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Taking a year off

  1. Apr 25, 2006 #1
    so, i dunno who knew my plans or not, but in 4 weeks i'm moving to arizona. i'll be working at a summer camp there till the end of july, then i dunno what. i was hoping to get into ASU, but today i called and asked them if i got in, and they said my GPA wasn't high enough. :frown: i'll submit my grades at the end of this term, but my hopes are slim. so, now i'm seriously facing taking time off from school. i'm definitely still moving (i can't wait!!) but since i won't be attending the major university, i have the options of community college, or possibly just working. i'm super bummed about not going to school next semester, but secretly, i'm not too dissapointed. i did want to take time off.

    anyway, i'm 18, finishing up my soph year at uni in physics and math, and i'm just trying to figure out what to do with myself. hosam is really nervous about me taking time off, he says i wont come back. my family would also much rather see me in school. plus, if i don't go to school full time this fall, i have to start paying off my school loans, (which are already something like 30k-40k) but, on the more positive side, i've been horrible stressed with schoolwork, and i feel way younger than all my peers, and i'd really like some time to mature and develop before forcing myself back into my very rigorous studies.

    so has anyone else taken time off? or plan to? or considered and and decided not to? what're your thoughts? i'm trying to be optimistic cause i was crying when i found out i didn't get in. i'm gonna try to keep my grades up just in case they'll still accept me, but i want to really make plans just in case.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2006 #2

    Math Is Hard

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    I don't recommend it.

    I took a year off after my Freshman year. I thought it would only be a year, anyway. It was 15 years before I went back.
     
  4. Apr 25, 2006 #3

    cronxeh

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    quit screwing around and get your grades up. thats what im at 21 working full time realizing and telling your nubcake ass. QUIT SCREWING AROUND
     
  5. Apr 25, 2006 #4

    Astronuc

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    Yeah, I took time off to work and earn money, and think about things. Then I was single with little responsibility, except to help my family (parents and siblings). So I worked, saved money, relaxed, read, thought and ended up changing majors. It put me a few years behind, but I did get a BS and MS in nuclear engineering, started on a PhD, quit and got a job, which took me to various places in Europe and Asia, as well as all over the US, and I am one of the top experts in my field in the world. :biggrin: I've done a lot of cool stuff - and got paid to do it. :tongue2:
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2006
  6. Apr 25, 2006 #5
    i know most people think its a bad idea to take a year off, but i have little choice. if i don't get it, i don't get in. i didn't apply anywhere else cause i figured if i didn't get in, i'd take a year off.

    MIH, why did you take so long to go back? do you regret it? why did you take time off to begin with?

    i'm only 18, without time off, i'm looking to graduate at 20, i can afford a year or two or 5 off without being set back much in the grand scheme of things. i know i've slacked, but the more i think about it, the more i don't think i'll stop slacking any time soon. if i just push through, i'll come out with a degree sure, but i won't have learned much and i'll have pretty horrible grades. if i take time off i'm hoping to get things straightened out, grow up a bit, and buckle down some. then i can come back ready to really learn and do well.

    anyway, astronuc turned out pretty good eh?
     
  7. Apr 25, 2006 #6

    FredGarvin

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    Just out of curiosity...who has been paying your school bills up to now? Have you been paying your own tuition?
     
  8. Apr 25, 2006 #7
    its all in loans. which, like i said, i'll have to start paying off if i don't continue as a full time student. mum and dad pay their share, but with my kid brother and sister starting college in the next year or two, my parents aren't gonna support me so much. thats part of the reason i was trying to rush through everything and graduate, but i don't know if its worth it any more. i am worried that if i have to start paying bills, i may be forced to work a lot, and then work more when i get back to school, or maybe even take more time off just to save up. thats my biggest concern right now. i also considered americorps, but cause if you join them, they defer your loans, and then after a year, i can get back into school, and wait till i graduate before paying them off, as planned.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2006 #8

    Gokul43201

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    Why can't you continue where you're at (as opposed to continuing at some other school) ?
     
