Taking a year off from school- what did/would you do?
Aug 12, 2008 at 4:05 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

The Actual

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Taking time off from school during undergrad/grad school seems to be more common now than ever at least between my friends and our parents.

I will be taking a year off from school this year after two years of undergrad but am not really sure what to do to be honest. Would love to stay in school but in order to change my major I have to take time off to apply to a different degree program.


What did you guys do? Travel, work, independent study? Combination of these or something else?

What type of perspective did your time off give you? Did you find yourself returning to school with a leg up on your classmate who "stayed on track" or did you find yourself behind or having trouble concentrating?
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 9:17 AM Post #2 of 22

apatN

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I know my aunt went to, eh, Israel I guess. She worked there with some other Dutch people if I recall correctly. She said it was a great experience.

Why don't you go to some country and work there.. Best of both world
wink.gif
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 9:31 AM Post #3 of 22

Contrastique

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I guess my reason for taking a break for a year was kind of different, but I decided to do that after I graduated high school.
I always wanted to go into a horse related scene and wanted to follow a study about it. When I realized it was not the smartest thing to do (you have to start at the bottom anyways and when it would fail I had no study to fall back on) I decided to do something else.
But I didn't know what to do....I decided to take a break to figure that out instead of starting a college where I would drop out anyways because of lack of interest as many people did from my highschool.

A lot of people where against it. They said: You're never gonna go back to school again once you drop out. As if following the mainstream is the only way you'll ever get somewhere...Blehhh
So I dropped out and went with my father to a person who guided people who didn't know what to do with their job, study in order to get some advice.
I had to write down several professions including housewive (lol) and the person used radiesthesia with a pendulum to narrow down the options. A kind of odd way haha.
The profession that made it to the end was photography. So I decided to go and do that. A few weeks later an ad fell in the mailbox of a study in Belgium and I went there.
Now seven years later I'm still studying photography, never regretted it and have found my true passion in life.
That's how my year off went
smily_headphones1.gif


Advice...? I don't have any really. I'm not you. Follow your heart. If you want to go travel and see places, do it. You might not get the chance to do that when you're older in such a free way. Or go study abroad. Or go work for a while. Or go do something crazy. You're still very young. Use that in your advantage.
Good luck and enjoy the hell out of it
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 10:21 AM Post #5 of 22

torjeh

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A friend of mine took a year off to visit Africa, USA and Australia. Saving Asia for later. He had the money to do it though. Anyways, there must be some things you've always wanted to do? Build headphone amps maybe?
wink.gif


Have fun, enjoy yourself and don't get stressed out. A year is nothing!
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 1:30 PM Post #6 of 22

Foshizzle

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You could spend every waking hour playing World Of Warcraft (or MMORPG of your choice) only taking bathroom,sleep and food breaks.


...or not ^^
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 6:05 PM Post #8 of 22

oicdn

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I took a year off from college about 5 years ago.....needless to say, I'm still on that "one year" break.....

Stopping college, regardless of how much it sucks is probably the worst thing you can do. It's much like walking during a marathon or race...because once you stop, it's actually harder to restart than it was to just keep trotting along.
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 9:36 PM Post #9 of 22

aaron313

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I took a semester off last fall. Actually, I forced myself to quit halfway through. It was mainly to get treatment for mental issues that are now under control. The consequences of that are I will now no longer have a double major. Boo-hoo, I guess. I don't recommend taking a full year off, unless it is to work in industry for a year (if you can find a way to score a position like that). You will get real world experience, and also be locked into a job after graduation, but you still need the degree to get the job.
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 9:41 PM Post #10 of 22

G-man

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I am considering taking a gap year (before undergrad), but i would only do it if i got some good work experience. The only reason i don't fully want to is because it will be hard to get back into studying state of mind.
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 9:46 PM Post #11 of 22

AlanY

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I'm strongly behind the idea of taking a year off between undergrad and grad school... I wish I would have done that. (Get your reference letters first though, while your professors still have a good memory of you.) I think an additional year of perspective right between undergrad and grad school would have made me more eager to finish a Ph.D. rather than get out after my Master's and head to law school.

On the other hand, I don't see as much value in a gap year in the middle of undergrad (or after high school and before undergrad). It is a bit dangerous, as others have alluded to, in that you lose focus. But if you have to because you're switching majors, I wouldn't discourage it either.

Working is most valuable. You can always travel when you're in grad school. But working day in and day out gives you a bit of perspective you haven't had if you've always been a student, or only just worked during the summers.
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 9:54 PM Post #12 of 22

tpc41

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I have several friends who decided to take a "year" off and never came back. Once you leave, you will probably get a job and lose any urge to do school work. It's tempting to just stay working, but considering you already payed for 2 years of college, mind as well finish it up and get an even better job. I think it's going to be very hard to come back, but good luck. Just don't get to comfortable with the no school lifestyle!
 
Aug 19, 2008 at 5:17 AM Post #15 of 22

immtbiker

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I would scuba dive a different island each week for a total of 52 islands.

See what the other 2/3rds of the world looks like, then go back to school.
 

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