Don't rush it: What taking a year off taught me


The beginning of freshman year of college was just like anyone’s was: easy and fun. I thought I had everything planned out and would graduate in 4 years and have a smooth transition. After a breeze of a first semester, the second semester began to worry me. I quickly realized I was short on money and did not have enough to pay in order to enroll for the next year. I have been supporting myself since I was 18, so loans were not an option for me. My whole world came crumbling down around me as I decided (more like was forced) to take a year off school. I took a year off school to pay my bills, get my debt corrected, and focus on me and what I want to do from here.

Since I was no longer a student, I had to quit my student worker position at the veterinary school and thought that was the end of the world. I loved that job and was a pre-vet student. I quickly picked up multiple jobs to pay off school and I also took some cheap online classes. By March off that next year, I was paid off and ready to go back to school and I was paying off major chunks of my debt. What I thought was going to be the worst year, ended up being the best. I had enough time to focus on myself. I made money, spent time with friends, and got myself together. I quickly became an “adult”. And that job I lost? I ended up gaining a new one at the K-State Feed Mill; I loved it so much I decided to minor in Feed Science, and I got an internship because of that industry! Without taking a year off, I would not be where I am at. One event led to another, and now because of losing that job I “loved”, I am now moving to Africa all summer to intern!

I was worried sick, and quite embarrassed that I would not be graduating with my friends and classmates that started the same time as me. Why was I even embarrassed? College is not a race, there is no time limit. If you finish in 4 years, which is “normal”, good for you! If you finish in 3, 5, or 7 years, good for you too! Getting a degree should not take a toll on your life, like I let it do to me. Now, I am a junior, and may still graduate on time next year, but who knows. Who cares? All I know is I am working hard and will get there eventually, and absolutely cannot wait to start a job that I love.


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Kansas State University Sigma Alpha

Edited by, Toccoa Cochrane 

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