  10. Apr 25, 2006 #9

    brewnog

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    Do it Gale.

    I didn't, (I went straight from school to uni to work) and I'm bitterly regretting not having had a year out. I chose not to for the same reasons people are telling you not to, but if you've got the discipline to get back into learning (if you want to!) then you really should go and have some time out, especially since you don't really know what you want to do with your life!

    Just make sure that your time off is well spent, doing something productive, with an end plan in sight (even if you end up changing it).
     
  11. Apr 25, 2006 #10

    Astronuc

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    You have to do what's right for you.

    In the Grand Scheme of things, it'll work out. :cool: o:) Besides we'll keep you on track. :biggrin:
     
  12. Apr 25, 2006 #11

    cronxeh

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    Gale.. just dont get a sailboat, a baggy of Jamaica's finest and sail off to uninhabited islands of Fiji. You'd be out of school for decades.. heck.. the time becomes a void, I suppose :rolleyes:
     
  13. Apr 25, 2006 #12

    Moonbear

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    Gale, it's no longer very uncommon for students to take a year off. Given the financial difficulties you've mentioned here from time to time, it might be the best thing for you to spend a year working. It'll give you some time to really figure out what you want to do with your education, and some time to earn some money, which not only will help pay for that education, but also just take off some of that added stress you always have from trying to scrape to make ends meet. You'll be better able to focus on your studies when you return if you don't have to worry about whether you're having ketchup packets for dinner.

    As MIH indicated, yes, there are some people who take time off and don't go back, or don't go back for a long time. Give that some thought too.

    I took a year off between college and grad school, and am very glad I did. When I started grad school, I was very certain it was the right choice for me, and a year of working 8-5 was absolutely delightful in between...it felt like a vacation for me after all the things I crammed into my schedule when I was in college, and it meant I started grad school feeling refreshed, and with some savings back in my bank account, so I also wasn't struggling as badly as many grad students do on the measly stipend they get. When I took that year off, people also warned me that "if you do, you'll never go back." My view of that at the time was that if I still really wanted it after a year off, I'd go back, and if I lost interest and didn't go back, then it would be because I really wasn't that interested in what I had planned to do, and that would be a good thing to decide before starting into it.

    Spend another month or two thinking it over. You already have a summer job lined up, and if you decide to continue with community college, you don't need to decide too far in advance, and if you decide to look for a job, there will still be plenty of time to do that too. In the meantime, start working on your resume and thinking about what sort of job you might do if you chose to do that. It'll help you decide if that's really what you want to do and if you have the skills you need for it, and it never hurts to have a resume ready anyway; even if you go to community college, you might still need a part time job.
     
  14. Apr 25, 2006 #13

    Math Is Hard

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    I started college a year early, like you, and after the first year I was disoriented and hated my major and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. And I was broke. And my a-hole father cut off my child support the second I turned 18, so that didn't help much. And I really, really wanted to live on my own and be independant, so I went to work. Real crap jobs at first, but it got better.

    It's a long story, but I sort of fell into a career. And while it was great, and I loved my work, the industry had some really rocky times during which I would find myself unemployed for extended stretches. I had a lot of trouble getting my resume past HR people who would see that I didn't have a degree and just throw my resume in the trash (no matter that I had tons of experience). Just for that reason I kinda wish I had stuck it out and gotten a degree, any degree!

    At most of the jobs I've had it was impossible to go to school at the same time because the hours were just ridiculously long. I finally went to work for a university where they don't pay a lot, but at least I have good hours and can go to school on nights and weekends, and sometimes even during the day. (I have the nicest bosses on the planet here.)o:)

    I guess I just don't want you to have to take the hard path, like I did. I would hate it so much if you got distracted and put off returning to school. And there are SO MANY distractions out there, believe you me. You have a lot of potential, and it would be heartbreaking to me if you lost focus and didn't do as much as you can with that wonderful brain of yours.
     
