Taking a break from college due to depression (yes or no)

In this blog post, we will discuss possible reasons and how to take a break from college due to depression. 

College can be quite tricky and stressful which has resulted in high levels of reported depression among college students. The level of studies and work required at the college level is tougher than what most students are used to in their schools. This leads to students not being able to go cope up with their studies and being depressed. There is no shame in taking a break from college due to depression, working upon your mental health, and then joining back college or looking for alternative paths.

Reasons for taking a break from college due to depression

Here are some reasons as to why you might be feeling depressed and wish to take a break from college:

  • You are not liking your course
  • College is being too much for you to handle
  • You are unable to manage the crisis at home and college life
  • College stress is making you miserable
  • You are missing your school friends and family back home
  • Unable to keep up with the academic requirements
  • The financial stress is becoming too much

You are not liking your course

One of the major reasons for college depression is not liking the course and the subject that you have taken up. In school, we are only taught a small portion of the subject but taking it up in college and studying it in-depth can sometimes make us realize that it is not the right subject for us. Students get confused as to whether to keep going or switching their streams. It can be quite tough to make that decision which can lead to depression.

College is being too much for you to handle

College comes with promises of new and exciting adventures but it also comes with a lot of hard work and dedication required by the student. There are a lot of self-study, assignments, and group projects that the student needs to focus on along with building extracurricular activities. The level of studies required can sometimes be too much for a single student to handle. The stress and anxiety leading up to not being able to handle it can cause depression. 

You are unable to manage the crisis at home and college life

Some students might be facing difficulties at home or there is an on-going crisis at home. This can include poor health or sickness in the family, financial crisis, or a natural calamity occurring back at home. Thinking about their family members can put a lot of stress on the student making it difficult for them to manage their college life and give their hundred percent. Being unable to manage the worries of home while having to deliver on the academy front can cause depression in a student.

College stress is making you miserable

College can be a lot of fun but it can also be quite successful. Unable to manage the stress can sometimes cause depression in a student. Adjusting to a new place, adapting to a new environment, being alone and independent as well as having to study a lot harder can be quite difficult. Being able to manage all of these things while having a healthy frame of mind can be quite challenging for any student.

You are missing your school friends and family back home

Sometimes students take admissions in colleges that are quite far from their hometown. This means that they start to miss their family back home and the friends they had in their school. On top of that, not being able to form new friendships and bonds at college can make you feel quite lonely. The feeling of being alone and separated from your loved ones can cause depression. Having a strong social support system has shown to decrease the chances of having depression so not having someone you can rely on in college can be quite depressing for the student.

Unable to keep up with the academic requirements

College is quite demanding academically and it is essential to keep up with academic requirements. Some students fail to do that which leads to the assignments piling up and the deadlines getting closer and more daunting. Being unable to keep up with your classmates can affect the student’s self-esteem and confidence levels. This can lead to a student feeling like they’re a failure, unworthy of their seat in college, and become unmotivated to even try. This can quickly cause the student to be depressed.

The financial stress is becoming too much

College is quite expensive which can put a huge financial strain on the student and their family. If the student starts to become stressed about the financial situation they are in and how it is badly affecting their family it can be quite detrimental for their mental health. The student is likely to take on additional pressure off being exceptionally in class. But keeping up with their high expectations and expectations of the family can become too much for the children and cause depression in them.

How to take a break from college due to depression

Here are the steps you can follow if you wish to take a break from college due to depression:

  • Reach out to help from friends
  • Seek help from university
  • Understand what is the root cause of your depression
  • List out possible options that you have
  • Formulate a plan for yourself
  • Know what options you have if you want to come back to college
  • Get the treatment and professional help if required

Reach out to help from friends

More than half of the students in the college are likely to be having similar difficulties in coping up with the academy requirements, adjusting to the new environment, and making friends. It is a good idea to reach out to your classmates or your friends from school and seek their guidance. You can ask them what tools and methods they are using to cope with the stress and anxiety. You can then see which technique would be the best and what would help you cope with depression. 

Seek help from university

In case you’re planning on taking a break from college due to depression, seek help from your university. Talk to your professors about taking a break or seek their guidance on how to cope with the depression and continue college. You can also seek the advice of the university counselor on how to go about it. It is also important to contact and discuss with the accounts department what would happen to your fees and loan repayment situation if you took a break. 

Understand what is the root cause of your depression

Before taking a break from college due to depression it is very important to understand the root cause of it. Once you know the reason for depression then you can see if taking a break from college would help or is it something that you can work on while still being in college. It is important to know the root cause of the problem before trying to find a solution for it.

List out possible options that you have

 Before taking a break from college, list out all the possible options that you have at the moment. This could be taking a semester break from college, switching to part-time college, continuing college while seeking separate psychological counseling, or dropping college completely and looking for something else. Be sure to know about all the available options you have, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Formulate a plan for yourself

Once you have all the possible options formulate a plan for yourself. The plan should ensure that you get help for your depression, it does not negatively affect your career path and is something achievable and practical. You need to formulate a plan based upon the root cause of your depression.

Know what options you have if you want to come back to college

If you plan on taking a break from college be sure to contact your university and enquire about the possible options that you have if you want to rejoin college. Most universities are okay with you taking a semester break and then rejoining the college. But be sure to also have clarity as to how the fees and the loan system would work and are there any additional fees you will need to pay. Enquire about how you would make up for the lost time and if there is any other course that you could pick up during the break to help you make up for the credits.

Get the treatment and professional help if required

In case you feel that you require help from a mental health professional then it is important to seek a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist as per your requirement. It could be your university counselor or someone in the government or private sector.

In this blog post, we discussed possible reasons and how to take a break from college due to depression. 

FAQs: Taking a break from college due to depression

Can you take a mental health break from college?

Yes, you can take a mental health break from college if your mental health is negatively affecting your academic performance and you are unable to participate in other campus activities too. Take a mental health break if the level of distress caused by it is becoming intolerable.

Should I take a semester off for mental health?

Yes, you should take a semester off for mental health if you feel that your mental health is negatively affecting your performance. It is nothing to be ashamed of and it is important to take care of your mental and physical health. 

Is it OK to talk about depression in a college essay?

Yes, it is okay to talk about depression and other mental health problems you might have suffered in your college essay. As long as the purpose for its mention is to explain inconsistencies or gap periods in your academic record. 

How do college students take care of mental health?

To take care of mental health as a college student you should ensure to take time out for yourself. Do not overburn yourself with work. In case you are feeling low or stressed, talk to a trusted individual, like your college counselor or teacher about it. 

Can you leave college and come back?

Yes, you can leave college and come back but it might be a little difficult. You need to go through the admission and enrollment process again and might have to pay an additional fee. 

What happens if I take a semester off of college?

If you take a semester off of college it shouldn’t make much difference as most federal loans provide the students with a 6 months grace period. Most of the time the grace period just resets if you return at least half-time after taking off. 

References

https://psychcentral.com/lib/when-to-take-time-out-from-college#1

https://www.mhanational.org/taking-leave-absence-what-you-need-know

https://www.collegiateparent.com/student-life/time-off-during-college/

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