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Aug 12, 2016 10:36 AM EDT

3 Common Reasons Why Students Take Gap Years After They Already Started College

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Students usually take gap years right after finishing high school and before beginning their college journey. There are some, however, who take a break somewhere in the middle of being in university.

USA Today shared the stories of students who took time off after they already started college. These stories are pivotal moments from college students' lives that may help those who plan to take gap years even after they already began with their higher education.

1. Career

Harvard students Grace Xiao and Raul Jordan decided to take two years off from school in order to dedicate themselves fully to their startup, Kynplex, after they won the Thiel Fellowship. They were awarded $100,000 as funds to pursue their own project. Currently, the duo is still working full-time on their startup.

"We were really reaching the point where we had a product, and had done a lot of market research," Xiao said. "We just needed to get out there."

2. Health

Vanessa Garcia, on the other hand, took a gap semester from her degree at Brown University helped her recover from the decline in her mental health. During her time off, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is a mental illness that causes an individual to have depressive and manic cycles. Now, Garcia feels more prepared to continue with her education.

"I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't figure out what," she admitted. "My gap semester really gave me the time to understand a lifelong diagnosis."

3. Civil Duty

Currently a sophomore at the University of California-Berkeley, Justin Tan had to go back to Singapore and fulfill his National Service duty even if he has lived in the U.S. since he was nine years old. It is a two-year military training period that is mandatory for all 18-year-old male citizens. The college student left after he finished his first semester of college.

"The thing about taking a gap year after your first semester is that it's kind of disruptive with your classes," he said. "It was (also) hard to pick up leadership positions in clubs because you were only there for (the) first semester."

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