Opinions on the idea of taking a semester off of school?

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    I am enrolled in an Associates RN program at Ocean County College in NJ. I just finished my first semester and I have three semesters left, I go back Jan. 23rd. Basically I am considering taking a semester off and just starting in the Fall semester (if my school allows it). A lot of people I have spoken to are totally against the idea but I figured I should ask nursing students rather than friends and family.
    On October 4th my grandmother died. On October 11th my grandfather died. My mom sent him to the Philippines a couple years ago and he passed away there so I never got to say goodbye to him or go to his funeral. I was incredibly close to my grandparents especially since my mother is verbally abusive and I have not seen my father in fifteen years. My boyfriend broke up with me (not a big deal but just adding to my bad luck). My home was destroyed by hurricane Sandy and two days later my engine in my car blew up. I am staying with a few different people until my family's home is re-done but I currently do not exactly have a stable place to live.
    Basically after all of these things that happened in just two months I have had a difficult time focusing on school work. The beginning of the semester I was a high B student and towards the end (after everything that happened) I became a C student. Though things are getting better I still feel like I may need to take a semester off to save up some money, go to therapy, find a stable place to live, and just get my life in order. I understand that tragic things happen while you are in school and it definitely could be worse (I thank God for my health) but at the same time this is a lot for me right now. Nursing school requires you to be 100% focused and if I am not able to do that that should I be in school right now?

    My options are:
    A.) Suck it up and start school on the 23rd. I am already registered. I am a decent student and will do fine as long as I try really hard.

    B.) Take a semester off and go back Fall 2014 instead of Spring 2014. Find a stable place to live. Go to therapy. Get my life back together. & in the mean time re-read all of my material and get a job in the hospital or nursing home.


    Please respond back if you have any good advice. Thank you for reading.
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

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    I would talk to a school counselor or adviser to discuss your options. If your program allows you to withdraw and re-start without penalty,and you can withdraw without losing any money, it might be wisest to take the entire year off (many programs only offer certain classes once a year) and get your circumstances back together. I would closely examine if you can also afford financially to go to school at the moment.

    If not, and you feel you can persevere through it all, even though nursing school has a rigid schedule, it might be the very thing that provides purpose and structure to re-building your life.

    Ultimately, only you know the answer to this.
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    I too am going into my second semester and I personally know that if I took a break it would be 10x harder for me to go back. Just having a christmas break is making it hard for me to get motivated again! Under normal circumstances, I would say just push through it. That being said, you have been through a hell of a lot and probably have a ton on your mind. If there is a chance that your grades will suffer because of everything that is going on, then I say take a break. Don't listen to people telling you what a bad idea is. No one else can possibly understand what you are going through and you know whats best for you. I hope that helped! Good luck with everything.
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    Thanks guys for taking time to read my post and responding. The class that I am registered for is called Nursing 176 and if I withdrawal I can register for the Fall so I won't need to take a year off. I guess I should talk to a counselor at school and see my choices. Maybe I will just tough it out since a semester is really only like three months. WORSE CASE SCENARIO I can withdrawal.


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