To defer, or not to defer, that is the question..

nateholman

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    Hey folks. SO, I have this dilemma (albeit a good one.) I have been accepted to medical school, but I am feeling really burned out on school right now. I don't think I've learned much this whole year, and I can't bring myself to do much of anything school-related. For example, I've had 3 days to study for finals, and I've done about 30 minutes of review! Pathetic! Anyway, the school I am probably going to accept tells me that I can defer without any extreme excuses i.e. I can tell them I just want to relax for a year and play video games or whatever. I am sooo tempted to do this! I am graduating with a degree in biology and think I could just get a lab job for a year, save some money, do some traveling, learn to play the guitar, date more (hopefully:) etc.. I haven't done much of these things over my undergrad career and would like to have some time to "stop and smell the roses." However, I'm not sure. Everyone I talk to and ask opinions of seems to share similar feelings: nobody is sure. There are pros and cons to either decision. Any ideas? I wish I could wait the whole summer to see if I am recharged enough to just begin school in the fall, but the school wants to know in about a month or so. THANKS and good luck to you guys in your endeavors!
     
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    pseudoMCAT45

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      agree with nonesuchgirl

      go to school in the fall, find a job now n work all u want since u already got ur golden ticket, date ur co-workers while ur at it..... abt the guitar... find some of ur favorite songs tabs online its easy.

      good luck
       
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      nonesuchgirl

        SEE, this is what I'm talking about! One person says yay, another nay! Split right down the middle! That's exactly what my thinking is right now as well! Arghhhhhh!

        You're wussing out right now. Senioritis, maybe.

        Take a deep breath, tell school you'll be there, finish out the year. Have a vacay but don't rot out your brain.
         

        nateholman

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          You're wussing out right now. Senioritis, maybe.

          Take a deep breath, tell school you'll be there, finish out the year. Have a vacay but don't rot out your brain.

          You could be right about wussing out...hehe. But, it's not completely the idea that I can't handle school. I think I can probably be ok and survive. Its just the thought that I could take a different path for a bit and branch out in life. I don't think I've had as much fun as others in undergrad, and I also feel like I could perhaps be even more gun-ho in a year and thus be more productive in the long run. But, school is important to me also....
           
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          nonesuchgirl

            You could be right about wussing out...hehe. But, it's not completely the idea that I can't handle school. I think I can probably be ok and survive. Its just the thought that I could take a different path for a bit and branch out in life. I don't think I've had as much fun as others in undergrad, and I also feel like I could perhaps be even more gun-ho in a year and thus be more productive in the long run. But, school is important to me also....
            You should have thought about that before you applied.

            Harsh, I know, but there are kids who are applying for the 2nd time that have known forever this is it no doubt and you may have taken their spot.

            Medschool doesn't equal the end of life as you know it. You can still have a life.
             

            Ashers

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              I took a year off only because I had to (took the MCAT after I graduated). I worked during that year as a phlebotomist. While I like where I am now, in some ways, I wish I hadn't taken 5 years in undergrad and a year off.

              It was SO hard adjusting to school after a year off.

              It's a little surprising that the school will let you defer for basically any reason, usually it seems to be only in extreme circumstances.

              Just out of curiosity, after previous years in college, did you never feel burnt out and ready for summer? I usually felt ready for summer vacation right after spring break. If you do NOTHING related to studying over summer, you'll probably be ready to start med school.
               

              ZagDoc

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                I went straight from graduation in May to matriculation in August. In between I traveled europe, got shoulder surgery, and even went on a few roadtrips around the continental US. There is plenty of time to "recover" even if you're going straight from undergrad to med school. By the time August rolled around I was chomping at the bit to get started again.

                There is a lot of truth to those that say its hard to get back into school mode after time off as well. I've heard people say that countless times.
                 

                moe_4eva

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                  No doctor I have ever spoken with that has taken a year off has regretted it, and almost every one recommended I take a year off and do something fun, since it's technically the last chance you'll have to do it.

                  I was "forced" to take a year off since I wasn't accepted. It's definitely been nice, although I haven't had a lot of time to do the things I want since I had to work/fill in the gaps in my app/etc. I actually applied for a deferral this year for some personal/financial reasons, but was denied.

                  If you think you can take it easy this summer and travel/have fun and relax, then there is no reason you can't matriculate this fall. But if you think it will truly hurt your education, then by all means take a year off. Just remember though that it is harder to get back into the groove when you're used to not studying.

                  My 2 pennies.
                   
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                  nogolfinsnow

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                    If you do take a year off, how are you going to afford it? Finding a job for just 1 year might be kind of tricky. Will you be able to pay rent, buy groceries, and still have time to travel, date, etc?

                    I had two years off after college, basically forced b/c medicine was a late college decision for me. I absolutely loved it b/c I had a good research job, but I was also ready for it in terms of having the financial aspects squared away. In contrast to a previous poster, I did not find it difficult at all to get back into school mode after time off.

