Hold Off School Until Life Is Settled?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

In the last two years, I lost my home of 11 years to fire and my 11 year relationship ended. I have moved 4 times and ended up in another state in a new relationship. I just purchased a decent inexpensive condo so I could afford to return to college. I just registered and today I found out that I have a major mold issue that is the responsibility of the POA and they are going to fight this. So this is going to end up a legal battle. I feel as though I should withdraw from class until I am more settled? What do you think?? BTW I will have to move again! I am so tired and overwhelmed…

I have no family to turn to for advice, please help.

SO, do you think I should hold off on school until my life is more settled?

A. My heart goes out to you during this very difficult time in your life. No wonder you are feeling tired and overwhelmed; anyone would feel the same way given what you have had to endure over the past two years.

I would strongly suggest joining a support group. No one should have to deal with the issues you are struggling with alone. The best way to search for a support group is to do a Google search using the keywords “support group” and your hometown. Another way to search for a support group is to look through the local advertising and coupon newspaper or pay attention to flyers in the mail. The local daily or weekly newspaper may also be a good resource for locating support groups. The Red Cross may also be able to link you to a support group for individuals who’ve lost their homes in a fire.

You could also benefit from seeing a mental health professional. He or she can assist you in your decision to return to school. He or she can be a source of social support for you. Call your local community mental health center or click the “find help” at the top of this page to search for a mental health professional in your community.

Your specific question is related to whether or not you should postpone school until your life is more settled. That is ultimately a decision you will have to make but generally if you feel that it is too much for you at this time then it might be best to postpone college. One possible option is to take a semester off. This might give you time to settle into your new home. Another possibility, if you feel that it is doable, is to attend school part-time. I would advise speaking to your faculty or academic advisor regarding your options. They can be a good source when you’re trying to decide what is best for you to do with your academic career.

I’m sorry that I am unable to give you a specific answer. There are many factors to consider beyond those mentioned in your letter. Remember, taking a semester off does not mean that you cannot return. Many people have to interrupt their time at college due to personal life circumstances but most do return. I hope you’re able to find support and others who can assist you in making this very important decision. I wish you well. Good luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Sep 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Hold Off School Until Life Is Settled?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/09/23/hold-off-school-until-life-is-settled/