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Lara Rosales

August 04, 2020

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the next few months, many students have put their studies on hold. Was this the right choice? What would you have done?

Last semester ended online with most students not knowing what to expect from the Fall semester. As we approach the beginning of said semester, many students have decided to put their studies on hold and return once things go back to “normal." This has been decided based on different reasons. Some are taking the time to work. Others are staying home to take care of their families. And a few have decided not to attend this semester to avoid risking contagion. This has awaken several discussions. Was this the right choice? Should they have continued studying as usual? Is it wrong to put your studies on hold?

A decision like this is a very personal one. The students who chose to go back to class once things go back to what they used to—or become a bit more similar to what reality used to be—have taken a long time to decide. They have weighed every option, consulted with their families and advisors, and considered every advantage and disadvantage. It was not a decision made lightly and we all need to respect whatever choice they have made.

There is no point in judging the choice these students have made. They know what is best for them. They understand what it means to put their studies on hold. For them this was the best choice. So, why are we discussing it? Why are we trying to decide if this was the right direction to go? Why are we trying to convince them otherwise? We want them to be grownups and make their own decisions, so why should we go against that?

I know students who have decided to go back to college in the Spring, and others whose classes change every month have decided to wait a few months. Many on social media have shared their own experiences and the reasoning behind their choice. Some teachers have stood by them and voiced their opinions saying students have the right to choose when they are ready to go back to class. If they are not ready for this, why push them to be? Why force someone to be in an environment they are not ready to be in? We need to understand a lot of people are not ready to go back to “normal" when the COVID-19 pandemic is still very real.

To all the students who decided to put their studies on hold, good for you. If you weighed all your options and decided this was the best one, good for you. Do not let anyone make you feel bad for making this choice. Do not let people try to change your mind just because they do not agree with your decision. You are the only one who knows what is best for you and what will benefit you in the long run.

To all the people who come across a student who has decided to put their studies on hold, do not judge them. You do not know why they have made that choice. You cannot understand the circumstances that led them to that decision. All you can do is give them your support and let them know it is okay to make their own decisions without other people’s opinion.

The Coronavirus pandemic has presented us with unprecedented circumstances and no one has the correct answer for how to act when it comes to someone else’s studies. Luckily, we are all free to decide for ourselves and that is what these students have done. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to students putting their studies on hold. Only they know what will be best for them and their career.

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