Ariel Winter began her studies at UCLA this past fall

Ariel Winter is taking a break from studying at UCLA, but her Bruin pride lives on.

The Modern Family star, 20, started her freshman year at the Los Angeles-based university in September. But six months later, she’s paused her studies.

“I do love UCLA, but at the moment I’m taking a break from it so I can continue to pursue my career and also try to have a little bit more of a life because I’ve been so busy,” Winter told Entertainment Tonight on Thursday.

“That’s really it at the moment. But I think education’s really important. I love being there. I love learning,” Winter said. “I will continue to keep learning.”

In April 2016, Winter celebrated her acceptance into the world-renowned school on social media. “It’s an AMAZING DAY! I’m going to UCLA – thank you to everyone who has been there for me on this journey! #bruinsbaby,” Winter captioned an Instagram photo of her acceptance letter.

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In the fall, the actress, who lives with boyfriend Levi Meaden, opened up about her goals for the future.

“I definitely want to continue being an actress. I love it,” Winter told The Hollywood Reporter. “The reason I’m going to college is because I do want knowledge in another field. College isn’t the college experience for me. I’m not going to be in a sorority, I’m not going to network, I’m not even really going to make my lifelong friends.”

The actress has previously spoken about not letting her acting career keep her from furthering her education. At PEOPLE’s SAG Awards pre-show in January 2016, Winter revealed what she would be doing if she didn’t have awards shows to attend.

“I would be doing exactly what I’m doing, which is going to school, applying to college and wanting to be a social justice lawyer,” she said at the time. “With my personal experience, I would have something good to give.”

She had planned on studying pre-law, she told PEOPLE, due to her “tumultuous relationship with the court system.” (She spent years in and out of courts as her guardianship was transferred from her mother, whom she claimed was emotionally abusive, to her sister before she successfully petitioned to become an emancipated minor.)

“With what I’ve gone through, I think it’s really important to become a voice for abuse victims who have no voice,” she said. “I want to be able to make a difference.”