Everyone knows the amount of work and time that goes into being a medical student. There is always more that can be done in every single class ranging from physiology to osteopathic principles class. As a first-year, one of my personal struggles was finding the balance for more life, but also doing well in my classes. There is definitely a fine balance and it takes a lot of time to even figure that balance out. I have listed a few things that I do to still maintain my sanity in medical school.
- Go home. Finding time to go home is a process for me. One drive back home is 8 hours round trip, which is a day’s worth of potential studying. With that being said, it is completely worth it. I always come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the upcoming block. It’s really nice to see family and friends even if it is for just a weekend. When I first moved to Pikeville, I initially thought I would be going home every two weeks. I quickly learned that it’s too consuming to be able to do that without my grades taking a hit. I tend to go home once a month after each block and it works well for me!
- Schedule fun events. This sounds obvious, but in medical school, it is hard to find time to do anything, but study! That is how you become extremely unhappy and unsatisfied because all you are doing is study. I try to schedule a movie night or some kind of outing to get food with friends. Even if it is only for one hour, this is time spent for you to relax and have fun and not worry about school.
- Create a schedule. I know I have discussed this in past blog posts, but I cannot stress the importance of it. Do not just create a schedule, but remember to stick to it. A third-year medical student told me if you are going to study, then study as hard as you can, but when you’re not don’t study. This is such a basic idea, but I can attest to all of the times I am watching tv and studying at the same time. You can always be studying but taking time for yourself is equally as important.
Life keeps happening during medical school and it is up to you to find the balance. Mental health is important no matter the career and it’s critical to find your happiness in the midst of medical school.