Students are focusing their time on new extracurricular activities, volunteer work, jobs and internships.
UNC sophomore Caroline Parker said she decided to take a gap semester because she thought it would be difficult to take all her classes online. Instead, Parker is just taking one online class toward her major.
With time away from the virtual classroom, she has worked a remote internship with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, taken a job as a nanny and joined UNC's triathlon club.
Parker said her gap semester experience is largely positive so far.
“I definitely recommend taking a gap semester, because the time off has been really helpful in getting job experience and just taking a break from classes," Parker said. "It’s even allowed me to learn a lot of important life skills like paying my own bills.”
Jackson Stone, a sophomore at UNC, was inspired to take the semester off while doing a remote internship for a startup company out of Palo Alto, California. He said he was able to work in a variety of roles and learn about starting a company from the cofounders.
"I honestly felt like I was learning more than I did last semester taking classes," Stone said. "I really enjoyed this schedule and was not looking forward to taking online classes, as well as missing out on so many of the resources and experiences that a normal semester would provide."
Stone is taking this semester to continue his internship and pursue an opportunity with a nonprofit.