I’ve shared with you the challenges I faced with books in part one of this series. Now, let’s talk about the fun part: social life. We’ve all been told that once we start medical school, our social life will become non-existent. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t some truth to that, but it’s all about finding a balance. Easier said than done, I know.
Of course, my first year taught me much about a social life. Yes, all things medical school will consume most of your time, but do you have to let it take over your life? Absolutely not. At the start of the year, an M4 friend of mine told me to make it a point to spend time with at least one friend or family member ONCE A WEEK just to keep myself sane. I have to say that was the one of the best decisions I ever made first year.
I’m lucky enough to live at home with my family and commute to school, so during crunch time for exam weeks, I always made it a point to spend an hour or so catching up with a family member (usually my little sister). We talked about all things non-school related, and it was so refreshing to talk to someone and feel human again especially since so much of first and second year is just studying. As for friends, I would usually pick a trendy restaurant or fun coffee shop to catch up on life and enjoy the change of scenery.
Our social chairs in our class also did a great job planning out “med school Mondays.” Most of our exams fell on the Monday of every week, so the social chairs would plan for karaoke, movie night, day at the Reservoir, and other fun things to get our class together and blow off some steam. I really encourage you to go to class events. It gives you a chance to meet other people and make friends you’ll keep for a lifetime.
Lesson #2: find a balance, and have a social life. You are human, so don’t forget that. Relationships are the key to happiness because it’s just human nature. Everyone needs a laugh once in a while, so spend time with people who help you do just that.
Stay tuned for another lesson my first year taught me. Until then, keep being awesome!