I'm currently at the stage where I need to decide whether to take a gap year or not. Before summer I was adamant that I would not take a year out but now I'm thinking it would be so worthwhile. I have citizenship to both New Zealand and Australia which makes it easy to travel/live/work over there, and I'd love to do some traveling around India afterwards.
By the way I am hoping to study medicine (just thought I would let you know incase it has any influence over your advice).
Does anyone have any advice on taking a gap year? Let me know what you did, and if you wish you had done something different or regretted taking one altogether?
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- Thread Starter
- 09-09-2015 00:36
- 09-09-2015 06:48
Im noe sure of how much help I can give you as Im not familiar with the English school system, but here we go!
I took a gap year myself. I worked for half a year, and then I went to California and traveled for half a year. Such a nice experience. You get to work which is an experience in itself, and you earn money you can use for traveling.
I would definetly recommend you to take a gap year as well. The medicine study is hard and long, and then you can start one year later with lots of motivation! If you want to have a year to travel and to experience something new, this is the year. after your studying you will probably start working right away, and then its harder to travel
Remember, you are young and you have time. And the medicine study will be there next year as well
Good luck with your decision!
- 16-09-2015 17:22
This sounds exactly how I was a year ago. I'd always assumed I'd take the usual path and go straight to uni to do medicine. However, my first advice would be to consider all options and not to underestimate yourself.
I spent two weeks in Tanzania with gap medics last summer and realised there was so much out there that I wanted to see. Medicine is a long course and I couldn't see a natural break in the studies and doctor lifestyle for a long time to come so I thought post A levels would be great for a gap year. I'm lucky to have had a couple of jobs for a few years so I have enough money saved up to spend the next 8 months travelling; I leave on October 1st for Peru and I'm terrified but I can't wait!
Check with the unis you want to apply to about the timing of deferring your application; my teacher told me to apply and defer later but I checked and most places won't accept that for medicine. I had a massive breakdown a few days before sending off my ucas because I was worried about messing up my future by choosing to do the wrong thing but I chose to defer and it's the best decision I ever made. I gained a deferred place at Southampton for medicine after much sweat and tears.
My advice is to go for it and take a year out, especially with the advantage of dual citizenship. While I'm jealous of all my friends starting the next stage of their life and unbelievably sad about not seeing them till may, I'm also hugely relieved at not having to jump straight into the constant lectures and exams so soon after A levels. I don't feel ready to take on medicine just yet and I'm so glad I've got a year to mature.
My aim for the year is to see the world, meet new people and experience other cultures. I'm spending 1 month in Peru, 2 in Argentina, 1.5 in India, 1 in Vietnam and 2 volunteering in Kenya. I'm travelling alone as I couldn't find a travel buddy which is scary but I think I've got enough common sense to travel safely. However, as a female solo 18 year old I decided to go with an organised group to India; I'm going with intrepid travel as they seemed to have the best price and a brilliant itinerary (the India unplugged trip). In Argentina, I'm spending one of the two months working on a ranch organised through helpx, where you work in return for accommodation and food and an insight into the culture and lifestyle there. In Kenya I'm volunteering with a charity called new ways run by a work friend of my mums and helping out in a nursery school and with a mobile health unit in turkana, an area in the north.
Sorry for the long reply, I just want to get the message across that you can do anything you set your mind to and a gap year could be amazing. I have a friend who is working for a year; it's been hard to find a job but she's got one at a golf club for the time being. There are so many options for a gap year and, although deferred places are hard to get at uni for medicine, it can be done. However I must say that if I had to reapply for medicine this year it would be difficult to travel while working around interviews etc.
Feel free to pm me any questions you have!
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