Taking a gap year has its advantages. It’s certainly not for everyone but this period is invaluable in allowing you to mature as an individual, explore your passions, and better yourself – which has definitely been my case. My gap year has been full of many adventures – gaining more research experience, two Spartan obstacle races, taking my passion to greater heights by teaching fitness classes, making new career mentors, and the list goes on. My goal is to live my life to the fullest and enjoy my gap year as much as possible – my way. This brings me to my latest adventure. A few months ago, I was asked to teach a preceptorial during the UPENN New Student Orientation (my alma mater) this past weekend, on maintaining an active lifestyle.
Of course, I was elated! One, I felt honored that I was approached to do this (my passion and experience in fitness isn’t going unnoticed!) and two, I love teaching and sharing information/ resources that I know; hence why I adopted this Maya Angelou quote for my blog:
“When you learn, teach; when you get, give.”
Now the event: there were 12 students enrolled (the maximum) and when I received the roster, I thought to myself, Okay, well at least about 8 students will show up. I imagined some folks wouldn’t show up, after all these preceptorials aren’t mandatory. Well it was 4:50PM and there were about 6 students. Then the number slowly grew and at 4:57PM, I was hit with a wave of students. Whoa. The count? 18. Then a few more showed up, making it 22 freshmen in attendance for the one-hour seminar. I was surprised and at the same pleased. Totally unexpected turn out! All in all, it was a success.
So am I enjoying my gap year? Absolutely. Although I am extremely anxious to start the next phase of my life and begin medical school, I am also enjoying this period of growth, life lessons, and adventures. If you are interested in taking a gap year or two, definitely do your research – the pros and cons – and consider how you would like to spend it. As seen in my med student spotlights, some medical students did structured programs during their gap year(s) – teaching, research, and so on. Another option is doing international work. Find out where your passion lies and how it would make you a better person and ultimately, an awesome physician.
A big thank you to the Preceptorial committee and the NSO committee for setting this up.