Did you take a year off after you were done with undergrad?

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Did you take a year off after undergrad?

  • Yes, and I'm glad I did.

    Votes: 96 78.0%
  • Yes, and I wish I hadn't.

    Votes: 7 5.7%
  • No, and I wish I did.

    Votes: 6 4.9%
  • No, and I'm glad I didn't.

    Votes: 14 11.4%

  • Total voters
    123

radi0headfan

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who wishes they hadnt taken a yr off??...im curious to hear why..ive already been out for 3 yrs, and am deferring one more yr, so ill be 4 yrs out and turning 25 upon entering med school...i feel its the best decision of my life!
 

xanthomondo

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there may be a difference in opinion of people who were rejected (and forced to take a year off) and those who voluntarily did so

im in the rejected bunch and getting rejected was actually much better for me than going straight into med school. working a full time job i make more money than ever before and i was able to completely furnish the apartment im gonna get for med school (not sure how that wouldnt have happened otherwise...loans?)
 
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jelly476

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i am in the middle of my year off and am accepted at 2 schools. im considering deferring for another year if that answers your question hah. do it!
 

Sparda29

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I'm considering it, I finish undergraduate in May 2009. Work as a research technologist in a biology lab for a year or so, get some hospital experience.

Only thing is, would I have to start paying off the loans if I take a year off?
 

aaj117

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I'm considering it, I finish undergraduate in May 2009. Work as a research technologist in a biology lab for a year or so, get some hospital experience.

Only thing is, would I have to start paying off the loans if I take a year off?
I know i didn't have to pay back any loans. I was given 9 months after graduation automatic deferment, ie they don't start sending any bills until april anyway, but once I was accepted to medical school they're automatically defered until after med school too. I guess if you aren't lucky enough to get in by april you might have an issue, but there is always paperwork you can do to continue deferring your loans.
 
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I'm taking a year off and I'm glad I did, though it may turn into 2 years and I'm not too happy about that. At some point you just want to start your life, y'know?
 

gobears2007

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I'm considering it, I finish undergraduate in May 2009. Work as a research technologist in a biology lab for a year or so, get some hospital experience.

Only thing is, would I have to start paying off the loans if I take a year off?


Yes, but only in your year off. You can defer them again once you start med school. And you have a six month grace period before repayment begins, so you will only pay on them for about 6-8 months.

ETA: This is how my federal unsubsidized loan process has gone for me. Not sure about other loans.
 

werd

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in contrast to most people posting so far, i didn't take a year off and am glad i didn't. even going straight through 4 years of med school and 4 years of residency, i'll be 31 when i'm actually an attending. medicine is what i want to do with my life, and it's such a long road to get there; i feel like years off before starting med school would just have shortened my career as a doctor and make me even older before i actually had a good paycheck. just my thoughts on the matter.
 

Jolie South

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I know i didn't have to pay back any loans. I was given 9 months after graduation automatic deferment, ie they don't start sending any bills until april anyway, but once I was accepted to medical school they're automatically defered until after med school too. I guess if you aren't lucky enough to get in by april you might have an issue, but there is always paperwork you can do to continue deferring your loans.

you can do a forbearance. that's what I'm doing. with all the application fees/interviews/random costs, i knew i wouldn't be able to pay back anything at the same time, but i made too much to qualify for the economic hardship deferment.

i asked for a year forbearance on my loans. you don't have to qualify or anything like that. i just called up my lender and asked and they were willing to work with me. the interest rate is a bit higher, but i didn't have a choice. when i start school in the fall, i will get another education deferment.

if you're going to take a year off, you'll have a 6 month grace period before repayment starts then you could do a forbearance/economic hardship, depending on you situation, for the other 6 months if you don't want to go into repayment.
 

silverlining1

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I know that this poll is self-selecting, but I'm surprised at the proportion of people who have taken time off on SDN! In the overall applicant population there isn't this much of a discrepancy, right?
 

foster033

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you can do a forbearance. that's what I'm doing. with all the application fees/interviews/random costs, i knew i wouldn't be able to pay back anything at the same time, but i made too much to qualify for the economic hardship deferment.

i asked for a year forbearance on my loans. you don't have to qualify or anything like that. i just called up my lender and asked and they were willing to work with me. the interest rate is a bit higher, but i didn't have a choice. when i start school in the fall, i will get another education deferment.

if you're going to take a year off, you'll have a 6 month grace period before repayment starts then you could do a forbearance/economic hardship, depending on you situation, for the other 6 months if you don't want to go into repayment.

