Leave of Absence, Advance or Retreat?
Leave of Absence, Advance or Retreat?
  • Reporter Lee Ji-a
  • 승인 2014.06.04 13:17
  • 댓글 0
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In the past, some students took a semester off to earn their tuition. But these days, although many students take off, the reasons are different. These days many students take off to improve their ability or rest or trip before they become a member of society. The Postech Times conducted a survey of Postechians on a leave of absence to discover their reasons and degree of satisfaction. Almost 170 students answered the survey.
Out of a total of 169 students, 43% had taken one semester or one year off and 20% had thought about that seriously. Rest was the most popular reason (46%), followed by volunteer work or internships (21%). Other common reasons were not feeling well suited with their major (9%) and joining the army and trip (each 6%).

Roughly ninety percent of students reported satisfaction with the time off: 63% were “very satisfied” and 26% “slightly satisfied”. Eighty-six percent want to recommend a leave to others. They answered that they are satisfied because they could realign their lives during rest (43%), broaden their sight through trip or internship (23%), and find their aptitude (5%). Also they think it is the last chance to do anything freely before graduation. They agree with the leave of absence but there are two words of caution. The first is to “make a concrete plan  and do meaningful work like internship”. They say “time passes very fast. You have to make plans concretely per week, month and semester and enact it. It is better to decide concrete goals and when and how you will do them than to simply say, “I will study English and go on a trip”. And internship or part time job is also a good way to experience society. After you have what you really want to do, take off to do that, not just to rest.” But the others say, “Until now, we have kept running to reach the goals that may be not ‘our’ goals. So Rest is needed. We must have time to know ourselves such as who we are and what we want to do. Time to do nothing is also important. It is now or never to take care our emotional health”.

But some students regretted taking time off for the following reasons: it was a waste of time (43%), it was quite different from what they thought it would be like (21%), there were difficult issues related to extended graduation (21%), and they became far from their friends (11%).
Students dissatisfied with their leave of absence say, “Although you are far from POSTECH, peace of mind does not come. I think that the period of leave remains only as a memory for the period and that’s all. And despite the fact that you made a concrete plan, you have to think whether it can be done without leave of absence. If you can do your plan during the semester, or accomplish the plan in a short period, a leave of absence is not necessary.”
 Like this, students have various opinions. But there is a common thing: before taking off, you need to think about the matter seriously. According to the survey, 41% of students spent less than a month considering whether to take off. They are followed by those who took 1-3 months (36%), 3-6 months (11%), and over six months (12%). Students who have taken time off, commonly advise, “Do not decide impulsively. You have to think seriously for a long time.”