A Semester Off

The second full week of the new semester is about to start and I’m not in class. I’m not even in Victoria. This is because after having a disastrous time last year I decided to take a semester off to figure out what I want to do with my life and to hopefully improve my mental health.

So far, my time has been spent watching Netflix, applying for retail jobs, and attempting to finish one of the seventy unread books I currently have sitting on my floor.

It’s too early for me to say whether or not it was a good decision to take a semester off. I still maintain that I couldn’t have made it through another semester, that by December, I was completely wiped out. But as time passes and I know school is in session without me, I can’t help but think I made a mistake or that I’m somehow weak for taking time off. I can’t help but think that I’ll probably be right back at school in September, no better or worse for the time I’ve taken off. And then the question becomes, what was the point?

I love UVic. I love the campus and the classes and the teachers and the people that I’ve met there. I love that they take writing seriously, that they take every form of art seriously. But that doesn’t change the fact that despite the campus and the classes and the teachers and the people that I’d met, I wasn’t happy. And if I’m honest with myself, I haven’t been happy for a long time.

It’s a hard thing to come to terms with when UVic was my first choice of school and being a writer is what I’ve wanted to do for my whole life. I was halfway through my third year doing exactly what I wanted to do and taking classes in things that I wanted to know, but I wasn’t learning anything. I wasn’t absorbing any of the information coming my way. I was struggling through my core courses and sliding by on my options and nothing was like it was in high school anymore. But I don’t even know if I could have called my high-school-self happy.

And maybe I’ve made the right choice simply because I recognized something that was bothering me and took steps to fix it. Even if that step was a step away. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t worry that I’m just wasting time, delaying the inevitable, and/or simply annoying the people around me because I don’t want to have to work any harder than I already am. Is the solution to suck it up for three more semesters, get the degree, and then work on being happy? Or is it to find something else even if it takes more time?

I guess I’m just kind of lost right now and realizing that everything I thought I had figured out is all a jumble again. And I really don’t want to be in this position. I don’t want to have to rethink my whole life and argue with my parents about what needs to be done. I just want things to be simple again. I want to know what I’m doing and get on with it. I want to live my life exactly how I want to when I want to. But life is never really that simple.

This post didn’t really have a point other than me screaming into the void. But I guess, if you’re feeling the same way, if you’re lost and unhappy, I hope you’re looking for an answer and a way to fix it. And I hope you’re doing better than I am.

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