OT: Gap Years

Mike

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Did anyone here take a gap year before going into higher education? If so I'd be interested to hear what you did, what you got out of it etc. etc.

Thanks
 

Rocketmaniac

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Originally posted by Mike
Did anyone here take a gap year before going into higher education? If so I'd be interested to hear what you did, what you got out of it etc. etc.

Thanks

Do you mean Year or Years..... It took me 20 years after finishing high school to go to college full-time. I started this fall and I should graduate in 2007. Now, I did take college courses part-time during those 20 years and got a 2-year degree. (It's hard to take too many courses while in the Air Force and moving all around)

I suggest you don't wait too long. Go ahead and get your education soon. It is MUCH harder to go back to school after you have a family.
 

hokkyokusei

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Originally posted by Rocketmaniac
I suggest you don't wait too long. Go ahead and get your education soon. It is MUCH harder to go back to school after you have a family.

Whilst it is undeniably true, it is possible to complete your education whilst having a family. I have first hand experience - it took me 10 years, but I did it!

On the other hand, the idea of fitting in a gap year, once you have had a familly is a complete non-starter!

If I could do it all again, I would take a gap year, and travel. Nothing broadens the mind better than meeting people who are not like you.
 

Mike

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Ahh right, this might be a Brit thing. Quite a few students over here take a year off (just the one) before going to get a degree.

The idea is you spend you spend your time doing somethings worth while, such working to save up for you degree, travelling round the world or teaching and doing conservation projects with special orgainisations in remote countries.

Just wondering if anyone's done anything similar.
 

North Star

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Originally posted by Mike
Did anyone here take a gap year before going into higher education?
Thanks

Gap year! Higher education ......

Eeee when I were a lad in't North you had to work or starve .. we were darn't pit at 12 year old an in't mills at 6 .. you southerners don't know yer born.

:eek:
 

cydermaster

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DAD
Tungsten carbide drills! What the bloody hell's tungsten carbide drills?

KEN
It's something they use in coal-mining, father.

DAD
(mimicking)
'It's something they use in coal-mining, father'. You're all bloody fancy talk since you left London.

KEN
Oh not that again.

MUM
He's had a hard day dear... his new play opens at the National Theatre tomorrow.

KEN
Oh that's good.

DAD
Good! good? What do you know about it? What do you know about getting up at five o'clock in t'morning to fly to Paris... back at the Old Vic for drinks at twelve, sweating the day through press interviews, television interviews and getting back here at ten to wrestle with the problem of a homosexual nymphomaniac drug-addict involved in the ritual murder of a well known Scottish footbailerˇ That's a full working day, lad, and don't you forget it!

Monty Python - a sketch for every situation :D
 

hokkyokusei

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Originally posted by Mike
Just wondering if anyone's done anything similar.

I _would_ have, but I didn't get the chance.

Too busy getting up at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah...
 

astronboy

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I did not take a year before going on the college, but I did atek time off during...

I graduated HS and went directly to Freshaman year at college as a history major, then 1 semester of my sophmore year.

Then I quit school as I was just plain old unhappy with it, and where I felt I was going... so I got a job as an auto mechanic, and worked with a guitar builder. I soon found out that I was even unhappier this way than in school, so I went back a year later.

I transferred to a new university, and started over... thisngs went well for abouyt a year, I managed to immerse myself in running a record shop, joining a band, and quit again... worked as an auto mechanic for a semester, went back, quit again for no particular reason, got married, divorced, and went back again to finish with a degeree in English Literature.

Basically I took almost 8 years to get a 4 year degree.

As I look back, I see that I basically wasted my time fooling around, instead of getting a degree in history as I wanted to. Without that specific degree, I am unable to get a position in the history field.

So much for sour grapes. I am relatively happy where I am now, but I do feel like I set myself back about 4 -5 years behind my peers.

Phred
 

TheRadiator

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Oh good, sounds like I'm par for the course. Coming out of HS there was no way I was ready for college. I had a job at a grocery store coming out of high school in 1995, but upgraded to work in a Sears Auto Center before everything about working at Sears began to suck. During all this, I went to community college off and on for a little while, and entered NC State in 1999. I was there for a year until I went flat broke and started to work a real job again in 2001. Went back to school last year to finish my degree and should finish up around spring 2007.
 

Pippen

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The time in my life that I wished I would have done this was the year after graduating from college. Being a few years older then my horizons were much broader and I think I would have made far more of the experience than if I had taken a year out after high school. Alas, after high school I was eager to get on with my education and after college I was eager to get on with my career and too poor to do otherwise. I always regret not taking a year off to travel or get a teaching job in a foreign country or do volunteer work or....
 

hokkyokusei

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In the UK gap years usually occur after sixth form and before university. That's around 18. Not sure how that ties into the US education system?
 

North Star

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Originally posted by astronboy

I graduated HS and went directly to Freshaman year at college as a history major, then 1 semester of my sophmore year.

