I’m Taking a Break From University and Here’s Why

I’ve talked about it a bit already in a recent YouTube video, but I thought it would be a good idea to discuss this topic in a decent article as well. As some of you know, I’m taking a little break from my studies, and there’s a reason behind that. A pretty good reason if you ask me. I wanted to talk about it, because sometimes study breaks are a bit of a taboo. It’s expected that you just go to college and get your degree. But what if there’s something stopping you? I thought I’d discuss this topic a bit, to help people out who are also thinking about taking a break. Let’s get into it.

I am currently in my third year of getting my bachelor’s degree in Medical Biology. If I was going on track, I would’ve gotten my diploma this summer. However, that’s not the case now. I’ve finished almost all my courses already and I’ve gotten almost all my CSE’s. Which is great! I only need to do one more thing: a small internship. And that’s kind of where the problem lies in my case. I want to do an internship at the University Medical Center that’s linked to my university. However, due to corona, it was a struggle to get an internship spot. I nearly got a spot at the department of infectious diseases, but, as you can understand, this department was extremely busy with the current situation.

So, it was nearing the date that I was supposed to start my internship, but I still didn’t have a spot. Thankfully, my study advisors were working their butts off to help the students that lost their internship spots or didn’t have one yet due to corona. They came up with a wonderful solution: a list of available internships which could start this quarter. You’d just have to give your top five of that list and you would get assigned to one of those internships. A great solution! However, there was only one internship on the list that interested me, and most of the others involved programming, which I didn’t study for. So, I was in doubt if I should respond to that list.

Another thing that was going on in my head was the fact that I’m not quite sure what I want in life. I like my study a lot and I’m definitely planning on continuing it and getting both my bachelor’s and master’s degree, but I’m not sure if being a scientist is what I want to do with the rest of my life. So to me, it was very important that I could actually do a physical internship in a laboratory as well. I want to know if I like that type of work. However, that’s not possible during this corona time. If I’d do an internship now, I’d just sit behind my computer all day analyzing data. Which is also fun, but not why I want to do an internship and it wouldn’t completely help me figure out what I want to do. So I’ve been struggling with that for a bit now as well. If I could, I would turn my blog and YouTube into a full-time job and I’d do that for, at least, the next couple of years. But right now, that isn’t an option. So the only thing that I’m working towards is working in a laboratory, and I’m not a hundred percent sure if I want to do that. That’s kind of what’s going on in my head right now.

To get back to that internship list of which I could choose, I decided it was better if I didn’t do an internship right now. If I would do it this quarter, I would do an internship which I wasn’t fully interested in, plus I didn’t get the laboratory aspect which I really want in an internship. So, I’m doing my internship in the first quarter of next academic year. That also means that this quarter, I’m not doing anything uni-related, so I’m on a uni break. I do have some retakes at the end of this quarter, but that’s it. And I think it’s a great decision for me. I just felt like everything was moving too fast and I’m not ready for a lot of change yet. This feeling is elevated because I don’t know what I want to do with my life. It’s all just a tad bit scary, so it’s great for me that I’m just taking my time now. I’m going to spend this quarter figuring out what I want and spending a lot of time working on myself. Then next year I’ll do my internship and immediately move on to my master, so I only have a three month delay.

I struggled a bit with making this decision. I was afraid that I chose this option, because I have a tendency to procrastinate a lot. I’m a bit scared of doing an internship and starting my master, so I’m pushing it back. That’s what I was afraid of what the reason was. However, right now I feel like it’s the best decision I’ve made in a while. I feel very relaxed and a lot of stress has been lifted off of me. I finally have the time to focus on me and do all the things I love. This weird quarantine time has already made it a lot harder to keep a schedule, so I think if I would have had to do my internship from home right now, I would be stressing and procrastinating continuously. And that’s not good for me. So yes, I feel very confident in my decision now.

Sometimes it’s just better to step on the brakes and take some time to think things over. I just need some time to figure out what I want and to destress. I do notice how stressed I was before this, because of how relaxed I am now. I just feel very good and I really needed this little break. I feel like I should have done this earlier, maybe, but that doesn’t matter. I’m taking the time now, and that’s what’s important. Moral of the story: always listen to your gut and take a break if you need it. We don’t need burn-outs, especially not right now. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break. Have faith in yourself and in the universe, because eventually everything will fall into place. Just take your time with it. I want to thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time! Toodles!

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