Another option is to take a few classes. My federal loans are deferred if I'm in school at least half time. I've been taking post-bacc classes at the university I work at and haven't had to pay anything on the loans. Granted I have to pay tuition but it's discounted for me and 2 classes a semester is a cheaper than what I would be paying on my loans.

So if you really don't want to start paying them you might consider taking some classes. I know many schools like to see that you are still doing something education wise since they feel it will be an easier adjustment once you get into med school than if you have taken a few years off and not done any school work.
 
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radi0headfan

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in contrast to most people posting so far, i didn't take a year off and am glad i didn't. even going straight through 4 years of med school and 4 years of residency, i'll be 31 when i'm actually an attending. medicine is what i want to do with my life, and it's such a long road to get there; i feel like years off before starting med school would just have shortened my career as a doctor and make me even older before i actually had a good paycheck. just my thoughts on the matter.

that's cool that you were ready to do medicine when you graduated..however, its hard for me to see a large "shortening" of someone's career by taking a year or two off...being 31 or 33 when you come out seems irrelevant in the big scheme of things..unless maybe you have financial responsibilities to others besides yourself?..but as a single person, i feel the yrs off could be invaluable-- for example if someone has aspirations outside of medicine that they wouldn't be able to pursue when they're in their 30s-40s
 

olemissbabydoc

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I agree with the other "rejected". my year off is a blessing in disguise. I had no idea how burned out i'd be at the end of this premed madness year (took all of my prereqs in the last 10 months).
 

Marthea007

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I took a year off because I didn't take my MCAT until my senior year and I had to finish up some pre-reqs. I'd already had a part time job so I just went full time once I graduate and while I hated the job with a passion, I'm glad I took the year off. Gave me a chance to relax after UG and get everything in order before I had to move a couple states away and start med school. Although I would have hated to take 2 years off. Once that year was over I was soooo ready to move on.
 

Bananas Foster

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I have mixed feelings about my two years off.

On the one hand I feel I got a lot of perspective, I got to learn what working 40 boring hours a week in a job I hate is like, I got to learn what is was like, upon taking a job I liked, to live on 24k a year in Chicago. I've gotten a chance to be chewed out by a boss for thinking through a problem on my own. I also have more experience with budgeting, learned I'm not great with money, learned about what I need to be happy professionally and personally (I was always happy in college, who couldn't be, so I never had to worry about such things before).

On the other hand, although I strengthened my convictions on what I wanted to do, it took me quite a lot of time of blowing in the wind. This was relaxing and all, but now I'm extremely restless, which I guess is a good thing going into med school. Aside from some nebulous "perspective" I really have very little to show from my time off. I saved no money, don't have the best job experiences, and will be another two years older than some of my classmates. My study skills really have taken a precipitous decline, Ive become too used to having nothing to do after getting home from work.
 

annndyr

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I originallly applied right out of undergrad and didn't have much luck, but because application cycles overlap I decided to take an additional year before reapplying. So I will be starting school this Fall being 2 yrs removed from undergrad.

As for the 2 yrs off, I feel lightyears ahead of where I was coming out of undergrad. I've matured a lot since graduating, saved up some money, and had the opportunity to travel for my job. I just feel more comfortable with my choice of medicine than i did previously.

Blessing in disguise for me as well, being rejected the first time through the application process.
 

Jolie South

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that's cool that you were ready to do medicine when you graduated..however, its hard for me to see a large "shortening" of someone's career by taking a year or two off...being 31 or 33 when you come out seems irrelevant in the big scheme of things..unless maybe you have financial responsibilities to others besides yourself?..but as a single person, i feel the yrs off could be invaluable-- for example if someone has aspirations outside of medicine that they wouldn't be able to pursue when they're in their 30s-40s

obligations and family will make it extremely difficult to break away from your life for a year to do whatever when you're 40. that mortgage, med school debt, kids, or spouse probably won't be cool with you forgetting about them for several months.

