Hello, I'm a Pomona college '22 (likely now '23) student on the chemical engineering track with Harvey Mudd. When they announced that fall was to be online, and that my study abroad program was cancelled, I decided to take a gap year. I was staying with my parents in Texas, but I found a good full time job reviewing medical reports in San Dimas, CA so I rented an apartment (1 bed/ 1 bath to myself) and moved to CA as an actual resident. My parents were reluctant to let me go, because they think me taking this time off will prevent me from finishing my studies. Eventually they relented, and I moved into my new apartment. However, a lot of my friends jokingly have called me a college dropout and some of my old professors who I still talk to tell me that a gap year usually leads to students not wanting to go back to school because "life gets in the way". Also, I've been told by older people that it is better to get school done before working or else I might continue my job or the rest of my life.
Not to mention, I won a scholarship for study abroad, but I think I should cancel it, because a year and 1 semester off seems like too much from what I'm hearing. What are your views of my gap year and the study abroad scholarship, should i contact the agency that I'm no longer interested in studying abroad?
Also, its too late to cancel the gap year since I signed a lease, but did I make the right move? I feel like i cant do engineering online, especially in my household with my mentally disabled sibling.