As undergraduate premed students, we face the question of whether or not we should take any years off between graduation and medical school. Here are five big reasons taking a year off would be beneficial.

ONE

I’m sure a mental break sounds good to any of us. As premed students, we need to be studious to stand out amongst others and naturally we tend to add a lot of extra responsibilities to our plates to do so. Having this mental break gives room for things outside of school that you wouldn’t have time to do otherwise like traveling, long-term programs, or even attending other unrelated classes.

TWO

Applying over the summer between junior and senior year means scheduling, preparing for, and attending interviews throughout senior year while still having the responsibility of attending and succeeding in classes. That can be a lot to handle, especially when the interviews might be at medical schools out of state. By applying at least a year later, you would be attending interviews with less of a time constraint during your year off as opposed to within your senior year.

THREE

Everyone knows medical school is ridiculously expensive, and many of us face the burden of being financially independent throughout medical school. Taking a year off would also give these students time to work and save money to go into medical school with some sort of a financial cushion.

FOUR

If your G.P.A. is not as high as you would like it to be, applying a year later would allow for another year of classes (those from senior year) to be a part of your final G.P.A. seen in your applications.

FIVE

If you just haven’t found the time by junior year to get as many volunteering hours as suggested or do research that you would like to have listed on your resume, taking a year off would alleviate this issue, giving you more time to fill your resume with applicable activities like these.

These are only five good motivations to take a year off between undergraduate and medical school, there are many more viable reasons one may have that vary from one individual to another. Whatever the case, what’s most important is to acknowledge that taking a year off will not necessarily remove you from a supposed “correct path” to medical school, but rather aid, enhance, or even facilitate your personal path and ultimately bring you there.