Question of the Week: Glide Year Conversations with Family

Feb. 4, 2022

Q: I want to take two glide years but my family is pushing me to apply now. Do you have suggestions on how to convince them that there are benefits to taking more time?
A: Since the trend toward taking more time between graduation and professional school has been pretty recent, it can be hard for families to understand it. It helps to know what arguments they have against your taking additional time and then thinking about how to address them. For some, data about the current trends can help—how competitive it is to get into medical school; how many students are taking time. For others, it can help to show them the job opportunities available with two glide years versus one (or even approach the conversation with a two-year job offer in hand). Sometimes a convincing relative or older peer in your chosen profession can be a helpful resource.
The pandemic has given potential applicants more incentives to take time. Losing two years of access to clinical experience due to the pandemic definitely has more students (Princeton and elsewhere) taking more time to be sure they’ve accrued the evidence to convince admissions committees (and convince themselves) to take on this rigorous educational and professional path. It was harder to get to know potential letter writers during the Zoom years. The burnout and effects on mental health that everyone has experienced due to the pandemic can amplify distress going into an emotionally difficult application year.
We’ve known applicants who have written long essays and created powerpoint presentations to help convince their families. We try to equip you with plenty of data and talking points to share with family members. They can access our “ten reasons to consider a glide year;” glide year webinar; and FAQs. We’re happy to try to help you develop your talking points for what is often a series of conversations about your timeline with your family.

QOTW 2021: Medical school outside the US for international students
QOTW 2020: C- in Orgo I, Should I Take Orgo II this Summer?