MD Is it okay to be relax during my gap year before medical school? Parents worry that it will harm my work ethic when medical school starts. Need advice

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Oct 30, 2019
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For my whole life, I have never really had a long "break". Every summer was work or study and then 2 weeks where I follow my parents on a sightseeing trip. My parents never really believed in the concept of a "break" hence I never really had a summer break.

I have currently been accepted to multiple US MD medical schools so far and am currently waiting to hear back from my dream school in March. During this time, I have taken on a job as a MCAT instructor where I work 4 days a week. Asides from this I work out 5 days a week. My responsibilities are pretty light and for the first time in my life I have found myself with a lot of free time. Since getting accepted to medical school a motnh ago, I usually teach and work out during the day and have about 4-5 hours to myself at night where I just play video games.

During this gap year, I also live with my parents. This has been a double edged sword. On one side I get to spend a lot of time with them before I embark on probably the busiest 7+ years of my life (medical school+residency+fellowship if I choose to do so). I also get to save a lot of money as I don't need to pay rent and utilities. I pay them back with gifts and meals whenever I can. Recently bought them a $4k+ sofa lol.

However, at night, when I am just peacefully gaming for the 4-5 hours my parents raise hell. They call me worthless, useless, and regret that I am taking a gap year. They compare me to my friends and cousins who went straight to medical school and how "lazy" I am right now compared to them. The issue is there is nothing for me to do since it's a gap year. My mom keeps suggesting that I go back to school and take an anatomy class before school or go get a second and third job to fill up my schedule so I don't get lazy. She thinks that if I am not working every second that I will get lazy and fail out of medical school and become a bum. (She tends to be on the more dramatic side)

One one end, I see her point. But on the other, I am pretty annoyed. I spent the last 4 years of my life in college killing myself to pull up my freshman 3.2 GPA to a 3.8 by getting straight As and working my butt off to get a 518 on the MCAT. I decided to take the gap year to allow me use my senior year for more ECs and grades but also because I genuinely wanted, for the first time in my life, A BREAK. I get so annoyed when she calls me "worthless, useless, and lazy" just because I play video games in my free time.

Anyways, this post is a combination of a rant and advice seeking post. To the people out there who spent their gap years chilling, how did that go for you guys? Did you feel lazier going into medical school? Also any input on how to deal with the parents lol? I'm going on a 3-4 month trip with them after March and making my final decision on medical school so the only time I can actually chill is the four months from now to March.

EDIT: Also try to be nice please with the comments. I know this is an unconventional post but I just wanted to get input on my weird situation.
 

Hopeful101

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Nov 16, 2017
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First that’s incredibly abusive, and they don’t have a right to talk to you like that. But I’m sure you know that. Anyways...to answer your question. The best way to prepare for medical school is not to prepare. Relax. Play your video games (try the new obsidian game if you haven’t already) because Medical school is going to suck in ways you can’t imagine...best to go in refreshed. If your parents are ignorable then ignore them. Do whatever you need to do to support yourself, but there’s nothing you can or should do to prepare. Anyways sorry you have to deal with this. Either way, you’ll be out soon. Try choosing the out of state school?
 
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For my whole life, I have never really had a long "break". Every summer was work or study and then 2 weeks where I follow my parents on a sightseeing trip. My parents never really believed in the concept of a "break" hence I never really had a summer break.

I have currently been accepted to multiple US MD medical schools so far and am currently waiting to hear back from my dream school in March. During this time, I have taken on a job as a MCAT instructor where I work 4 days a week. Asides from this I work out 5 days a week. My responsibilities are pretty light and for the first time in my life I have found myself with a lot of free time. Since getting accepted to medical school a motnh ago, I usually teach and work out during the day and have about 4-5 hours to myself at night where I just play video games.

During this gap year, I also live with my parents. This has been a double edged sword. On one side I get to spend a lot of time with them before I embark on probably the busiest 7+ years of my life (medical school+residency+fellowship if I choose to do so). I also get to save a lot of money as I don't need to pay rent and utilities. I pay them back with gifts and meals whenever I can. Recently bought them a $4k+ sofa lol.

