Dec 9, 2013
25
4
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
So here's my deal: I'm graduating in June from undergrad. I've taken the GRE, and have finished all of my prereqs except A&PII.
I have applied to OT schools in the Philadelphia area, and am waiting on decisions one way or the other. I have an interview with Salus Univ. coming up in the next couple of weeks.

My dilemma: I have worked SUPER hard academically over the past 4 years, and am definitely starting to feel burnt out....this anatomy II class I am currently in is driving me up a wall.
I am currently interning as a therapy aide at a sub-acute rehab hospital 20 hours/week until March (6 month internships are part of my university's program)
But, the other side of me says that I should push straight through OT school, because I'm in an academic state of mind now.....
Thoughts?
Has anyone done a gap year?
Am i crazy for being practically DONE with the OT application process and still thinking about some time off?
 
Jan 16, 2013
53
10
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Your feeling burnt out is situational. Just because you feel burnt out right now doesn't mean that you'll feel that way for an entire year, you know? Since you are done applying I don't think there's any point in turning admissions decisions down just because of how you're feeling at the moment. To me, the application process is stressful enough and I wouldn't want to go through it again unless I absolutely had to.
 

c2902

5+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2013
228
121
Status
Occupational Therapist
If you get into OT school this time around, accept and go. Don't take a year off if the only reason is because you're tired (welcome to being an adult). OT school is very competitive, and you may not get accepted the following year, if you decline admission this year. The schools will not wait for you, and there are hundreds of other applicants who would gladly take your spot.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OTWannabe15
Sep 4, 2013
87
16
San Diego, CA
Status
Occupational Therapist
I agree with the above two posts but for slightly different reasons. I have worked for about 6 years since my bachelors but life and work and taking classes doesn't become easier, hard classes are always hard, you just sometimes become better at knowing how to study for them. I know you feel burned out, but taking a year off will make you have to reapply with no guarantee of acceptance as noted above. Also consider the fact that you cannot start in the field until you complete the masters program (or doctorate). Therefore, while it might be super exhausting, as long as you think you can maintain grades satisfactory to complete the program I'd recommend doing it sooner rather than later. Even if its a year later it will slow everything down.While you could volunteer, intern or work as an aide in a gap year to get experience and that is great and all, I don't think anyone would disagree with me that it is more for your resume/application progress rather than a great thing to have going on without forward progress. You're better off having a bit less experience and going straight for it now. You can reapply next year if you don't get in now! Plus, I would be a bit concerned with how potential programs would view your "gap year" next time you apply if you have no good reason why you turned down acceptable offers of admission.
 
Oct 15, 2013
43
5
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I speak from experience when I say that it does not get any easier to go back to school even if your intention is only to take a year off. Study habits get rusty and you begin to enjoy the luxury of free time. I would have preferred to go straight through but I took a detour to pursue another career path for a while. Now with a husband and three kids...it's tough! Not saying that is you but I do agree with what the other posters are saying. If you have applied and you get offered a spot, take it if OT is indeed what you would like to pursue! Turning down offers might look strange or appear indecisive to an admissions coordinator next year!
 
Dec 23, 2013
98
13
Portland, Oregon
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I feel ya, I graduated in June- took a month off and started Bio, A & P. After my first finals for A&P, I had a breakdown. So much work. But I know that it is worth it so I can start my schooling as an OT and the sooner I finish then sooner I will be at my goal. I am going to keep pushing on.
 
OP
EquineAssistedTherapy
Dec 9, 2013
25
4
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Thanks guys so so so much for the reality check. I definitely just needed some perspective on the whole thing from people who have been there.
 
Jan 9, 2014
45
78
Status
DPT / OTD
Hi EquineAssistedTherapy! Just to play devil's advocate here, I think if you choose to take a gap year for the right reasons it could be an assett to you. A friend of mine was accepted to USC for OT school right after graduation and was able to defer her acceptance for a year in order to do a year of Americorps. She credits that year significantly with having a more matured mind set coming into grad school and for preparing her more for her career (as an OT at a high poverty school). I think if you use your gap year wisely to gain more medical experience or to gather some real world perspective it can only help you in the long run. I think it all depends on who you are. My younger sister went into pharmacy school straight out of undergrad and that worked for her. I ended up taking a gap year to volunteer (which then turned into 6 gap years ;) ) but that worked for me. If your only looking for a break to rest mentally (which a gap year will do)I would say go right into school, especially since you know what you want to do with your life. If you take the year with the intention to gather some adult experience outside of school, then I say go for it. Ultimately, you know what will be best for you. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: ExceptionalSea
Apr 14, 2013
54
5
NJ
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I'm with BLS614. I was forced to take a gap year this year because I had prereqs to finish and so far it's been very helpful! The way I look at it, I'm making money to put towards school and I'm gaining experience in the field which I can use in the future. A friend of mine went straight into grad school (Master's of Public Health) straight from undergrad and he's always talking about how burnt out he is. I honestly think each path has pros and cons. If you're able to defer any potential acceptances and are able to use your time off wisely, I say go for it! Grad school is extremely difficult and you definitely want to go in with the right mindset.
 
Dec 29, 2013
12
4
Actually, I disagree with the majority. I graduated undergrad Spring 2013 and my program started just a few weeks after graduation. I had a really rough summer and felt totally brain dead.

Most people in my program took years off to make a lot of money and be at a better position, financially, before applying to grad school. Luckily, my parents pay for grad school and my apartment, but most people are not this fortunate.
What's the rush? You have your whole life to work. If you are going to be in a lot of student debt by going to an expensive school, I don't think it's a bad idea to put it off and reapply to somewhere cheaper.

If you get into your dream school, then maybe you should just rally and start right away. But if you aren't 100% sure of the schools you were accepted to, don't throw yourself in debt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NicMOT and mgeagle
Aug 11, 2013
140
54
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Actually, I disagree with the majority. I graduated undergrad Spring 2013 and my program started just a few weeks after graduation. I had a really rough summer and felt totally brain dead.

Most people in my program took years off to make a lot of money and be at a better position, financially, before applying to grad school. Luckily, my parents pay for grad school and my apartment, but most people are not this fortunate.
What's the rush? You have your whole life to work. If you are going to be in a lot of student debt by going to an expensive school, I don't think it's a bad idea to put it off and reapply to somewhere cheaper.

If you get into your dream school, then maybe you should just rally and start right away. But if you aren't 100% sure of the schools you were accepted to, don't throw yourself in debt.
I agree with how2dresswell completely, I am going to have to take huge loans for the program I am going into next fall BUT I can't wait to become an OT and the thought of burnout hasn't even come across my mind. Shoot I am even taking 21 hrs this semester so I can finish my Bachelor's on time so I start OT school in the fall. However several of the therapists that I was blessed to volunteer and shadow under were people who did not even start OT school until 5 or more years after they had earned their undergraduate degree. I also found these therapists had a unique advantage on their colleagues that went to OT school right after undergrad. This advantage being valuable life experiences that helped them better establish rapport with patients (WHICH IS VITAL FOR OT!), and helped them perform their role in the therapy department efficiently by means of maximizing useful skills and traits earned from the gap years between undergrad and OT school. If you are not 100% about going to OT school maybe consider some time off if this burnout situation genuinely has you constantly sweating bullets, and you have a productive plan to use that time to keep or improve yourself as a valuable candidate for OT school down the road, rest your mind while still keeping it active, and improve upon your current life situation, particularly from a financial standpoint.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ExceptionalSea