Taking A Year Off

I know a lot of my peers are considering the possibility of taking a year off before graduate/professional school. While their reasons for doing so vary greatly, I want to share my outcome of doing the same before medical school.

The year I was supposed to apply, I weighed the likelihood of getting into Baylor Med that cycle against losing a year just to better myself as a candidate. Now that I’ve been accepted, of course I’m not complaining about taking a year off, but this doesn’t help those out there who are still in a period of deliberation.

What I don’t understand about some people is that they rather apply when their apps are 75% of their potential rather than waiting a year to attain the full 100%. Reapplicants have much more difficulty getting acceptances, so only get your name out there when you’ve reached the pinnacle of your potential – GPA, admissions exam score, extracurriculars, shadowing, accolades, etc.

Furthermore, if you take a year off, then you’ll probably be applying after you’ve graduated. This means you don’t have to worry about sending updated transcripts. This means that you’ve already earned your senior-awards and diploma. This means that your professors have “that much more” stuff to talk about in your recommendation letter. You don’t have to worry about missing extended portions of your fall semester due to interviews. You don’t have to worry about anything except the application process itself!

Taking a year off doesn’t only have to be for productive reasons either. I’ve spent the last ten months playing around in the stock market, improving myself physically, playing games, watching movies, and getting a chance to just… relax. After rushing through high school and college, hitting the pause button has been ever-so-refreshing. Also, I really think my rejuvenated mind will give me an edge once medical school commences in August.

So if you’re considering taking a year off, only do so if you’re committed to improving your application to reach its absolute maximum potential. Once that part is done, you’ve got plenty of months to enjoy life before beginning your professional journey. 🙂

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  1. Rishi,

    I was thinking of this recently. I am already getting a bit stressed up out of college, and I really want a break. But when I say to my dad that I need a G A P before I go for my masters, he always says “Think that again”. I guess I should show him this article. Really supportive!

    I dont remember the name of the last movie I saw, I miss my movies a lot.

  2. Hey Rishi!

    I am “That Guy” who decided to take a year and a half off before heading into med school. It was a happy coincidence that I was able to graduate a semester early and thus have time to devote to studying for the MCAT without worrying about grades and schoolwork. During my undergrad I had trouble deciding exactly what it is that I wanted to do after college, which is why I didn’t take the MCAT as an undergrad. Plus I’m planning to use the year I have off to just relax, enjoy life, youth, and sanity while I still have them, and hopefully raise a little money working in a job (if I can get one, frigging economy) before the plunge into med school. A year off isn’t for everyone, but it is something to take into consideration like you said.

    Apropos of nothing, I recall that you had a tweet about wishing me a “happy 21st birthday” last year. I never thanked you, nor did I ever point out that it was my 22nd.

    • Lol! I apologize for that oversight. I’m glad you have all those months off, buddy! Let me know if you ever have questions regarding the application process, interviews, or defeating the Persians. AROOOOO! 😉


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