However, at night, when I am just peacefully gaming for the 4-5 hours my parents raise hell. They call me worthless, useless, and regret that I am taking a gap year. They compare me to my friends and cousins who went straight to medical school and how "lazy" I am right now compared to them. The issue is there is nothing for me to do since it's a gap year. My mom keeps suggesting that I go back to school and take an anatomy class before school or go get a second and third job to fill up my schedule so I don't get lazy. She thinks that if I am not working every second that I will get lazy and fail out of medical school and become a bum. (She tends to be on the more dramatic side)

One one end, I see her point. But on the other, I am pretty annoyed. I spent the last 4 years of my life in college killing myself to pull up my freshman 3.2 GPA to a 3.8 by getting straight As and working my butt off to get a 518 on the MCAT. I decided to take the gap year to allow me use my senior year for more ECs and grades but also because I genuinely wanted, for the first time in my life, A BREAK. I get so annoyed when she calls me "worthless, useless, and lazy" just because I play video games in my free time.

Anyways, this post is a combination of a rant and advice seeking post. To the people out there who spent their gap years chilling, how did that go for you guys? Did you feel lazier going into medical school? Also any input on how to deal with the parents lol? I'm going on a 3-4 month trip with them after March and making my final decision on medical school so the only time I can actually chill is the four months from now to March.

EDIT: Also try to be nice please with the comments. I know this is an unconventional post but I just wanted to get input on my weird situation.
You’re gonna burn out if you don’t relax. You’re still working as an Mcat instructor, which is more than I would do. I would just sit and play games 24/7 if i were accepted ;)

If there were a way for you to move out, I would take it.
 
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deleted1001426

just relax, youre about to embark on a lifetime of long hours and stressful work. This might be your last time until retirement to take a step back and just chill so enjoy it while you can. You've been operating at full capacity for, at a bare minimum, the past 4 years of ugrad and the last thing you want to do is burn out before med school even starts.
 

JoaoMoutinho

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My second gap year after getting accepted (which was around this time of year): I rewatched Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and then watched Dragon Ball Super. I trained for and ran a half marathon, learned how to do some car maintenance, learned some new recipes, and went on a dope road trip with one of my friends from college. My wife and I explored by taking a ton of weekend trips and such. I read a few books, played some nostalgic childhood videogames (and some more modern ones), and watched a bunch of Star Trek with my wife. I did some volunteering (because I wanted to, not because I had to), and then I continued full time in my research lab up through late April (my first summer rotation started in June, so I had 6ish weeks off). I did some independent study to learn some R because I'm weird like that. I guess we also worked really hard to get our finances in a better place, which I do not regret at all.

In other words, I kept myself busy being idle and enjoying my life. It has been a bit of an adjustment getting back to school, but that would have been the case anyway after 2 years out of class. I'm doing just fine in my classes. Go, and have fun. Life is meant to be enjoyed. You don't have to wait until you're an attending to do so.
 

GoSpursGo

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I mean, your mom is wrong. I doubt that telling her that would go over very well, so you're just going to have to deal with it for the next few months. I'm sure that's easier said than done, unfortunately.
 
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stickgirl390

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Show your parents this thread and tell them how wrong they are. I had 2 gap years before med school and “relaxed” the entire time. I’m doing fine in school.
 
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It could be worse than having parents who push you to work. Just embrace it, get through, and enjoy what is probably the last time period you'll ever see your parents on a daily basis
 

ciestar

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Damn those are awful things to say to your child..

Either way, taking a break is totally fine. Your mental health matters too.
 
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Aurum

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Relax as much as you can. Travel to get away from them if you can. Once you start medical school, you won't have an opportunity to travel for more than a week or two at a time (with the exception of the summer of MS1 and the tail end of MS4).
 
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Detective SnowBucket

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Hey OP, I'm in the same boat. I traveled for 3 months then did nothing for the next 3 since graduation. I got accepted like a month ago and I've been working since about then, only part time though. Sounds like you're doing just what you need to though.
 

redsox93

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It sounds like you're doing it right. I put in my two weeks at my job pretty much right after I got accepted and spent that time between quitting and starting school doing literally nothing but traveling and playing video games. Your best bet, if you have enough money saved is go take a trip somewhere that you've always wanted to go. No one can tell you what to do if you're out of the country. And any pre studying you do at this point is going to do nothing for you in the long run.
 

nimbus

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You are more than fine. Your parents got serious problems. Choose a med school that is across the country.
 
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Goro

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For my whole life, I have never really had a long "break". Every summer was work or study and then 2 weeks where I follow my parents on a sightseeing trip. My parents never really believed in the concept of a "break" hence I never really had a summer break.

