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Thinking about taking a year off after graduation

  1. Nov 6, 2013 #1
    This semester has been by far my busiest class-load and research wise. So the stress of getting all of the applications together for a grad school isn't exactly something I'm able to deal with with stride. On top of all that, its Nov. 6th and I'm still not 100% sure of what I want to do.

    I'm getting a B.S. in Physics and am looking at programs in Materials Science, Atmospheric Science, and maybe even Science Education. So for (1), I'm not sure of what I even want to apply for yet. For (2), I've look at the information some grad schools ask for on the application and they ask for your GPA on the last 60 hours of study. Since I'm applying before the last two semesters of my undergraduate career, this GPA will be a measly 3.16. This is because currently my last 60 hours includes one semester where clinical depression hit me hard and I failed most of my classes. It has since been successfully treated and I have been getting A's in all of my Physics classes. My thought is that if I do take a year off, I can input a GPA for the last 60 hours that does not include that bad semester.

    I've already taken the GRE and got a decent score on it so I don't need to do that.

    If I did take a year off I would probably have to stay at home with my parents and get a job which isn't the worst thing in the world but I'd have to make an effort to maintain a social life. Anyway, given this do you think it would be a good idea for me to take a year off? I'm going insane trying to figure out what I actually want to go into in a graduate program but with the huge work load I have from my current classes, it's making it increasingly hard. I know I do want to go to graduate school but in what is the problem.

    Thanks in advance for the responses.

    P.S. : Will taking a year off and getting a minimum wage job for the time being look bad when applying to physical science graduate programs?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2013 #2


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    Taking a yea off doesn't look that bad in my opinion. People take a year off for all kinds of reasons: travel, supporting family, dealing with health issues, "finding" themselves, and even figuring out what direction they want to go in.

    It will look a lot better if you spend the time you need to make a decision that you're happy with, than to jump into something you're not sure about. And, in the long run, I suspect the outcome will be much happier for you as well.

    The biggest issues with taking some time off to work are (a) getting used to a paycheque, and (b) getting rusty. But these are more of a concern from your own point of view. Admissions committees won't bat an eyelash at a year away from academia.
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