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COVID-19 gap year

ochuegoochuego 13 replies4 threads Junior Member
Hello, I'm a Pomona college '22 (likely now '23) student on the chemical engineering track with Harvey Mudd. When they announced that fall was to be online, and that my study abroad program was cancelled, I decided to take a gap year. I was staying with my parents in Texas, but I found a good full time job reviewing medical reports in San Dimas, CA so I rented an apartment (1 bed/ 1 bath to myself) and moved to CA as an actual resident. My parents were reluctant to let me go, because they think me taking this time off will prevent me from finishing my studies. Eventually they relented, and I moved into my new apartment. However, a lot of my friends jokingly have called me a college dropout and some of my old professors who I still talk to tell me that a gap year usually leads to students not wanting to go back to school because "life gets in the way". Also, I've been told by older people that it is better to get school done before working or else I might continue my job or the rest of my life.
Not to mention, I won a scholarship for study abroad, but I think I should cancel it, because a year and 1 semester off seems like too much from what I'm hearing. What are your views of my gap year and the study abroad scholarship, should i contact the agency that I'm no longer interested in studying abroad?
Also, its too late to cancel the gap year since I signed a lease, but did I make the right move? I feel like i cant do engineering online, especially in my household with my mentally disabled sibling.
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Replies to: COVID-19 gap year

  • vpa2019vpa2019 800 replies22 threads Member
    edited September 17
    I think your decision to take a gap year is well thought out and planned. Don’t let your friends and professors dissuade you from your choice. You sound like a smart, organized and focused student. Taking 6 months off (which is really what constitutes an academic school year) from your studies will not derail your life goals.

    I also agree that studying engineering online is less than optimal. Hopefully by Fall 2021 college academics will be closer to “pre-covid” delivery and at worst, if classes are still online, professors will have a year of online teaching experience under their belts and delivery will be improved.

    As far as your study abroad, I would recommend taking sone time to consider whether you still want to go and to see if the program will be available next Fall. Covid has caused so many opportunities to be in flux. Alternatively you could see if you could study abroad Spring 2022.

    Also thought you might find this article interesting.


    “The thought of taking a year away from school scares many parents says Brody. But research from Middlebury College suggests that a gap year can be academically beneficial. According to a study by Robert Clagett, the school’s former dean of admissions, 90% of students return to college within a year, and their GPAs are higher than students who didn’t take a gap year by 0.1 to 0.4 on a 4.0 scale.”
    edited September 17
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  • ochuegoochuego 13 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Very insightful. Thank you
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