in your 20s, you're free. i think taking time off to travel or do something you've always wanted to isn't a waste. i don't regret the 2 years i took to do the Peace Corps at all. i feel more sure of my choice because i did have the opportunity to explore and really stop to think about my decision to go to med school.

i'm also not burned out. i've had a period to relax and i'm ready to start this fall.
 

pride4jc727

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After reading the previous posts and knowing the situation that I am in, I feel that this thread addresses what I am going through. I had it planned all along that I would apply and get into medical school right after undergrad. Well, I am applying but it is right now unclear if I will be accepted and attend medical school. I applied to 16 schools, sent secondaries to 13, and from those 13, I got rejected at 8, interviewed at 3, and didn't hear back at the other 2. Of the 3 schools that interviewed me,two waitlisted me and the other one is going to discuss my application further in May and that a decision for acceptance or waitlist will be made then.

I understand that if I don't get in now, it is not the end of the world. However, I am unsure of how to pay off my loans after my six month grace period. In addition, what job am I going to get that can allow me to work for only a year and also allow me the time to do an activity (research or clinical,volunteer) that will help my MD school application. I see that forbearance and/or deferment can be done. Is this possible if I have a mixture of federal and private loans that I owe money on? I want to be able to apply again next year, but the financial end of things make this look daunting. Thus, I would rather get in now than later.
 

xanthomondo

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After reading the previous posts and knowing the situation that I am in, I feel that this thread addresses what I am going through. I had it planned all along that I would apply and get into medical school right after undergrad. Well, I am applying but it is right now unclear if I will be accepted and attend medical school. I applied to 16 schools, sent secondaries to 13, and from those 13, I got rejected at 8, interviewed at 3, and didn't hear back at the other 2. Of the 3 schools that interviewed me,two waitlisted me and the other one is going to discuss my application further in May and that a decision for acceptance or waitlist will be made then.

I understand that if I don't get in now, it is not the end of the world. However, I am unsure of how to pay off my loans after my six month grace period. In addition, what job am I going to get that can allow me to work for only a year and also allow me the time to do an activity (research or clinical,volunteer) that will help my MD school application. I see that forbearance and/or deferment can be done. Is this possible if I have a mixture of federal and private loans that I owe money on? I want to be able to apply again next year, but the financial end of things make this look daunting. Thus, I would rather get in now than later.

I took the advice that many doctors told me: don't kill yourself looking for a medically-related job. Get a job that pays well and do extracurricular medically related activities (volunteer, shadow, etc).

Even at one of my interviews when everyone introduced themselves out of 15 I'd say ~10 were some sort of "clinical research associate". Those who weren't seemed unique.

Oh yeah - don't tell the job you'll only be there for a year. When they ask what your future plans are, tell them what they want to hear. Chemistry company? You want to get your masters, preferably through night classes, and are really interested that they pay for your masters courses. It doesn't matter if this is dishonest because 1) the company will screw you over at any moment if necessary and 2) people leave companies all of the time, if you just give your two weeks notice because you have a "better opportunity" all will be well
 

CubaLibre

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After reading the previous posts and knowing the situation that I am in, I feel that this thread addresses what I am going through. I had it planned all along that I would apply and get into medical school right after undergrad. Well, I am applying but it is right now unclear if I will be accepted and attend medical school. I applied to 16 schools, sent secondaries to 13, and from those 13, I got rejected at 8, interviewed at 3, and didn't hear back at the other 2. Of the 3 schools that interviewed me,two waitlisted me and the other one is going to discuss my application further in May and that a decision for acceptance or waitlist will be made then.

why do u go into such detail about your situation in every post? haha. just messin with u. :p
 

max_poWER

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i took 2 years off and definitely don't regret it at all. i was able to work and save up money to go travel throughout europe and asia and just had time to wind down and relax. i got a random job at a placement facility working with juvenile delinquents and was able to get away from the whole stress of school and was just able to take a break from everything. its pretty much just your only chance to re-charge before you begin your long and hard road preparing to become a doctor so take it now!
 

Kernal83

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I took what will be three years off (failed application last year) and I know that I am really glad I did. Matured quite a bit, learned a lot about myself, earned some money, and rested. I'm curious as to some of the reasons why people are glad they didn't take time off after undergrad... Any one?
 
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