In my spare time, I am a petsitter and dog walker. I have been getting many requests lately that I’ve noticed have started to interfere with my studying, so I’ve had to turn people away. I’ve always been the type of person who wants to go the extra mile to help out others, which is a big reason why I am going into medicine. However, through pet sitting, I’ve learned that it’s not good to spread yourself too thin and that it’s okay to say “no” every once in awhile. I started burning myself out by taking on too many clients in addition to studying and then completing my online review course in the evenings. I had almost no free time to myself because when I wasn’t studying, I was walking dogs or doing visits for dogs of people who worked all day. It was hard, but my best friend told me that sometimes it was okay to be blunt with people and say “no” for my own well-being. Especially since I’m not trying to make a career out of petsitting, I had to learn that it was okay to turn clients away and focus on myself and studying.
Relating this concept to my life, I had to learn to say “no” in other ways, no matter how hard it is. There are family trips I had to turn down because I was preparing for an NBME exam. There were events with friends that I had to turn down because I had too much to study and couldn’t catch a break. However, you don’t want to completely isolate yourself and study 24/7 because that will burn you out quick (I did that for a brief period until I realized what I was doing and how badly I realized I needed a break).
It’s all about finding a balance!