                    I like the advice some people have given here; just try to live it up this summer and you'll be ready to roll in August. But if you really want the year off and have the means to do it then I don't see any great reason why you shouldn't defer.
                     

                    nateholman

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                      Thanks for the thoughts/opinions. I'm not real sure still....but at least I can see that my thought process isn't totally abnormal. I guess there are pros and cons for every decision. I don't really agree that I am in some way stealing a more dedicated student's position as an above poster said...I'm just tired, that's all. It really wouldn't matter if I had been studying ballet or basket weaving or astronomy for the last four years. I'm just worn out, period. I still love the idea of becoming a doctor and have worked very hard to achieve the position I'm in. Thanks for the thoughts and ideas!!!
                       

                      nateholman

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                        I took a year off only because I had to (took the MCAT after I graduated). I worked during that year as a phlebotomist. While I like where I am now, in some ways, I wish I hadn't taken 5 years in undergrad and a year off.

                        It was SO hard adjusting to school after a year off.

                        It's a little surprising that the school will let you defer for basically any reason, usually it seems to be only in extreme circumstances.

                        Just out of curiosity, after previous years in college, did you never feel burnt out and ready for summer? I usually felt ready for summer vacation right after spring break. If you do NOTHING related to studying over summer, you'll probably be ready to start med school.

                        I haven't had a summer off for a couple years as I have taken summer classes. I guess it has just been progressive; the first summer I didn't feel as burnt out as the second, and now I feel extremely burned out!
                         

                        wjin06

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                          I was in the same boat and am planning to defer. I've spoken to tons of med students, professors, doctors, and deans of a few schools. Every single person I spoke with recommended taking a year off, even if you're not burnt out. Some people I spoke with took a year off and loved it, others wished they had taken a year off, and still others knew people who took a year off and thought it was a great idea.

                          Obviously, taking a year off then applying would've made the most sense since you would've had a stronger app, wouldn't have had to worry about the hassle of deferring, and wouldn't be taking someone's spot (though I'm not sure how accurate this really this..at my school, I think I'm taking the spot of someone who would be matriculating my year anyways so it wouldn't make a difference). In any case, life happens and you realize later that you should've waited to apply.
                           

                          Rikkye

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                            Currently in my year off, let me tell you, there's nothing like it. I'm a couch potato and hey, I've earned it (so get off my back). And it's a great feeling knowing that you can be this lazy and yet you still get to go to med school the following fall, get my drift?
                             

                            veaselhaufen

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                              I haven't had a summer off for a couple years as I have taken summer classes. I guess it has just been progressive; the first summer I didn't feel as burnt out as the second, and now I feel extremely burned out!

                              Nate! It's me! Come to germany! We'll find you a wife along the way.
                              Don't worry about school man, I haven't studied crap for finals either.. and my grades still matter!!
                               

                              nateholman

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                                Nate! It's me! Come to germany! We'll find you a wife along the way.
                                Don't worry about school man, I haven't studied crap for finals either.. and my grades still matter!!

                                Ha ha! So funny we're on here! I should be studying dang it! Germany would be sweet! I watched the Miss Universe pageant a while back; Miss Germany was so cute! Maybe she's available.....But all I know in German is "danka shane." Hmmmm...don't know if that's gonna be enough to win her over. Seriously though, I have no idea what the crap I'm doing right now.
                                 

                                futuremd1234

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                                  Without a doubt, defer! Like some of the other people who posted, I was also forced to take a year off because I wasn't accepted straight out of college. I was very against taking time off..."I'm mature enough, I'm sure I want to be a doctor"...sound familiar? Taking a year off is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm currently working full-time in a lab but I have a ton of free time to work out, see my family and friends, and just live. As premeds, our whole lives have been focused on the next step...good college, good med school, etc. Take a year to get to know yourself, catch up on reading, do whatever makes you happy. Sure, med school doesn't mean giving up your whole life, but it does mean giving up a lot of it. And honetly, being a doctor at 26 vs. 27 means nothing (unless you have financial issues of course). PM if you have any more questions or want some more advice. As you can tell, I have a strong opinion about this issue! :)
                                   

                                  secret25

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                                    I'm taking a year off because I really feel like it. I hung out with some people during their one to two years off before both medschool and law school, and not one person I've met has advised me to go straight into it. Med School may not be the end of life, but when will you ever be this carefree again? Who know what will happen while you're in Med School, and I imagine it's a lot harder to take a year off between Med School and residency. I'm getting an internship for the summer, then staying around home for the fall, working for a semester, hopefully going to interviews, etc, and then moving abroad in the spring to hopefully learn some spanish and really enjoy an experience i will never have again. it's not for everybody, but if you're considering it, even though it may be hard to get back in the groove, i've never heard of anybody regretting it. that's my two cents.
                                     
