Navigating your student journey is as easy as finding El Dorado — wait…

So, you’ve returned to school after an unconventional detour.

Maybe you took a gap year, switched programs, switched schools, left and re-enrolled—but whatever you did, you did it for you. Still, it’s easy to be hard on yourself when you make the decision to prioritize something else over your studies for a whileeven if you know it’s the right thing to do.

IGNITE wants you to give yourself a breakbecause everyone’s student journey is different.

And that OK!

Taking a gap year, switching programs or experiencing another detour in your education teaches you critical lessons that everyone should consider throughout their student journey. You just happened to work through them in your own way.

Looking back on your student journey, you probably:

Figured yourself out

Beyonce looks in the mirror.

The path ahead isn’t always clear. All students should ask themselves:

What am I aiming for? What do I envision for my future?” 

You spent some time figuring things out and replanned your journey. It’s good to seek clarity! Doing so can help you discover what you’re really interested in.

Remember: no one has it all figured out.

Assessed your options

Gordon Ramsay says, "This is really tough."

Finding the right program or school is important. Classes are tougher when you don’t enjoy what you’re learning. 

Perhaps you’ve just entered a new program and are worried about being “behind”. And, that’s naturalalmost everyone feels wary about major changes to their student journey.

Consider this, though: you carefully spent time on your decision. Additionally, you realized what you’re passionate about and placed yourself on a new course.

In that sense, you’re already one step closer to achieving your dreams!

Took a break

A brain relaxes in a hammock.

We all need to take a break at various times to recharge physically, emotionally, and financially.

Plus, even if you’re passionate about school you may need time to rediscover that passion and work on your physical and mental well-being.

Whether it’s working out, mediating, learning to meal prep or sleeping well, finding healthy habits you enjoy is important to get you in the right headspace and will help you return to school with a new mindset. 

Taking time away from school is also important to prevent academic burnout.

In fact, a break lets us appreciate other aspects of life like friends, family (including our pets!), and hobbies.

Worked on improving yourself

New beginnings are disguised as painful endings.

Taking time off before re-enrolling wasn’t a waste. It was an opportunity to explore work experience, internships, volunteering, and travel. You gained new life skills outside the classroom!

It’s understandable if you feel isolated in your decision. But taking a gap year or re-enrolling is more common than you thinkmany students reassessed their options because of the COVID-19 curveball and up to 40 per cent chose to take time off.

But—you’ve made it through! 

If you’re having trouble transitioning back to school, or are unsure about your student journey, you can always find support at Humber College’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre’s (SWAC). The SWAC offers free, virtual, confidential counselling services to all students at Humber and UofGHso you can feel supported and empowered to reach your goals. To reserve an appointment, email

The SWAC also runs Healthy Minds for Stressful Times, which is a support group exploring ways to mitigate stress and anxiety. Healthy Minds for Stressful Times is available during late September, late January, and early May.

In short, it’s OK if your student journey isn’t like your peers’because your student journey is just that: yours.

Things rarely ever go according to plan; but that doesn’t mean they don’t work out! Read all about one IGNITE writer’s experience moving across the world for college during a pandemic.

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