Note these points before you take an academic break

Note these points before you  take an academic break
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It's the time when the media are busy reporting success stories. But to most of us, academics is rarely colourful. While on-board the academic roller coaster, sometimes one tends to take a break. There is nothing wrong in taking a break, and if properly planned these breaks can help shape your future. Taking a break becomes sometimes so necessary as to break off from stress. It's equally important to explore various opportunity and understand what you actually like doing.

It's ideal to a take a small gap after your major course, say class twelve, under graduation or even postgraduation. Such breaks are necessary when you are clueless or confused about future. Even in cases where you have a clear idea about your next step in life, you may not have any practical idea of what your field of work actually is. This often causes one to settle down for an unhappy professional life. That is the relevance of giving enough time to think over what one needs to achieve in life.

It is never advisable to take a break and be lazy. That can adversely affect your career. While figuring out what you would like to do in life, the best option is to try working in an area where you would like to set up your career as an intern. If such an opportunity is not available try to understand more about your field of interest by meeting and discussing with people who work in those particular fields. Apart from this, one also needs to conduct proper research about the field of interest and analyze elements such as stress, job hazards, mental and physical standards required for the job of your dreams.

It is important to be practical. Priority should be given to mentally and physically prepare yourself towards your career choice. You need to conduct a self-analysis to find out skills on which you should work on. For example, simple exercises are now available online to improve your concentration, if you are someone who lacks concentration its better to practice it early.

Start to read. Reading is a must exercise. Language is an important element that values you fit for any job. Hence, one cannot compromise on that part. But in the busy academic life, many find it difficult to find time for extra reading. Educational breaks are the best time to compensate it. But here, selective reading is important. Reading should be aimed at helping you come to a decision. If you are thinking about shifting your subject of study, plan your readings to get a basic idea of your new choice and make sure that the new subject is really interesting to you.

Chalk out whether your steps ahead, actually fit your budget. If not find, find ways to fund your future. Enquire about scholarship opportunities and loan options.

Make sure you are aware of all the options, like the best colleges for you career, dates of entrance examination etc. It is important that you actually conduct a deep enquiry so that you don’t leave a chance for regret.

Online platforms like NPTEL and major universities like the University of Hyderabad, English and Foreign language University offers various diploma and certificate courses and even major courses through distance mode. Opting for such courses is good to get some idea regarding a subject. But before you run in to them, make sure that they are approved by an authorised agency and the certificate you receive after the course has validity. Be cautious as not to be carried away by promises of the agents. Also ensure that the fee charged is nominal.

One need to not only figure out what you actually want to do in life, but its also more important to gain a clarity of the real situation. Otherwise one tends to take up a certain path or a particular course believing the end point to be one of our imagination, which need not necessarily be true. Taking a break is fine only if you set it wisely.

Those who have experience say that these breaks between your academic pursuit can be straining too.

One of the major problems is the pressure that develops due to the questions raised by various circles in the society. What is your future plan? Why are you wasting your time? Are you not bothered about your age? Were your scores too low that you did not secure admission in any good college? And the list goes on..

Such questions along with comparisons with peers, unwanted career suggestions and in worst cases random proposals for marriage alliances especially in cases of female students may put raise stress and deprive you of self-time you may actually be yearning for.

Another major drawback of taking an educational break is that you might loose your flow in studies. This might adversely affect not only your future performance but may even mentally put you down. To avoid this, keep your skills afresh and knowledge levels updated. Attending seminars and reading new books on subjects, meeting experts and discussing with them helps a lot.

There is no permanent rights or wrongs at the so called “turning points”. The result is cent percent depended on how gracefully you take charge of your life. Always remember, no legend becomes a legend by simply aping the life of another super hero.

(Opinions expressed are personal)

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