7 Reasons to Have a Gap Year before Grad School ...

Hey, if you are completing undergraduate work and wondering if you should have a gap year, join the club! The post-baccalaureate period is approaching - quickly! So, what's next? If you are not entirely sure, why not pause for a breather. If you need a little inspiration consider these reasons to have a gap year.

1. Breath

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Finishing undergraduate school can leave you feeling elated, exhausted and anxious! Any one of these will easily set your mind thinking that you should have a gap year. After all, you have been in school nearly nonstop since about age six. That is a lot of school time no matter how you slice it. It is entirely natural to feel as if you need a break.

2. Explore

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Once you are an official graduate (hooray!) you will have some time to relax a little. Think of this as your chance to experience life outside the box! Break out that bucket list you have been working on and skim through. How many items will you accomplish within the year? Challenge yourself! I'm in your corner, girl!

3. Experience

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You have been around the same crowds of people and expectations nearly every day for about 4 years. Switch it up a bit and hit the road. Encounter new people, experience new situations. While you are at it, add a few new life skills to your mental Rolodex. A girl who can repair an alternator or change her own oil is pretty badass.

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After graduation, take some time to learn a little about yourself, write your own rules. Put your education to the test in a different way in a new environment. Volunteer; give your time without restraint. Or go a completely different route: find paid work and save. We both know those future college expenses are waiting for you. Paid or unpaid, the work will boost both your résumé and graduate school application. Programs like YearOutGroup.org can help you plan your time.

5. Indulge

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Ok, so I know that you have a bucket list in progress – awesome – but do you have an overarching interest in a particular area? Politics? Cooking? Mountain biking? A twelve-month break is long enough to indulge yourself in that area! Who knows, you may even discover your passion while you are at it! The results may even lead you to our next point.

6. Legwork

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Completing your undergraduate career is no small feat! And if you graduate knowing exactly what you want to focus on in graduate school, good on you! If not, you are not alone and a gap year may help. Twelve months immersed in the culture and documents associated with your degree can help narrow your research interest. Familiarize yourself with those resources. You will need that knowledge later.

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Hey, those twelve months after graduation are your opportunity to do something grand. Get out of your comfort zone. Travel to a place where you can experience a new culture. Participate, absorb and, more importantly - give back! Be respectful and show your appreciation to the host culture for the experience. Along the way you will create wonderful memories. And we cannot wait to hear them!

Have fun no matter what you decide to do! Just remember to bring back loads of food details and we will call it even. :) Would you consider a gap year before re-entering college life?

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