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Will a gap year work against me?

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I'm in my second year of IB and I've decided not to apply to college this year, for the following reasons-

1) I'm a bit younger than the rest of my batch and so I probably won't be able to manage living on my own for another year or so.

2) I've made the decision to apply to art school, but I didn't take art as a subject and I've made this decision only recently. So I have no portfolio and I can't make a good enough one by September.

 

So after the exams next year, I'll work intensively on my portfolio (I'm planning to apply to all the top schools like RISD and MICA) until applications open (around November/December for art schools?) and then hopefully get an internship or do some work on my own. I'm planning to apply for advertising and photography so any work I do will be in those areas. I know most people do volunteer work or travel during their gap years, and while I don't mind doing something similar, I'm mostly focused on getting into art school and then just focusing only on building my skills for the foundation year most schools have made compulsory. Basically, I'm going to bury myself in artwork, and make up for the fact that I couldn't do anything related to art for the past year.

 

So will the gap year work for or against me? If I'm applying only to art school, it should, right? Or are they looking for the usual volunteer/ study abroad stuff?

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It will not work against you. 

People take gap years for various reasons, but as long as you're actually doing something productive and not doing drugs/sitting at home watching TV or something like that, it will be fine. 

 

The point of the gap year is to improve yourself. Whether it's done through volunteer work, travelling, working, or pursuing a venture that you can't do in school (e.g. publishing a book) isn't too important. 

 

In the case of art school, I don't think any of them would consider it a bad thing, since you're going to be spending most of your time working on a portfolio and generally on art, and because US schools are especially chill with students taking and applying after a gap year.

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