Balancing Life As A Veterinary Student

By Makayla R. ’27, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Student

A photo of a sunset.

My biggest fear before starting veterinary school was not having enough time to enjoy my hobbies and talk with friends and family. When I first glanced at my class schedule, I remember wondering if all I would have time for was studying!

I spent the first month of veterinary school solely studying all day and night, feeling horrible in the process. I decided to make a change and started including my hobbies into my schedule and immediately felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders.

After taking time to reflect on my first month of veterinary school, I figured out that having a balance in my life between school and my hobbies actually helped me perform better on tests and avoid burn out.

Making Time For Your Hobbies

It’s easy to become engulfed in the thought that you must spend all day and all weekend studying, but it’s simply not true. One of my favorite things to do during school breaks and on the weekends is reading fantasy novels. With proper schedule planning, I can read my favorite books at least five hours a week!

Allowing my myself to take time to still do the things that I love gives me a morale boost before studying.

A young man standing beside a young woman on a basketball court.

Staying Active

Blocking out time every week to remain physically active is very important in maintaining physical health. I do this by scheduling time every week to take outdoor walks, go to Orange Theory workout classes, or take rowing classes. One of my favorite parts of the weekend is going on long walks during the sunset.

Spending Time With Loved Ones

Another way to avoid burn out and balance your life as a veterinary student is staying connected with your family, friends, and significant others. For example, I make time to watch my boyfriend’s college basketball games every Wednesday and Saturday night. I even drove to watch him play in Houston last semester!

Sometimes it can be hard to avoid thinking about the studying you could be doing in place of enjoying your hobbies or spending time with loved ones but the sense of satisfaction I get from these activities is critical to maintaining my mental health.

If I could give two pieces of advice to any professional student, it would be to not lose yourself in studying and to live in the moment! Life is about balance, and maintaining this balance resulted in a better performance in the classroom and being happier in my free time.