Reasons to Consider a Gap Year
- Oct 16, 2017
A lot of students are on edge about taking a gap year, so here is a compiled list of reasons you should all consider when deciding whether or not a gap year is for you. And of course, I included Parks and Rec gifs, because that's me.
1. You can help your community.
There are a variety of 1-2 year programs (Teach for America, AmeriCorps, City Year) that you can apply to so that you can make a difference to those communities and people that are underprivileged.
2. You can use the extra year to travel!
You can visit Europe, backpack across the United States, or volunteer with the Peace Corps!
3. You can take the time to figure out who you are, and who you want to be.
Literally, all of us live in one constant existential crisis - you can use the time between undergrad and professional school to figure out want to want to truly do with yourself and your career if you haven't figured that out yet. (And it's okay if you haven't!)
4. You will have more time to study for your admissions test.
Leslie Knope is you, in the library, frantically taking practice exams.
5. You can use your gap year to focus on your mental and physical health.
Maybe undergrad really wore you down and you want to talk to a therapist, or maybe Freshman Fifteen became Freshman Fifty for you and you want to get back in shape. It's hard to do such things when in professional school, so you can take advantage of a gap year for that.
6. You can use your senior year to solidify your GPA.
Professional schools like to see the actual grades you got on prerequisite and recommended courses, not just that you plan to take them. So work a little now, and then you can ball a lot. And by balling I mean going to professional school.
7. You can work on bettering yourself and fulfilling your other goals.
Do you think you are the equivalent of a human disaster? Well, fear not - you can take the extra year to work on yourself, to help your community, and to fulfill your other goals.
8. You can finally chill out a little bit.
The stress of undergrad is truly insane, and it doesn't get any better in professional school. Take the time now (via gap year or otherwise) to find your chill.
9. You might secure stronger letters of evaluation.
Classes tend to be smaller during senior year, so it will be easier to forge a relationship with a professor so they can give you a good and personal letter of evaluation. Imagine this: a Leslie Knope-esque letter of evaluation. Sounds awesome, right?
10. You can get your finances in order.
Both applying to professional school, and attending it, will get very expensive, very fast. You can ease up the financial burden by saving money now and spending money wisely.
11. You will have more time to focus on the preparations required to apply.
You have a bunch of things to do and collect in order to apply to professional school. That extra year can really help you out in terms of getting letters, creating a good personal statement, and researching schools. If taking the extra year for you will make that much of a difference in effort, then definitely take advantage of it.
12. “Everyone else is doing it.”
The average age of an applicant is 23-26. None of us know what we're doing. You've got time.
13. It can be hard for a junior to compete favorably with seniors, alumni, and post-bacs.
Ron is the admissions committee, seeing all of the applicants for their program.
14. You can gain more experience and learn to better articulate your career interests, on paper and aloud.
"Hey, look at me and all of the things I accomplished in my senior year that I could put on my application because I took a gap year."
15. Life is short!
This gif speaks for itself. Use the extra time to do the things you're passionate about and have always wanted to try, because it is going to be a lot harder to find time for them during/after professional school.
16. Your brain could use the break.
Alas, not having to constantly shove information into your skull! Being able to sleep instead of studying! I wonder what that's like!
17. You can treat yo' self!
Literally, treat yo' self for surviving undergrad.
18. And then, when you're ready, you'll actually be excited for your first day.
You are Andy Dwyer, ready to take on the world. And classes.