1. Weekends off (or at least 1 day off)
Work hard, play hard.
Try to incorporate this idea into your life while you are studying in vet school.
I really enjoy spending time outside in the fresh air. On sunny days I try to make the most of my day by going outside and soaking up the sunlight. I also enjoy playing video games and board games with friends on the weekends.
In a nutshell: Work hard during the week so you have time to do fun activities on the weekend.
2. Stay on top of coursework
There are several ways to stay organized and methods to help you stay on top of your coursework. Here is a shortlist to get you started:
– Use a planner. Online or physical planner whichever suits you more
– Use a to-do list each day
– Prepare for the next day the night before
– Review what you learnt each day by making your own notes
– Post practical sessions, note down some key tips/skills you learnt
– Catch up on weekends
Although we are transitioning to in-person teaching, there are some lectures that we have to do online. These lectures are timetabled into our schedule and I highly recommend doing them according to the schedule. It is important to not push back these lectures as it will be a pain in the butt later on when it comes to exam prep time.
3. Meal prep
Buy ingredients you need for the meals you want to cook.
This might seem quite obvious, but trust me, it’s so important when you want to limit food waste.
It is helpful when you buy ingredients that you can use for multiple meals. I have noticed that I have to buy ingredients
I find cooking a great break in my day. After using my brain for several hours, sitting down, listening to lectures, it is nice to stand up and prepare a meal.
4. Engage in non-vet activities
At some point during your first year in vet school, if you are like me, you may start feeling bogged down in school, overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content. You may also feel like your entire life is centered around school since you will likely spend the majority of your day attending lectures, practicals and labs. I felt a lot of my conversations were related to school and I wanted some sort of outlet unrelated to school. To balance the hard work you put into school, it’s important to engage in extra-curriculars.
I highly recommend joining a club or getting involved in an activity in the city which is unrelated to vet students or vet school.
The University of Edinburgh has a Bhangra dance club and I am looking forward to joining the club and attending practices. I love to dance and I feel it will be a fun way to meet people who share common interests as me.
5. Remember who you are, remember the bigger picture
I recently attended an online workshop led by Dr Foo. During the workshop, he asked us to reflect on how we identify ourselves.
When you first meet a stranger, how do you introduce yourself? I might say, “Hello, my name is Aarushi and I am a vet student studying at the R(D)SVS in Edinburgh.” This seems quite natural and normal for me to introduce myself this way. Although I am a vet student, I have to remember that I identify myself in other ways too.
It is important to not lose touch with the part of you that is unrelated to veterinary medicine.
You are more than just a vet student. You are a sibling, a daughter/son, a baker, a singer, a kick-boxer etc. We all have hobbies and interests and it is important to make them a priority as a student and throughout our careers.
Vet school will be an amazing chapter of your life, which may feel like a drag at some moments but also feels like it’s flying by at the same time. A good study/life balance is essential to help keep you motivated and enthusiastic while learning each day.