When to take a Break from School

A big question that everyone must eventually answer is what to do after high school graduation.  Some choose to enter into the working world, while others choose to pursue higher education in college.  For those who have the option, college definitely seems promising.  However, the rapid transition to higher education is not a move that should be taken lightly.  It is very expensive and can be quite a shock to the unprepared individual. 

It is estimated that only 22% of college-bound students in 2008 were actually ready for college.  Sometimes it’s recommended that students take a year or more off from school.  Listed below are some indicators that you are not ready to enter college after graduation but should take time off from school instead.

1.  You got low grades in high school

Anyone who did not graduate high school with at least a B average should give serious consideration to taking time off from attending classes.  This is not to say that academic success in high school is any guarantee of the same level of success in college.  College takes a great deal of dedication and concentration.  A student entering college will find that what was considered above average in high school will be considered mediocre in college.

2.  You didn’t take any college prep or advanced placement classes

Even with high grades, a person may not be ready for college if he or she did not take any college prep or advanced placement classes in high school.  While it is true that all high school classes meet minimal educational standards, classes at the college preparatory level help prepare students for the extra demands that college will place on them.  Advanced placement classes allow students to earn college credit.  There is nothing wrong with regular high school classes, but students who have not taken any classes at either of the other two levels may not be as prepared for college as they think.

3.  You like going out

College places high demands on students outside of class as well as inside.  Several hours of thorough studying are frequently necessary for academic success, and many college students find it difficult to keep up their active social lives in the more advanced courses.  Students who are unable to commit themselves to spending nights indoors should take time to work on this inability before going to college.  The problem is that no one can keep you from going places.  You have to develop self-discipline.

4.  You are the sole provider or caregiver for an infirmed person

It basically goes without saying that a person in this situation would not be able to attend college.  Caring for someone who is infirmed can be just as demanding as college, and requires more availability than the pursuit of higher education allows.  In this case, correspondence courses provide a viable alternative to traditional campus-based learning.

5.  You have children

It is very sad when people have to postpone their dreams because of a decision to have children early, but children are very demanding and expensive.  A person who has just barely graduated high school and already has small children should consider getting a full-time job and leave college for when the kids are old enough to be at home alone.

If you feel you do need to take some time off, you need to do things to keep your mind sharp.  After all, attaining a higher education should still be your goal because a college degree is so essential to success in life.  Consider traveling to raise your social IQ.  Another thing to do is to get a paying or volunteer job for real-world experience.  The key is to use your time wisely.