I have currently been accepted to multiple US MD medical schools so far and am currently waiting to hear back from my dream school in March. During this time, I have taken on a job as a MCAT instructor where I work 4 days a week. Asides from this I work out 5 days a week. My responsibilities are pretty light and for the first time in my life I have found myself with a lot of free time. Since getting accepted to medical school a motnh ago, I usually teach and work out during the day and have about 4-5 hours to myself at night where I just play video games.

During this gap year, I also live with my parents. This has been a double edged sword. On one side I get to spend a lot of time with them before I embark on probably the busiest 7+ years of my life (medical school+residency+fellowship if I choose to do so). I also get to save a lot of money as I don't need to pay rent and utilities. I pay them back with gifts and meals whenever I can. Recently bought them a $4k+ sofa lol.

However, at night, when I am just peacefully gaming for the 4-5 hours my parents raise hell. They call me worthless, useless, and regret that I am taking a gap year. They compare me to my friends and cousins who went straight to medical school and how "lazy" I am right now compared to them. The issue is there is nothing for me to do since it's a gap year. My mom keeps suggesting that I go back to school and take an anatomy class before school or go get a second and third job to fill up my schedule so I don't get lazy. She thinks that if I am not working every second that I will get lazy and fail out of medical school and become a bum. (She tends to be on the more dramatic side)

One one end, I see her point. But on the other, I am pretty annoyed. I spent the last 4 years of my life in college killing myself to pull up my freshman 3.2 GPA to a 3.8 by getting straight As and working my butt off to get a 518 on the MCAT. I decided to take the gap year to allow me use my senior year for more ECs and grades but also because I genuinely wanted, for the first time in my life, A BREAK. I get so annoyed when she calls me "worthless, useless, and lazy" just because I play video games in my free time.

Anyways, this post is a combination of a rant and advice seeking post. To the people out there who spent their gap years chilling, how did that go for you guys? Did you feel lazier going into medical school? Also any input on how to deal with the parents lol? I'm going on a 3-4 month trip with them after March and making my final decision on medical school so the only time I can actually chill is the four months from now to March.

EDIT: Also try to be nice please with the comments. I know this is an unconventional post but I just wanted to get input on my weird situation.
Ahhh parent, trying to destroy your medical career out of love and ignorance.

Please tell them that this Adcom member says for them to trust you.
 
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The_Bird

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Your parents are being a**holes. Big time. They don’t know what they’re talking about. You should feel free to use your time the way you see fit. Get some rest and have some fun before school then hit the ground running once you start. You’re clearly really smart so you’ll show them up when you end up doing fine and not loosing your hair.

Best of luck!
 
Oct 19, 2018
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Out of curiosity.. are your parents Asian?

In retrospect, would've loved to have a gap year. I don't think it should hurt at all. Maybe get a taste of the world, date every flavor of the rainbow, etc. God knows for the next decade you'll have little chance for any of that.
 
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FutureSurgical

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This is my 4th year out of undergrad - lived with my parents for the first 6 months of it. I understand your plight to an extent.

Keep doing what you're doing. This is going to be the last time you (and maybe I as well) will have this much free time until we're in our late 30's/40's/50's. Save up money right now because, in case they make you move out, you have money to fall back on (if possible.)

Enjoy this time off. I have loved every bit of taking time off from school. It's given me so much perspective on the real world, other professionals (inside and out of medicine,) and I've made so many friends along the way.
 

LoGo

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I’m currently in my 14th year of post high school education, still a few more years to go before being a staff, and oh the things I would give to have a year back of my life without any responsibility....

If I were you, I would not waste this year on video games (there will always be time for TV or games or whatever in med school if you really want to). Get some rest, have fun of course, but I’d suggest putting most of your time towards something you’re actually passionate about eg. travel, art, music, business, fitness, investing etc. Whatever your interest is, don’t worry about working for the sake of working because medicine is now your default fall back which will pay just fine. Because 14 years later, when medicine and education have stollen your soul, you’ll probably look back and wish you had a year to do things you always wanted to do, and most likely that something will not be video games. With any luck, you’ll do something very cool that changes the direction you take in your life for the better.
 

ortnakas

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They’re wrong. Taking a break won’t kill your motivation forever. Plus you’re still working— you’re chilling for a few hours a night, not all day and into the wee hours of the morning.

That said— if you have that much time to kill, getting another job to save up some money isn’t the worst idea. But save that cash for your future loans/residency application/moving/car/etc, not a couch for them.
 
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