what do ppl do in their year off?

<p>What do ppl do if they choose to take a year off? Why do they choose to take a year off (besides being burnt out. to boost their admissions?) I am switching from being a sci. major to a non-sci. major, but that worries me because if I'm not a bio major, then I won't be able to do research in my year off (since labs don't pick non-sci. majors). is there anything else besides research i can do in my year off to boost my admissions?</p>

<p>I took a year off because I wanted to experience real research. Doing research for 10 hours/wk as an undergrad was nice for med school apps but it simply wasn't the caliber of research that I wanted to do. So, now, I'm completing two projects on a NIH fellowship and our lab (at the NIH) is amazingly funded. My PI's pretty cool in that he gives post-bacs a lot of responsibility. In fact, I was (and still am) doing almost exactly the same thing our previous post-doc was doing.</p>

<p>If you have some upper level bio coursework and previous research experience, I don't think labs care what your major was.</p>

<p>NCG, how did you get involved with this NIH lab? Is it some sort of internship or you applied to this specific lab?</p>

<p>NIH</a> Postbaccalaureate IRTA Program</p>

<p>You can submit an application and 3 recs on the above site. Your application will go into a database for PI's to research. However, if you really want a position, you should be proactive and email PI's instead of waiting for them to search the database. I was fortunate to have two PI's contact me within 3 days of submitting the app (didn't even have any of my recs in yet) so I never had to do the emailing step. However, according to the site, the acceptance rate for this program is under 10% so if you want to ensure yourself a spot you should email potential research mentors. And, since this is the NIH, if you have any connections, now would be the time to use them.</p>

<p>Its says one must have had a bachelor degree for 2 years. In my opinion thats too long.</p>

<p>
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U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have received a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. college or university and who have held the degree for less than two years are eligible to apply.

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<p>Helpful link norcalguy - thank you. I will put this in the bookmarks for my daughter.</p>

<p>
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Its says one must have had a bachelor degree for 2 years. In my opinion thats too long.

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<p>Just the opposite. It says you cannot be more than 2 years out of college. This is a program for recent graduates.</p>

<p>So you dont need a B degree? I read some more, so there are two programs one for undergrad and one for grad.</p>

<p>anyway the locations are too far away from where i live.</p>

<p>My gosh, the exact quote was posted right there. Isn't the answer clear?</p>

<p>
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So you dont need a B degree? anyway the locations are too far away from where i live.

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<p>No...it's a program for recent college graduates, not recent college dropouts. You need a bachelor's but cannot have had the degree for more than 2 years.</p>

<p>Um...when you get out of college, you'll be around 22. It's okay to be more than 100 miles away from your parents at that age.</p>

<p>I see. thanks for the clarification.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I read some more, so there are two programs one for undergrad and one for grad.

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</p>

<p>The NIH is a training facility so the IRTA program includes recent college graduates, grad students, medical students, and post-docs. This is not formal employment but rather a scholarship/fellowship so post-bacs can only stay for 2 years max and post-docs for only 3 years (I think). That's why our last post-doc had to leave. His 3 years was up.</p>

<p>okay. enough about NIH. can people help answer my original question?</p>

<p>well if your GPA or MCAT need a little work you could take post-bac classes or retake the MCAT. </p>

<p>This is actually a question I'm really interested in, since all I've really heard of is research. Are going abroad, traveling, pursuing a passion, etc considered 'fluff?'</p>

<p>The only problem with abroad, provided you're doing something productive, is that you have to be reachable and able to travel at relatively short notice during the application process itself. So it's not a good idea for your application year, but otherwise can be good.</p>

<p>You do some grad school, but grad school grades won't significantly help you. You can get a master in teaching or something. There are also accelerated one year nursing programs, not saying many people go to nursing school before med school, just saying it's an option. Peace or AmeriCorp. NGOs... I think pretty much anything you're passionate about.</p>

<p>Yeah, don't get a vocational degree if you're not going to use it. But TFA, Peace Corps, Americorps are all good options.</p>