The one bit of advice that my friends who have taken a break from work to go back to study have suggested is to work out exactly what you want to get from your time out. As I head into 2011 I aim to:
1. Have fun and meet new people
2. Travel to lots of places and see lots of thing (I want to hit 50 countries by 30 years of age)
3. Learn Mandarin
4. Work on a business plan for a consumer tech startup and raise financing to to execute it.
5. Take lots of risks - say yes more than no.