Need a break from attending lectures, studying for exams and writing papers? Has spending some time away from Harvard crossed your mind? Taking a semester or a year off from college is an option you might want to consider.
Each year, many students decide they need to get away from academia. For many, Harvard's classrooms are not fulfilling their needs.
"Harvard can really be a stressful place," says Christopher A. Thorpe '97-'98. "I just wanted to get away and relax."
Thorpe, who used some of his time off to hold an internship at Microsoft in Seattle, says the non-stop demands of school work were difficult.
"Even though some people might think a job at Microsoft might not be relaxing, when you're a Harvard student you're always working. There's always a paper to do," Thorpe says.
Thorpe says he liked not having to bring his work home with him when he worked at Microsoft.
Other students also felt drained by the daily rigors of college life.
"I was feeling a little burned out about academics," says Jason R. Morton '98. Morton is leaving this week for Los Angeles where he will work as an intern for the Carie Woods Entertainment Co.
"I want to work in the movie industry. It seems like a good opportunity," Morton says.
But the allure of Hollywood isn't the only thing that made Morton decide to take leave.
He also had concerns that classes weren't fulfilling his needs.
"I wasn't really learning a lot," Morton says.
Jennifer 8. Lee '98-'99, a Crimson editor who is taking this year off, had similar concerns.
"For me, college is a place where you're supposed to learn. It wasn't happening to me in the classroom. 'To teach' means 'to show.' 'To lecture' means 'to read.' It seemed to me that I was being read at, not taught," Lee says.
Filling Their Time