People who have taken a gap year before dental school?

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7+ Year Member
May 14, 2014
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Hi everyone,

Can anyone who has experience taking a gap year offer me some ideas on what I should do in my gap year, how to go about it, and if there any helpful links pertaining to the job/volunteer/experience I can fill my gap year with - that would be much appreciated!!!
You don't have to go into detail (but if you do, you're awesome)!

Thank you.

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I'm in a gap year now. I would recommend getting a job to save for applications and interviews (it gets pretty expensive). The job doesn't have to be related to dentistry, I work at a bar.
Make sure you're shadowing or volunteering during your gap year. During interviews they will ask what you have been doing since you graduated. Make sure you have something to say.
Other than that enjoy your time off.
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Also don't feel any pressure to get a dental related job or be super productive during your gap year. I moved to New York City to have some fun/explore the city during my gap year and none of my interviewers cared. I would relax during your gap year and try something new :)
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I recommend taking the highest paying job that you can find. It'll help to pay for everything involved with applying (app fees, plane tickets, hotel rooms, taxis, etc.) and you'll be able to start dental school with some money in case there is a delay with your loan (assuming you'll be taking out loans).
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I'm in a gap year and I am working some and volunteering (worked and volunteered like crazy until the interview cycle started) I've been traveling as well and hope to go on a few more trips before school starts. All the dental students I have met told me to take time to relax and go travel!!
I'm in a gap year now and I'm applying next cycle. I'm currently taking more prerequisite classes at another school (4-14 units per semester) in addition to working part time as a dental assistant and shadowing. I'll also be studying for the DAT. As long as you're doing something productive during your gap year, I think you'll be good! It doesn't have to be dental related either. Is there some part of your application that's lacking? Volunteer hours? Shadowing hours? GPA? DAT score? You can work on improving your weaknesses. Otherwise, if everything seems great on paper, then I would agree with others that you should get hired into a job that pays well. That way it can help fund your future interview traveling expenses and reduce loan fees.