  15. Apr 25, 2006 #14

    Moonbear

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    Oh my gosh! MIH, you sound so much like you were just like Gale when you were younger!

    Gale, see, MIH turned out okay even despite all that rocky start...just don't wait 15 years to go back unless it's really what you want to do with your life! :wink:
     
  16. Apr 25, 2006 #15
    hehe, MIH is my hero! i wanna be like her when i grow up!

    which yeah, hopefully will be sooner than 15 years...

    i was looking into americorps programs, i figure if i get involved with that, then its a set time limit, and so there's much less temptation to take extra time off. i think thats what i'm leaning towards, but i dunno. i'm gonna really try to get my grades up this semester, and hopefully i can still get into asu. course, if i manage to get in, i have some big financial issues to take care of... but i dunno. no matter what i do its not going to be very conventional. i guess like moonbear said there isn't a whole lot to worry about right now, i'll try to give it some time. its just sorta crazy that i'm about to leave my home and family in 4 weeks and everything and i still have no idea what i'll be doing in 4 months. its scary really. i wanna do it, and i'm totally excited, but its pretty darned scary...
     
  17. Apr 25, 2006 #16

    cronxeh

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    yah maybe 15 years was nothing back in the 70's :devil:
     
  18. Apr 25, 2006 #17

    Astronuc

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    Moonbear and MIH have given excellent advice. In the end its up to oneself to decide. Anyway, we're here, of course, and feel free to talk us.

    Certainly you can practice math and physics here. Perhaps you might take a math and/or physics course at a local community college during the summer and maybe try ASU part time in the fall.

    Otherwise working and saving money would be worthwhile.

    Now's a good time to work on "i'm just trying to figure out what to do with myself." That's where I was in my junior year in university. I had seriously considered blowing it all off and heading for the wilderness in Alaska or elsewhere in the world. But after working for many months, I settled down and got serious.
     
  19. Apr 26, 2006 #18
    well I think I'm an expert in this field. I went to school at a community college for 5 years... I didn't really focus on fulfilling requirements, and just kept taking more classes that I was interested in. I was working two jobs during this time also, and I ended up getting 111 credits and paying for it all since community college is cheap! If I had an idea of what I seriously wanted to do, I would've left after 3 years, but I was content with doing what I was doing. Thinking too hard about the future and about what I wanted to do confused me, so I just took any class that caught my attention at the time. I was told that I would make a good physics major by a teacher that I really respect, so I decided to do what he said. I quit my jobs and got loans, and now I'm doing the whole physics thing. I don't regret spending so much time because I figure a career is a much longer timespan than career planning. The nice thing about a transfer curriculum is that it's much easier to get into a university which is part of the curriculum. Instead of taking time off, I just basically totally didn't give a crap about my gpa, or completing some sort of requirement list on the way to some degree for a period of time. It worked for me.

    If my old philosophy still controlled me, I'd tell you to just think this way; you are the master, and the school is your slave. You choose to go to school not to get a good job, but to enlighten yourself. Don't go to college to appease a master, make the school appease your interest. Don't burden yourself with a duty that you think you must fulfill. You're the type of person who will end up somewhere good, so don't worry about it, and you'll realize that you are already there. But that is not how I think now, now I'm trying to appease a master, mainly because i can't afford the tuition!

    If I was in your shoes, I'd go to community college and take fun classes which are easy to pass for a year and work to pay it while I go, then I wouldn't have to make loan payments, and I'd have a better shot for a transfer into ASU as long as I choose a community college in the same transfer curriculum. Don't listen to me though, listen to yourself, in fact, just forget I even wrote all of this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2006
  20. Apr 26, 2006 #19
    I think Hosam should move to Massachusetts, and you should stay at U-Mass.
     
  21. Apr 26, 2006 #20
    So instead of one person relatively secure and one in trouble, we have, two in trouble? I think thats fairly counterproductive..
     
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