Seeking advice for gap year

<p>Hello, I am new to these forums, so please excuse me if this is a topic that has been discussed at length in the past. </p>

<p>Do graduate admissions committees want to know what I am doing during the year I am taking off between Undergrad and Graduate school? I am an English student, and my area of concentration is late 18th early 19th century-- it is very unlikely that I will get a "job in my field." I am planning to volunteer at a youth literacy program, and once I am done with preparing grad admissions, I will be looking for a full time job in publishing, editing, research or something else related to books. Also, I am trying to look into taking French or Latin classes, because my language foundation is not my strong point as a student. </p>

<p>I am just wondering how much it will matter, and what people think is the best way to spend a gap year? </p>

<p>If you do not want to respond directly to my situation, that is fine. Tell me what you are doing/ what you did during the time off you took between Undergrad and Grad. </p>

<p>Very Best,
Hope to hear from you,
AJS</p>

<p>If what you're doing in the gap year is relevant to your program, include it. Otherwise, it doesn't matter. Lots of students take one (or more) years off between undergrad and grad.</p>

<p>Agree with polarscribe: graduate admissions committees do not care whether or not there's been a gap year or how many gap years there have been. They are interested in what education and experience you have that make you a good candidate for their program, so if your gap year gives you any of that, then, of course, you would tell them about it.</p>

<p>I took a gap year between my undergraduate and graduate schools. I spent the year at an Americorps program working with at risk youths. My study (international relations) has nothing to do with my work, but I think the experience I got from working in the program was valuable in my graduate application and experience overall. First, it showed I didn't take the year off just to take a year off. I wanted some experience engaging with difficult issues. Second, I spent four years in college hitting the books hard, so my practical experience is limited. The year spent volunteering gives me a real world perspective. I learned to live on a very modest stipend (a very useful skill to have in grad school). I got to see first hand how difficult it is to make real changes, but how rewarding it could also be at the same time. Third, I also used the time to study for the GRE. You would be surprised how many vocab you can memorize in a year during the morning subway commute. </p>

<p>I highly recommend taking the year off before starting graduate school. It might not give you a noticeable boost in your application, but you will gain and grow a lot from the experience and be a better candidate, provided you spend the time doing something meaningful to you. I remember the draft of the application essay I wrote during my senior year in college and the one a year later. There was a lot less bright eye idealism and more circumspect reflection about what I can and can't do.</p>

<p>I am thinking getting a job for 1-2 years if I do not get accepted into the schools I want. However, most job offers come out during November or December, when I still have not applied to graduate schools yet! What should I do then? I will not be able to hear back from schools until March or April next year.</p>

<p>I would highly recommend working in publishing/ editing first. If you don't get a job in those fields, then volunteer or get an internship. In this economy, even college grads are getting internships to get their foot in the door/build new contacts. Get some work experience first, otherwise you might regret grad school after you graduate. I would also recommend studying abroad to fine tune those foreign language skills. Maybe you can go to France to study French. If you become fluent that will open so many doors for you.</p>