Phred

For the benefit of those whose first language is English ...

Could someone translate this please... ;)

Is 'semester' equivalent to our 'term' and I know 'Freshers' is used over here - is it the first year at uni?

I come from an era where, in the UK, you had to be very gifted, rich or political to go to uni - The rest of us with an eye on a career went to 'Tech' and did 'sandwich courses' At least we got paid and the firm stumped up for all the fees.

Ah 'salad days'
 

TheRadiator

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Depends on how many terms you have during a year.

In the semester system, most people attend two a year; the fall and spring semesters. There is no winter semester. However, there is a summer semester that is usually a bit shorter than fall and spring, but the classes are condensed so it takes fewer classes to complete. Class sessions are longer, so there is that tradeoff. BTW, you are correct, freshman is first year uni.

Personally, I loved the automotive repair trade, and had I done a few things differently, I'd probably still be working on them today. Oh well, a life without regrets is a life unlived.
 

astronboy

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Yup, the 4 years at Unioversity in the US are in order:

1st: Freshman
2nd: Sophmore
3rd: Junior
4th: Senior

amd for those of us that took forever to attain a 4 year degeree:

5th year and on 'Super-Senior', 'professional-student' and others....

I loved the automotive work, I have a knack for it. Actually, in the early 1990's I showed several vintage cars, and drove other vintage cars as daily drivers.

Now, I just want to get in, turn the key and go, so no more oldies for daily use. FUN is still arequirement however, so I drive a Mini Cooper.
 

astronboy

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Oh yeah... as this is a Mini, and I do love old rockets... Tha car is named 'Mini-Brute'

:D

PH
 

lalligood

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I did not take any time off between high school & college but I did have the opportunity to help a friend compete in a bicycle race called Race Across AMerica (RAAM). https://www.raceacrossamerica.org/ He & his wife essentially live to pay for him to compete in this race every year. I was part of his crew in 1993, 1994, & 1995. I wasn't paid for my time/work, but they did pay for all of my expenses for the 2+ weeks I was gone each year. The race was less than 10 *days* (yes, for one person to cross the United States on a bicycle) but we had to drive to the starting line (in California at the time) & then spend a few days there for preparing. While maybe not as adventurous as backpacking through Europe, seeing the US for 3000 miles at 20mph and almost entirely on backroads was a unique experience. It was also one of the most amazing human feats I've ever witnessed. And to think that my friend has competed in this race for almost TWENTY years now and he's never NOT finished the race. (Do the math: 20 * 3000 miles = 60,000 miles. ON A BICYCLE. :eek: )
 

Eric/VAl

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Eric here:

I had to take time away form education. Not only was I tired of INPUT, but I had no money, and growing up in Detroit back in the 80's, even though I had trained in auto mechanics at the voc-tech center, there weren't many jobs, and I vowed not to ever work on the assembly lines at the auto plants. I went into the military- The Marines specifically. What I got out of? More education than you might think possible! Sure I had to pay my dues, and there was the odd war or 2, but I've never done anything like it since, and it would be too expensive on my own to go where i've been. After 4 years and some re-training for a local reserve unit I hit college with a vengence! All that stuff I learned in the Corps really paid off in classes like Humanities, Art, philosophy, and many more! I went to college off and on for a couple years, then got a degree in automotive engineering and tech. Went back in the military again though, the money was just as good, and I had more fun. lol NOT FOR EVERYBODY THOUGH! lol :) A little more than 2 cents here- but yeah- if you take time off- go do something really cool! Cheers Mate!
 

cls

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I took two years off: travelled, played music for fun & "job", studied music intensively too, fooled around, etc.. dead broke most of the time but had a great time. highly recommended. there is nothing like working minimum wage jobs in a down economy to really inspire you to do well in college!!
 

wwattles

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This is probably going to seem a bit odd, but I took a year off BEFORE starting high school.

My folks were going to be doing a lot of travelling that year, and I was younger than everyone else in my grade (had started school a year early), so it sorta made sense. I took some correspondence courses, and made use of the time (worked at a part-time job), so I wasn't just sitting around, either. I'd never been in a public school, so the school system had no record of me, and so wouldn't come looking for me if I didn't show up somewhere.

During that school year I spent 5 weeks in England/Scotland/France/Switzerland, 6 weeks in NZ/Australia/Singapore/Hong Kong, and 6 weeks on a driving trip around the Western US (CA/OR/WA/ID/MT/WY/CO/UT/NV). Definitely got to see a lot more of the world, and meet a lot of people!

WW
 

rokitflite

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I guess its appropriate for this forum in that I took a year off between high school and college in New York to work for a model rocket company in Arizona. One thing I REALLY learned is that I don't like driving from NY to AZ and back!!!
 

Mike

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Thanks for the input....I'm still thinking about whether to take a gap year and how to spend it if I do. If I do I'll definately be doing something worthwhile.
 
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