Government junior Kara Adamcik said she dropped out halfway through the semester because of problems around her physical and mental well-being.
“I wasn’t taking care of myself because I was caught in a loop of (being) behind in school,” Adamcik said. “I couldn’t focus on anything because I get really bad brain fog as part of my depression, and I was also just nauseous and dizzy, feeling like garbage all the time.”
With the fall semester mainly online, many students are considering going part time or taking a gap year to alleviate their stresses from this semester. Adamcik said she would forget to do things such as showering, exercising or eating food because she was trying to catch up on classes and focus on school.
“Online classes made it harder because there wasn’t structure,” Adamcik said. “I do so much better in (physical) classes whenever I have a specific time like, ‘I need to get up out of bed at this time, I need to take a shower, I need to put on real clothes, I need to go somewhere.’ It helps me actually get my day started.”
In the meantime, Adamcik said she has been taking care of herself, and she plans on coming back next semester.
“I’m thankful that I took this break. I think it’s the best academic decision that I have made,” Adamcik said. “It really led me to prioritize taking care of myself in a way that I’ve never done because I’ve always prioritized school.”
Computer science sophomore Michelle Sanchez said she plans to take 10 hours of courses next semester after her experience taking online classes full time during the fall semester.
“It is honestly a wreck because a large part of these college classes is not only the college experience but also collaborating with others,” Sanchez said.
Kaleigh Haynie, a freshman in the Pre-Athletic Training program, said she considered taking a gap year before she enrolled in the fall semester because she didn’t want to take her classes online.
“I’m a hands-on learner, and I just like the in-person experience more because it feels more thorough,” Haynie said.
However, she decided against the gap year and is glad she returned.
“I'm thankful I did because I've met a lot of really great people,” Haynie said.