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Waiting on grad school?

  1. Apr 5, 2015 #1
    I'm a third year biochemistry major, minoring in mathematics and physics. When I finish this degree I'm going a cheaper public university to finish either an astronomy or physics degree because I think I want to do something solar-system related in terms of industry and/or research.

    But there are also several other things I want to do while I'm still relatively young. The first is spend a year teaching English in Japan (I studied abroad there for a semester and absolutely loved it). The second thing I would like to do is become a member of the Peace Corps or similar organization and dedicate at least two years to some cause elsewhere in the world, in a developing nation.

    My only concern is that this would set me back three years on graduate school. What are the pros/cons of this? I want the experiences above to enrich myself as a person and gain a greater understanding of the world outside of science and mathematics.

    Thanks,

    Colton
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2015 #2

    robphy

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    I think what is important is that...
    when you begin your graduate studies, you are prepared to dedicate your focus on them.
     
  4. Apr 5, 2015 #3

    Choppy

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    Taking a year off, maybe two is okay. Three is pushing it a little bit. By that time, people on graduate admissions committees will begin to wonder what you've been doing to keep your knowledge base and skills up to date. And your references might start to get out of date. It's important to take the time to do the things you want to do with your life, though. The key is that you need to have a plan for handling these issues.
     
  5. Apr 5, 2015 #4
    What if, to counteract what you just mentioned, I do those free (or almost free) online courses where they give out those certificates of completion just to show that I've been maintaining an active knowledge base in science and mathematics?
     
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