Most students who go to graduate school take two to three years off after completing their bachelor's degree before doing so, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Although waiting has benefits, it also has disadvantages. Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of taking a break before enrolling in graduate school.
Time off gives your mind a rest. A break will also give you the chance to figure out what it is that you truly want to do. You don't want to be rash in your decision and end up enrolling in a program that isn't right for you. Not only will you have wasted your time if you decide to drop out, but you can end up with a lot of debt.
To help you discover what program is best suited for you, try to gain some relevant job experience. In fact, some graduate programs mandate that applicants have pertinent work experience before they will be considered. So if you did not participate in an internship as an undergraduate you will have to take a few years off to fulfill this requirement. But even if it is not stipulated, actively engage in some sort of work-related experience if you decide to take a break. For example, if you want to enroll in a Master of Journalism program and you're saving up money working at the cosmetics counter at a department store, admission officers might ask: "Well, what does that have to do with journalism?" You can sell makeup but you should also be doing something related to journalism, such as freelancing for a publication.
Waiting a couple of years before enrolling in a graduate program can give you the proper time to recuperate, but it can also discourage you from ever pursuing an advanced degree. That's because taking an extended break might prompt you to fall off your desired path, and it might be extremely difficult to find the motivation to get back on it. The longer you are out of school, the more rusty you will feel when you return and the older you will be when you graduate. So if you want to start working in your field at a young age, it's probably best that you don't wait too long to enroll in graduate school, especially for doctoral programs that take a long time.