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To take a year off or no?

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ilovebiology

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So I'm having some issues deciding whether I should take a year off or not. It will make my application stronger by having another year of volunteering, research and lots of shadowing. Otherwise I will be applying with a year of volunteering, no research, and barely any shadowing. I was planning on applying next july-ish, but I think I'm going to be burnt out on school, and the MCAT (since I will be taking it sometime in the summer, possibly end of May). So here's my question...should I wait another year to apply to build my application and not have to stress trying to get LOR's, shadowing, and such in all within a year? It seems like an almost obvious question to what most of you will probably respond with, but I just want some reassurance and encouragment that this might be the better way to go. :D
 

dw2158

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So I'm having some issues deciding whether I should take a year off or not. It will make my application stronger by having another year of volunteering, research and lots of shadowing. Otherwise I will be applying with a year of volunteering, no research, and barely any shadowing. I was planning on applying next july-ish, but I think I'm going to be burnt out on school, and the MCAT (since I will be taking it sometime in the summer, possibly end of May). So here's my question...should I wait another year to apply to build my application and not have to stress trying to get LOR's, shadowing, and such in all within a year? It seems like an almost obvious question to what most of you will probably respond with, but I just want some reassurance and encouragment that this might be the better way to go. :D

i am one of SDN's biggest proponents of time off, so take this advice with a grain of salt. TAKE AT LEAST A YEAR OFF! my life is so much better and happier for having taken 2 years to emotionally prepare for med school (even though my app would have been fine coming out of college).

the stuff i bolded is the stuff you should really think about as far reasons to take your time.
 

Mattabet

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I took a year off and loved it, you very well may too. If it'll strengthen your application and give you some time to vacation / decompress / live like a human being before medical school, it'd definitely worth looking into.
 

Narmerguy

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Take the time :thumbup: No reason to rush through the thing.
 

Jolt21

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i am taking two years off. was always going to take at least 1, but, like everyone said, life is so much better if you don't rush into things. i have grown as a person, gotten a chance to pursue some hobbies/dreams outside of medicine, done things i wouldn't have time for in med school, gotten mentally and physically prepared for med school, and all that basic stuff (resume building, making sure medicine is the right path, networking, etc.).

an anesthesiologist told me best about the medical field when he said, "take time off or work 9-5 before you start working hard for the rest of your life."

the only negative i can say, is that that the real world sometimes sucks. bills, rent, looking for a job, etc. but once you figure all that out, it's pretty fantastic.

"A truly happy person is the kind who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."
 
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