Purposeful Time Off Before Graduate School
Many students today take a “gap” year or more between undergraduate and professional school. This is not uncommon! By taking a gap year, you get a chance to experience the world, build your knowledge in a new way, and grow in an understanding of your own place in the world.
The gap year requires some planning. If you are hoping to take a year or more after college, spend time thinking about opportunities that continue to enhance your application. Opportunities should either contribute to you personal growth, your understanding of the field you are entering (e.g. medicine, nursing, public health, etc) or your commitment to improving the human condition. Consider the following opportunities and how they might benefit you now and in your future career:
- Volunteering in a Hospital
- Volunteering in a Not-for-Profit
- Domestic Service Opportunities (U.S.-based)
- Volunteering Internationally
Some professional schools actually prefer students who have taken time to explore the world before becoming a health professional. A gap year or more allows you to move out of your academic world into the world of life.
Know that there is no one right thing to do – anything you do should be a reflection of who you are and how you need to grow to become a better person and candidate for the health profession you are entering. This is a good time to explore your interests broadly, and confirm that the health profession you are choosing is the right one.