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February 18, 2010



I think your 'decision' sounds wonderful!, and I wish I could've taken a year off post-graduation. I just don't understand how people afford it?! Is it only for those whose parents support them? I feel like I see this a lot, and I always wonder - debt? or parental support?


Don't worry, I can't believe I will be graduating college so soon either! I tried to stay a kid, but apparently that is against the rules... Thanks for the decision making! I think I will take your advise! I made about a million pro/con lists and I have interrogated everyone I know to figure this out. I appreciate your help, especially since you have done both college and grad school. It is a great idea to make a list. Now to just figure out what to put on it!
I am one of those kids that pays for everything myself. Parental support equals zero in my world. I figure a little debt is worth it for an amazing year. I've never done any traveling or anything much worth talking about so this will be a great experience!!!!
Thanks again Mrs. Wallace!


Great advice, I'm totally for a gap year. I took a year off between college and law school and it helped a lot. It didn't change my mind about going to law school, but I felt better prepared.


I'm all for the Gap year (or two) they are popular in NZ actually. But we usually go travelling. If she's able to there are Working Holiday Visas for a lot of countries if you're under 30. She can definitely can to NZ - friend's of mine from Oregon did it! It means you can live and work here for a year. But I'm sure there are other countries too.


I'm pro-more than one gap year. What does Laura want to do, ultimately? I only took one gap year, and I should have taken many more. I dearly wish I had taken the advice I received frequently: "don't go to grad school until it's beating you over the head." That is, don't go until you have an insatiable urge to pursue it. There are lots of entry level jobs that are at least peripherally related to the sciences so that you can stay involved and interested. Talk to your profs and get their input.

Also, if you're going for zoo . . . go for an MS first unless you have LOTS of research experience and a clear project you want to work on. Speaking as one who mastered out of a PhD program, those doctoral things are not for the faint of heart. I would have been much better taking it slower.

Now, if you're going for a practical grad school thing (like an MSW), I'd still give it a year or two, and, again, make sure you're doing some kind of related work.

PS I wholeheartedly endorse NZ for a gap year. I went for a month during my gap year, and I wish I had gone for longer. I had no idea how easy it was to get a working visa there.

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