Sometimes you forget what it’s like to be human when you’re in medical school. At times I feel as if I’m a USB drive that’s storing medical information. Even though my brain’s write speed is considerably slower, I dedicate most of my time trying to fit all of the relevant info inside of it. Unfortunately, the opportunity cost for this is missing out on other things I could be doing. You meander on Facebook and notice how all your other friends have time to take trips, explore new restaurants, and hang out with friends. The reality of medical school is that you rarely have the time to dedicate to other tasks. However, in order to remain sane, I’ve kept three hobbies that I try to keep up with that aren’t medical school related.
The first is going to the gym. Not only is it a great place to maintain my health, but it also helps in venting some frustrations. And usually there are fellow like-minded med students that you can socialize with during your workout. Besides the gym, I try to dedicate at least one hour a day to play my guitar. Fortunately, my roommate is also a med student and plays guitar as well, so we have some awesome jam sessions during study breaks. And finally, when I really want to treat myself, I play some video games. Immersing myself into another reality can serve as a calming release from the voluminous information learning in medicine. I think it’s very important to have these sorts of activities in medical school–otherwise I think I would go insane. There’s a limit to how much I can learn in a day, and I find it easier to manage my time by slotting certain rewards in between studying!