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Physics major taking a 1 year break between undergraduate and graduate school?

  1. Oct 5, 2014 #1
    I am a physics major currently scheduled to graduate next May. However, I want to take a 1 year break before going on to graduate school. What are some worthwhile things that I can do during that 1 year break? I definitely want to do something/ or join a program that is travelling-related without having to pay the expenses. I am looking for helpful suggestions. Thanks!
     
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  3. Oct 6, 2014 #2

    Choppy

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    A lot depends on why you're taking that break and what you deep as "worthwhile."

    If you just need a break, take some time and look into some work-travel programs that are aimed at younger people. Make sure to crack the books open once in a while though, as your brain can atrophy. You could also consider something like military service, although that generally comes with a commitment of more than a year if you plan to do it full time, and it's not for everyone.

    If you're looking to boost your graduate school application, then it's probably best to take a few extra courses or try to get some research experience as a lab assistant.
     
  4. Oct 6, 2014 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    Choppy is right. If you're willing to go for two years, there's the Peace Corps.
     
  5. Oct 6, 2014 #4

    OldEngr63

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    Think very hard about this. Time away from school at that point can be very difficult to overcome. I took a year away (to work) after an MS, and I decided rather quickly that if I did not go back quickly, I would never finish a PhD. We are all susceptible to developing other interest and commitments (a spouse, a house, a boat, etc.), so .... think very hard about it.
     
  6. Oct 13, 2014 #5
    Just to add my own thought here... I recently started grad school. I hadn't seen math in almost 3 years (because I tested out of classes and took some early) and now math is by far my hardest class. By putting a year between you and grad school, you are going to make every class that much harder.
     
  7. Oct 13, 2014 #6

    e.bar.goum

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    I started my PhD right after undergrad (well, I took a break of about 2 months), but some of my peers took a year off, or more. Honestly, I don't think it makes any difference.
     
  8. Oct 14, 2014 #7

    vela

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    I don't think a year will make much of a difference if you actually learned the material the first time around. It may not be right at your fingertips, but it comes back quickly.

    I agree with OldEngr63. That year off can easily grow into several years or never.
     
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