SOKOL | The Leave of Faith

Taking time off from Cornell allowed me to start defining myself as a person, not just as a student. Without the persistent pressure of exams, papers and club obligations, I discovered the space to question who I am when classes end and life begins.

DERY | Normalizing the Gap Semester

Any deviation from the four-year graduation track, particularly by taking a gap semester, for example, often connotes burnout or a lack of direction. This perception isn’t aided by the administration’s similar treatment of gap semesters, or what they call a “Leave of Absence.” In particular, Cornell’s unwillingness to recognize study abroad as well as other endeavors during these semesters by rewarding academic credit furthers the stigma that a gap semester is counterproductive to the college diploma, prolonging our studies and slowing us down.