The Student Room Group

Should I take a gap year???

Hi,
I am applying for medicine (at QMUL, Kings, Liverpool & Birmingham) and i do not know whether or not to take a gap year (applying this year for deferred entry). The UCAS deadline is next Sunday and I'm stressing out about what to do.

I'm worried that it will be harder to make friends if I have a gap year as I'll be older than everyone else. I'm also worried that I'm just going to be so old by the time I actually qualify.

But I'm also worried that if I don't have a gap year, I won't be mature enough to enjoy the course and get as much out of it (this is what teachers have said).

Any advice or experiences either way (going straight to medicine or having a gap year) would be really great!!
A gap year is only 1 year. It is not going to make you that much older than everyone else. Plus there will be plenty of other gap year students or grads on your course. Its a non issue really.

Do you want to take a gap year? Do you feel like you want a break from education? Have you thought about what you would do in the year?
Reply 2
Original post by ForestCat
A gap year is only 1 year. It is not going to make you that much older than everyone else. Plus there will be plenty of other gap year students or grads on your course. Its a non issue really.

Do you want to take a gap year? Do you feel like you want a break from education? Have you thought about what you would do in the year?


I honestly don't know if I want one, for some reason my brain cannot come up with a definite answer. I think I'd do a volunteering project abroad which would be fun but I'm not sure about the rest of the year - I guess get a job. I'd love to travel but none of my friends are having a gap year and wouldn't want to do it alone - I guess that's probably the main reason I'm not loving the idea.
Honestly, once you're past sixth form no-one cares about what age you are. Also, if you're going into medicine you won't become any type of doctor until you're at least 26ish, it's an old proffesion, 1 year doesn't mean much when your career will be 40/50 years. If you want a gap year, have one.
Reply 4
Original post by PoliticsandP
Honestly, once you're past sixth form no-one cares about what age you are. Also, if you're going into medicine you won't become any type of doctor until you're at least 26ish, it's an old proffesion, 1 year doesn't mean much when your career will be 40/50 years. If you want a gap year, have one.


Haha, thanks - I guess I'll just have to man up and make some kind of decision.
Original post by daisy18000
I honestly don't know if I want one, for some reason my brain cannot come up with a definite answer. I think I'd do a volunteering project abroad which would be fun but I'm not sure about the rest of the year - I guess get a job. I'd love to travel but none of my friends are having a gap year and wouldn't want to do it alone - I guess that's probably the main reason I'm not loving the idea.


The thing is there is going to be no wrong answer here. A gap year isn't going to have any huge downsides (the age thing really doesn't matter). Like you say, you can get a job. Even if you can't go travelling, you can save up and have some financial cushioning for the next few years.
You're signing up for a hard degree. Having a year out of education can be a nice break and allows you to come in fresh.

People do go travelling alone. Or you could save up and get your friends to come during their long summer/easter breaks etc.
Reply 6
Original post by ForestCat
The thing is there is going to be no wrong answer here. A gap year isn't going to have any huge downsides (the age thing really doesn't matter). Like you say, you can get a job. Even if you can't go travelling, you can save up and have some financial cushioning for the next few years.
You're signing up for a hard degree. Having a year out of education can be a nice break and allows you to come in fresh.

People do go travelling alone. Or you could save up and get your friends to come during their long summer/easter breaks etc.


yeah, that's true, thank you
Original post by PoliticsandP
Honestly, once you're past sixth form no-one cares about what age you are. Also, if you're going into medicine you won't become any type of doctor until you're at least 26ish, it's an old proffesion, 1 year doesn't mean much when your career will be 40/50 years. If you want a gap year, have one.


Technically you can be a fully qualified doctor by 23.

But otherwise I completely agree
Original post by ForestCat
Technically you can be a fully qualified doctor by 23.
But otherwise I completely agree


People have actually been younger than 23. But thanks.
Original post by daisy18000
Hi,
I am applying for medicine (at QMUL, Kings, Liverpool & Birmingham) and i do not know whether or not to take a gap year (applying this year for deferred entry). The UCAS deadline is next Sunday and I'm stressing out about what to do.

I'm worried that it will be harder to make friends if I have a gap year as I'll be older than everyone else. I'm also worried that I'm just going to be so old by the time I actually qualify.

But I'm also worried that if I don't have a gap year, I won't be mature enough to enjoy the course and get as much out of it (this is what teachers have said).

Any advice or experiences either way (going straight to medicine or having a gap year) would be really great!!


Im taking a gap year as i miss the age cut off for all of my choices... honestly feel so fortunate to take one :smile: This could be the last time you could do something like this so it seems really worthwhile.
Reply 10
Original post by djdubzzy
Im taking a gap year as i miss the age cut off for all of my choices... honestly feel so fortunate to take one :smile: This could be the last time you could do something like this so it seems really worthwhile.


Yeah, I think I might to be honest. Do you know what you are going to be doing in yours (if you don't mind me asking)? & did you write about your plans for it in your personal statement (unless you're applying next year obviously)?
(edited 6 years ago)
Reply 11
i would advise you to take a gap year if you are having doubts , there are people that are quite old that go to uni as well ! there is never a 'too mature' age for univeristy , and you will always find friends whereeever you go
The volunteering idea sounds good for your gap year! I think you would have an enjoyable time and it would be quite rewarding for you. You can meet new people and it looks good on a CV or an application for future use. As for the rest of the year, you could get a job to raise extra money for university, or just travel.

In terms of starting university, lots of people take gap years and start university at different ages, so it definitely isn't something to worry about.
Original post by ForestCat
Technically you can be a fully qualified doctor by 23.

But otherwise I completely agree


*22 technically as you're being so pedantic
Reply 14
i would advise you to take a gap year if you are having doubts , there are people that are quite old that go to uni as well ! there is never a 'too mature' age for univeristy , and you will always find friends whereeever you go


thank you for the advice :smile:
Reply 15
Original post by cheesecakelove
The volunteering idea sounds good for your gap year! I think you would have an enjoyable time and it would be quite rewarding for you. You can meet new people and it looks good on a CV or an application for future use. As for the rest of the year, you could get a job to raise extra money for university, or just travel.

In terms of starting university, lots of people take gap years and start university at different ages, so it definitely isn't something to worry about.


thanks, yeah I'd definitely enjoy the volunteering :smile:
Original post by daisy18000
Yeah, I think I might to be honest. Do you know what you are going to be doing in yours (if you don't mind me asking)? & did you write about your plans for it in your personal statement (unless you're applying next year obviously)?

Im in the process of planning it now. I want to spend 3 months working/volunteering (something that links with medicine), then maybe getting a job for a bit . I also want to travel for a couple of months and just relax - before diving into a 6 year degree :P

As for my personal statement i didn't mention it (partly because i ran out of characters, and partly because its forced so i didn't think i needed to explain myself) but i will have a semi-solid plan ready by interview if they ask me
(edited 6 years ago)

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