4 hours/wk (fall and spring semesters) and 3 hours/wk (summer semester)
An examination of the mind and the brain from various fields of study: psychology, philosophy, molecular neuroscience, neuroanatomy, sociology, veterinary science, and computer science. For more details, see College Credits. Note that this course is not offered to students enrolled in the Summer Crash Courses.
A concrete, systematic look at topics which the world expects the average North American “adult” to know and master (e.g., how to manage one’s finances, how to understand various forms of insurance and terminology like “premiums” and “deductibles,” how to use basic, dorm-friendly cooking skills, and how to prepare one’s resume and prepare for job interviews).
An exploration of thoughts and feelings through creative writing and visual artwork.
Our innovative approach to teaching executive functioning, organization, and time-management which are fundamental for success in college. These skills include, but are not limited to, exam preparation and academic writing skills. In our Full Semester Experience, this workshop is paired with Psych 101 so that students apply these skills in real-time at Semester Off and so that we may help reinforce and solidify their use. For further details, see FAQ.
An education in the interrelationships between thoughts, feelings, moods, and behavior. In particular, distortions of thought which lead to exaggeratedly negative self- and other-concepts are explored and corrected.
Largely unstructured time in which our community meets and discusses the here-and-now experience the students are having at Semester Off. Time is devoted to giving our students the exact type of support and feedback they most need to move forward with their lives and help them identify what may have been holding them back. We also encourage students to examine what it means to engage in honest, genuine relationships with one another and with others in their lives.
Our specially-designed Meditation Room helps transform our space into a yoga studio. Students learn a variety of yoga poses and techniques drawing from Yoga Nidra, Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga, and other traditions taught by our full-time staff. The use of yoga and other relaxation techniques is integrated throughout the Semester Off experience to provide our students with safe, effective methods of reducing their anxiety and avoidant tendencies while also expanding their sense of connectedness.
A look at the mind-body connections including the science, physiology, and clinical research which underlies the recommendations our students may hear from their physicians, therapists, and others in their lives.
6 or more hours/wk
25+ community service options which Semester Off has discovered and compiled into a list in the Greater Boston area of which the student selects their top 3 preferences and pursues one option with the help of our staff. This is an opportunity for each of our students to pursue their individual interests and give back to the community.
An experiential-learning based module which challenges the group to come together, overcome physical and/or cognitive challenges together, and develop stronger communication and relational skills. Core values of trustworthiness, honesty, integrity, respect for self and others, and group accountability are also addressed in this module, as well as others.
For 30-40 minutes, 3-4 times/week
Our students get their hearts pumping to reap the mental health benefits of improved focus, moods, sleep, energy, and reduced anxiety. These sessions are fun and vary considerably group by group based on a particular group’s interests, but often involve sports and games, obstacle courses, indoor circuit training, core work, and light weight training. These blocks are enjoyable and not intimidating for those who are not in the habit of exercising, but also challenging for those who are!