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                                    ayeaye

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                                      Maybe my story is a litte different because I was applying in my year off. But I did not enjoyy this gap year at all. I had a research assistant position. But a lot of times at work I had nothing to do. I really did not like my work and felt that I completely wasted my year instead of doing something more productive, like studying to get a degree. I am not sure how much you value productiveness but I value it a lot maybe thats why it turned out to be a bad idea for me. I am very happy to be accepted to medschool and I can't wait to start doing something that I feel is important. Anyway good luckkk to youu!!
                                       

                                      nateholman

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                                        Well, thanks for all your opinions! I tallied up the vote, and it looks like its a tie-5 to 5! Suck! Not that I was going to throw my whole destiny to the vote of SDNers, but I thought I could be swayed a little one way or another. I guess it's just a really hard choice with a lot of different factors. I guess I'll wait a month and see how I feel then.....:)
                                         

                                        abesha

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                                          defer but have a plan for the year. chillin for a year is great, chillin for a year while your broke not so great. your about to start a long hard grind and if you feel burnt out and can defer, defer.
                                           

                                          TheRealMD

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                                            Hey folks. SO, I have this dilemma (albeit a good one.) I have been accepted to medical school, but I am feeling really burned out on school right now. I don't think I've learned much this whole year, and I can't bring myself to do much of anything school-related. For example, I've had 3 days to study for finals, and I've done about 30 minutes of review! Pathetic! Anyway, the school I am probably going to accept tells me that I can defer without any extreme excuses i.e. I can tell them I just want to relax for a year and play video games or whatever. I am sooo tempted to do this! I am graduating with a degree in biology and think I could just get a lab job for a year, save some money, do some traveling, learn to play the guitar, date more (hopefully:) etc.. I haven't done much of these things over my undergrad career and would like to have some time to "stop and smell the roses." However, I'm not sure. Everyone I talk to and ask opinions of seems to share similar feelings: nobody is sure. There are pros and cons to either decision. Any ideas? I wish I could wait the whole summer to see if I am recharged enough to just begin school in the fall, but the school wants to know in about a month or so. THANKS and good luck to you guys in your endeavors!

                                            You're not burned out, you have senioritis. I have it too. I think you'll be good in the fall. 2 months of freedom will clear your mind.
                                             
                                            defer! this has been the best year of my life. you'll never get the chance again. but i agree with the others; it wouldn't have been so awesome if i was working at best buy or something. i love my job!!
                                             

                                            clearmysix

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                                              I took this year off to apply and work. I'd say your year would be way less stressful since you are deferring. I did, however, have a great time surfing, working, volunteering, partying, and relaxing(once accepted)!

                                              Take the year for yourself in a nice location and prepare to have no responsibilities...

                                              PM me if you are looking for the most relaxing one year job in biotech that pays well in La Jolla.
                                               

                                              dreams

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                                                take time off for sure, a lot of people on here will say dont, but 1. they are prob pissed that you got in and they didnt and now they think you should go bc you might have taken their spot, BLAH, or 2. they think that anyone who wouldnt go right away cant be serious enough to go at all, BLAH. I say take the time, you will learn more about yourself, get refreshed and thus this will make you a better student, person, and perhaps doctor. If you are tired now it wont get better if you go to med school in the fall, take the time, you wont regret it!!!
                                                 

                                                nateholman

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                                                  Well, it looks like its 9-6 in favor of deferring now! This is now becoming helpful as it seems the general feeling is that deferring could be great. I would be probably working in a lab for a year, so it wouldn't be unproductive. Plus, I'd be living with my brother perhaps who is my best friend in the world, so that's a definite pro! The only seemingly negative thing would be that I am not taking a big step forward in terms of career goals. Thanks again for all your input!
                                                   

                                                  JMedical08

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                                                    Well, it looks like its 9-6 in favor of deferring now! This is now becoming helpful as it seems the general feeling is that deferring could be great. I would be probably working in a lab for a year, so it wouldn't be unproductive. Plus, I'd be living with my brother perhaps who is my best friend in the world, so that's a definite pro! The only seemingly negative thing would be that I am not taking a big step forward in terms of career goals. Thanks again for all your input!


                                                    I say take a year off but make the absolute most of it, once you start the medicine path, it won't end for a while. If you make the most of it and fulfill some of your non-medical life's goals, you won't ever regret it, just don't blow it, you know?

                                                    You'll be a doctor eventually and one year later won't make much of a difference with regard to your career, but imagine how much you could get out of a year off.
                                                     

                                                    illixir

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                                                      The school I'm planning on matriculating also allows you to defer for a year for pretty much anything decent. I thought about it as well and it's even worse in my situation since I graduate June 20 and this particular med school has its first day July 10. For me personally though I couldn't see any real benefit I'd derive from a year off that would outweigh having to start a year later. I think with the long summer especially in your case, you'll have enough time to travel and just relax without studying to be ready for school in august. Especially if you dont even know what type of job you'd get for next year as it can be tough, and much moreso if you let them know you have no intention of staying more than a year.
                                                       

                                                      IssaErie

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                                                        Hey guys,

                                                        How does one go about finding out information on deferring from schools? I've been accepted, and I can't seem to find information ANYWHERE on their website. Is it something I actually have to call the office about?
                                                         
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