Taking year off in college--does this need to be explained?

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Anonymous User
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Taking year off in college--does this need to be explained?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:28 pm

Hi all. I was hoping for the wisdom of the forum on something.

I took a year off in the middle of college (graduation is now a little over a year in the rearview) because I was unhappy. To be frank, I had a very public breakdown. There are no clear red flags that I can see in my file--there's a slight dip in grades, but nothing crazy; however, I thought that adcomms might default to viewing time off negatively. Is this something that I need to explain? I'm guessing I shouldn't go all the way and be like "I was a total nutjob," but I wonder whether I should say something.

I didn't do very much with my time off if you think this matters--worked in retail in a new city (not my hometown).

randomdandom
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Re: Taking year off in college--does this need to be explained?

Postby randomdandom » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi all. I was hoping for the wisdom of the forum on something.

I took a year off in the middle of college (graduation is now a little over a year in the rearview) because I was unhappy. To be frank, I had a very public breakdown. There are no clear red flags that I can see in my file--there's a slight dip in grades, but nothing crazy; however, I thought that adcomms might default to viewing time off negatively. Is this something that I need to explain? I'm guessing I shouldn't go all the way and be like "I was a total nutjob," but I wonder whether I should say something.

I didn't do very much with my time off if you think this matters--worked in retail in a new city (not my hometown).


I had a similar situation and it only came up in one interview. If it does come up, just say the truth - that you a medical issue and thankfully you're (presumably) 100% recovered with no ongoing problems.

DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT tell them you had a public breakdown. it is none of there business and they will never know unless you tell them.

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SumStalwart
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Re: Taking year off in college--does this need to be explained?

Postby SumStalwart » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:29 pm

Most of the schools that I am applying to asked me whether I had a break in my education (of 1+ terms). Which, as it happens to be the case, is true. Many of them urge an explanation. I figure that it's a gap in my application. Given that, I am going to submit an addendum to explain why I took a two year sabbatical from academics.

TL;DR: It's probably a good idea to explain the circumstances for your protracted break and what you did in the absence of formal academics.

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SumStalwart
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Re: Taking year off in college--does this need to be explained?

Postby SumStalwart » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:30 pm

Try to spin it in as positive a light as possible. They can tell that you have a gap in your academic career-- it's just another question that will be left open on your application. Talk about the break, but don't necessarily address the public breakdown. That just sounds like a bad idea.

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Veyron
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Re: Taking year off in college--does this need to be explained?

Postby Veyron » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:41 pm

You really only need a short explanation and to put on your resume what you did that year. No one cares as long as you had a good reason.

Anonymous User
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Re: Taking year off in college--does this need to be explained?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:52 pm

(From the OP.) Thanks everyone, this is very helpful. What do peeps think about this draft for the addendum?

[edited out]

Thank you again for any help!!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Br3v
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Re: Taking year off in college--does this need to be explained?

Postby Br3v » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:(From the OP.) Thanks everyone, this is very helpful. What do peeps think about this draft for the addendum?

After my ** year in college, I wanted to take some time away from my college's community to reassess my academic goals and do some soul searching. I took a yearlong break from school, which I spent working in ** and tutoring ** in Boston, where I had some close friends.

Thank you again for any help!!


If this is the truth, then yeah it sounds fine

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minnbills
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Re: Taking year off in college--does this need to be explained?

Postby minnbills » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:47 am

Veyron wrote:You really only need a short explanation and to put on your resume what you did that year. No one cares as long as you had a good reason.




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