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Value of Gap Years

01 February 2013
1 Feb 2013 - , , ,

After roughly 16 years, 200 months, and 3,000 days of continuous school, is it such a ludicrous idea that you would want to take a break?

Asking for one year for a student who has completed their bachelor’s degree does not seem that outrageous.

We live in a society focused on work and monetary value, which promotes the mindset that you need to get through college and join the workforce right away.

However, the workforce is not going anywhere.  Some may view a gap year as a waste of time or strictly for those who are unprepared or underqualified, but this is not true.

According to an article in the Harvard Crimson, the “New Gap Year” is becoming quite a trend for many pre-med students.  The rate of students who took a gap year were actually more successful in achieving their professional goals.

For students looking to get into medical school, pharmacy school or any other graduate school, a gap year is the perfect time to take the MCAT, PCAT or GRE.  Also, it is a good time to build on your clinical or field experience by doing an internship or job shadowing.

Additionally, college is expensive, although many of us do not realize it because our parents are supporting us through our undergraduate studies. A year off is the perfect time to make some money for professional school, which, for many, is most likely a time when students will be financially independent.

The application process to professional schools alone can cost up to $5,000, so if you are not adequately prepared, you can use this time to improve yourself as an applicant so you do not have to spend this money more than once.

If none of the options above seem riveting enough, traveling is a great way to diversify yourself before another round of school.

Usually, study abroad programs are extremely expensive and hard to fit into your schedule during the school year. However, once you have a bachelor’s degree, nothing should hold you back from exploring.

As you gets older, life brings more responsibilities, so now is the time you can experiment while your workload is low. In the midst of deadlines, projects and GPAs, we forget to fully explore all that a new place has to offer.

A gap year is not the easy way out or a waste of time. Rather, it is a chance to breathe and build on the areas you might have forgotten about.

No one ever said stepping out of the box is going to take you down the wrong road — if anything, perhaps you will be better off in the end. Like they say, it is not about the time it took you to make it, it is the journey and what you take from it that matters in the end.

Source: Collegiate Times