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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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December 28, 2020

Admissions Getting Involved International Life Hacks Living in LA

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Since OT school wasn’t an option for me right out of undergrad, I thought, “Well, I guess it’s time for plan B: to take a gap year.” Except, as time went by, it started to feel less like a back-up plan and more like the decision I should’ve gone with all along!

My gap year happened pretty unintentionally, but I’m honestly so glad that I took that time off. After 4 years of undergrad, I felt burnt out! A change of pace was something I needed and taking a year off to rest and try new things ended up serving me really well. It was because of my gap year that I was able to pursue research in another country, visit family and friends back in Hong Kong, travel around the world, build my professional experiences, study for the GRE, and just overall, take a break from school! Even though I wasn’t on vacation 24/7, my schedule definitely allowed for a lot more flexibility. I also want to emphasize that taking time off before heading to graduate school is completely normal. I might even suggest it because it gave me the time to reflect, mature, and refocus my goals.

I know what it’s like to feel the pressure of securing something for yourself after undergrad. I also know what it’s like when that doesn’t work out. Not knowing what’s going to happen next is a scary thing, but it’s also an opportunity to challenge ourselves and grow in ways that we might not have imagined before. So, do what you need to do before starting grad school, and know that you don’t need to jump into it right away. Take the time to think about what’s best for you and your future.

My Gap Year Memories in Photos

Work Tags

I was able to find opportunities to work and volunteer during my gap year 👔

Hawaii Temple

The Byodo-In Temple — Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaii Sunset

Chill sunset vibes 🌅

San Diego Tacos

Friends and Tacos El Gordo 🌮 🤤

Messing Around

Spot the difference 🧐

Hong Kong Temple

Tian Tan Buddha (天壇大佛) — Lantau Island, Hong Kong

My Grandparents

Visited my grandpa (公公) and grandma (婆婆) in Hong Kong ☺️

Salm Prings Trip

haha “candid” photo with friends on our annual trip 🤪