way it was before” and for some it can be a tough pill to swallow. Higher education, given the varying complications created by the pandemic, should be more vigilant towards students and their valid distressing circumstances.

Ultimately, the older graduate is happy with her decision to take time off and how more rejuvenated she is as a student as a result.

“Being someone who has never quit smoking, I was mentally torn as to whether it was a good idea, but after all, I’m happy to have taken charge of my health,” says t -she. “I think if I hadn’t taken time off I would have failed and I would never have gone back.”

When you are able to perform optimally, this is the best time to be a student. If you decide to take a semester off from college, or more, for whatever reason, that’s okay. Take precautionary measures to stay safe, listen to your body, and keep your sanity up. We are surviving a global pandemic and will not be enjoying spring break next semester. Taking a semester out of school has never hurt anyone and is very worthwhile under pressing circumstances.

Trinity Bland is a junior student studying television, film and media. Follow her on Twitter @trinityaliciaa.

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