Taking a "gap" year between Undergrad and D School

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homewardbound

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I was hoping to hear from anyone who had a year outside of academia between Undergrad and Dental school, this includes those who applied as seniors.

What did you do during your year? Do you feel your experiences helped you become a better dental student?

Background: I'm very excited for the future! I've worked hard during undergrad, applied, and had interviews at my top choice schools. Assuming Dec. 1 goes well, I'll soon have the opportunity to go straight into dental school after graduating in June.

Many dental-related experiences have confirmed that dentistry is the career for me, and I have no doubt that I will still be able to grow as a person while in dental school.

However, I feel that this is the best time in my life to leave academia for a year and do something formative and different. Some thoughts so far: Service/language oriented travel, teaching, winemaking (chemistry!), working at a ski resort, backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail, etc).

I'm still on the fence, but if I continue, I do not feel that I will be able to take a similar break until retirement. I am not going to count on being able to defer, but I feel my app. will still be competitive in next years pool (3.75+, 20), if anything the other aspects of my app. will be stronger.

Thanks for any advice! Sorry for the long post!

Edit: Found some related posts in Pre-Dental forums, for future reference:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=359079&highlight=taking+year+between
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=455982&highlight=taking+year+between
 
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capisce?

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I did and worked in a hospital lab. It was mainly for 2 reasons: to get in-state residency but more so because after college as a D1 athlete I needed a break after my training/school schedule.

It was a great decision in hindsight. I went into d-school charged, motivated and ready to go. Good luck
 

Hysteria24

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I'm still on the fence, but if I continue, I do not feel that I will be able to take a similar break until retirement.

I took a 3 year long break for the exact reason you stated above. Used that time to check off quite a few things on my "life to do list," as I realized they might never get done otherwise. Did some teaching, traveling etc. and wouldn't trade it back for anything (even realizing that I would have my degree at the end of this year had I gone straight through).
 

tehrlich

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I was a ski instructor between undergrad and dental school. It was great...... made some decent money, skied a lot, and met my future wife (at least 3 of them!) Kidding on that.... I did meet my wife and we've been married 13 years. So, I'm very happy that I did take that year off from school.

But the main thing that I learned was this: the lifestyle I wanted and the life goals I wanted to achieve were not in ski instruction. I couldn't wait to get back into school so I could make something of my self!

I know I did much better in dental school because I took that year off! Thanks Dr. Carr wherever you might be!
 

youngmc27

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I took a year off after completting my Masters and worked for the government doing research on biological warfare agents. It was fun but I am definately glad that I got in and things are going great here in my second year. Enjoy what you are doing no matter what it is.
 

JamesOSU

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I graduated in June and am taking a year off (had a couple interviews, hope to get word in December). I'm working full time with my degree (Microbiology) making some great money - all money is great when you've never had any - and just relaxing. It's sooooo nice not to have school work, I think that I would have been completely burnt out had I gone straight into dental school. I felt the same way when I studied abroad. I was getting near being burnt out of school, and the 6 months in Australia just perked me back up, I hope to go into dental school rested, motivated, and ready to kick ass
 
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squeegeediver

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I had a gap year-and-a-half between post-bac and dental school. Part of me feels a bit of regret that things didn't work out and I didn't start dental school a year earlier, as I would've become a fully-practicing dentist before my 30th birthday.

Still, I had a real smorgasbord of experiences on which I look back fondly. I had the experience of working jobs that tapped my skills with and enjoyment of written language, without the pressure that career writers and editors have. I had the experiences of working jobs that I hated and of working for other people, both of which make me appreciate my dental career even more. I had plenty of time and plenty of youth, and even a little bit of money for some small luxuries. I got to build my life as a singer. I got to build new friendships and deepen old ones.

Above all, I got to live day-to-day without really thinking about building a career, because I knew that things were transitional. It would be inaccurate to say that I lived life "without consequences," because that implies that I was irresponsible, but I had a lot of freedom, and it was nice.
 
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