Using Exercise To Avoid Burnout

By Freya M. ’26, M.S. in Biomedical Engineering

Exercise equipment including sneakers, weights, and a jump rope against a blue background.

As a future veterinary student who has already faced burnout during undergrad, I’ve learned that it’s never too early to understand your limits and find time to step away from your academics.

Throughout undergrad, I always made time in my schedule to go to the gym and relieve stress from studying. After learning that I had a passion for fitness, I was inspired to become a fitness instructor to encourage others to do the same.

The Student Rec Center at Texas A&M offers group classes in multiple formats to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Those of us who are fitness instructors often gauge how many participants should be in each class, choose the best location, and consider any feedback participants may provide that would help us improve our classes.

Every semester, there is a Fitness Instructor Training to recruit new fitness instructors and teach them how to lead a class in the multiple formats we provide. I was fortunate enough to do my training in Fall 2023 and am now teaching kickboxing and dance in Spring 2024.

When I decided to stay at Texas A&M for my master’s degree, I knew I had more time to pursue my passions and step out of my comfort zone. I started out as a very shy person who wasn’t very vocal when speaking to large groups. When I learned that our classes can have up to 50 participants, I had to work on my public speaking skills to get better at leading classes. Through teaching high-intensity class formats, I have learned how to engage the participants by having high energy and encouraging them to be as enthusiastic about the class as I am.

Becoming a fitness instructor has taught me to use my voice to help others. I was able to overcome my discomfort with public speaking and now I enjoy teaching others to become comfortable in a group setting as well. Using exercise as a personal outlet to avoid academic burnout has been the best thing I could have done for my physical and mental health. I cannot recommend enough using the campus rec center’s fitness classes or just going with a friend when you need a study break.

Keeping Up A Running Habit In Veterinary School

By Aly D. ’25, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student

When I started veterinary school, I was worried that I would spend all of my time in class, in the lab, or at my desk studying. I thought that long distance running, a hobby I’ve been doing for several years, would quickly become a thing of the past.

However, throughout the first three years of veterinary school, I have found quite the opposite to be true. I have never been more consistent in my running schedule than I have been during vet school!

The August before vet school, I bonded with one of my classmates over our love for running. We made a plan to start running short distances every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday beginning the week before vet school started. Although we eventually switched to two days a week, we stayed consistent, and weeks turned into months and semesters of running together. Our weekly morning meetups were an excellent way to keep me accountable because I had a buddy who was expecting me to show up and conquer our workout each day.

Two young women in running gear making the thumbs up sign.

During my second year, I gained another running buddy when I overheard one of my classmates talking about completing the same half marathon I was registered for. We began comparing training schedules and how we were planning to work up to 13.1 miles. She was my encouragement and supported me as we increased mileage together. After tackling a half marathon the winter break of second year, we set our sights on completing our first full marathon this spring during our third year of vet school.

Throughout vet school, I have run routes with several of my classmates who share the joy of outdoor running. Their support has encouraged and inspired me to stay consistent and to continue challenging myself to complete longer distances that I would have never attempted before. Much to my surprise, I have grown as a runner throughout vet school.

Veterinary medicine is a team sport in many ways and thanks to the support from my running buddies, I plan on conquering my first full marathon this spring!