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Schools Break from university

  1. Apr 13, 2008 #1
    I'm currently finishing up my third year of university, set to graduate in a year or year and a half with a B.S. in mathematics. I'd like to go on to graduate school, but I'm beginning to have serious reservations. Mostly I'm concerned that I will not be able to get into grad school; my GPA is only about 3.0 (the mitigating factor is that I've scored quite well on standardized tests in the past, and I'll probably do very well on the GRE). I've got no research experience, which seems to be almost a necessity. I've really been shooting myself in the foot these last three years--I know I can do better than I have, but I've simply been too irresponsible or unmotivated. I feel like even if I do go on to grad school, with this mindset, I'm only going to dig myself into an even deeper hole.

    So I've been thinking I'd like to take a break from school and get my act together. Would this hurt my chances for grad school even more? I've also heard people say it's really hard to get back to school when you've stopped for a while. Any relevant experiences with that? I've even been considering taking a break as soon as next semester. Would it be better to finish up my undergrad (probably at the same mediocre level of achievement I'm at now), then take a break? Or break now and, ideally, come back with one really good year of undergrad work to show that I'm now motivated and ready to work hard?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2008 #2
    If you're concerned about keeping up momentum in your studies it might be worth considering taking a year to work as an RA after you finish your BSc and while you're applying to graduate programs. Is there anyone at your current school who you think you might be useful to? It might be useful to approach some of your current professors and see if they can suggest a potential supervisor who might share your interests.

    I don't think I've met anyone who took time off from school who felt the experience wasn't worthwhile.... I took a year off between my MSc and PhD and I know a professor who took a year off between his BSc and PhD.
  4. Apr 13, 2008 #3
    It's possible I might find some work at my home uni. I think most of the RA and TA positions are reserved for grad students, which would seem to defeat the purpose of my break. It's something which bears further investigation though.
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