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.

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.

How To Get Started Thrifting in College Station

By Grace B. ’27, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Student

I have always had a love for thrifting and having unique pieces to wear to class. Even on the first day of veterinary school, I had people commenting on my jeans, jacket and shirt that I wore to class.

After sharing with everyone that I thrifted them, I decided to make a guide to the places you can thrift shop for clothes and vintage outfits in the Bryan-College Station area, because looking sharp for any exam while saving some extra dollars on your clothes is something every student can do.

The entrance to a vintage clothing store in an old downtown building.

Local Thrift Shops By Style


  • Burr’s Boho
  • Stage Left

Basic Pieces

  • Alice Attic

A Little Of Everything

  • The Birds Nest (upstairs)
  • Goodwill
  • Second Hand Resale


  • Sweet Repeat Resale

Popup Shops

  • Bygone Vintage
  • 9th Market
  • First Fridays Downtown Bryan
  • POV/ Harvest have thrift popups all the time
A woman with red hair wearing a brown jacket in front of a wooden wall.

The shops I have included are some of my favorite spots in downtown Bryan or the College Station area. These places are where I have found all of my vintage Levi’s, Wrangler, and Rocky jeans. I have also found some amazing jackets like the one I am wearing in the photo to the right. The best part is that most of these items were only $5!

These shops are mostly found within walking distance of each other, which makes it easy to have a study break and hit the thrifts! There is always something special hidden in the racks — it just takes a bit of looking to find them.

The popup shops I included are some of my favorite places to spend a Saturday or Sunday. These shops have great Instagram accounts that will notify followers when they have a bunch of vendors coming with new stuff. They are where I have picked up iconic vintage 1980s Cripple Creek jackets, a world cup soccer blanket, and even a mini cargo skirt!

I hope that this quick guide will show you that even in vet school, you can always remain stylish and find a new weekend activity.

My Go-To Spots in Bryan-College Station

By Daisy C. ’26, B.S. in Biology

It may seem overwhelming coming to College Station as a student with all of the new things in your life — a new apartment, new restaurants, new friends, new grocery stores, etc.

Since I now spend almost 100% of my year in the Bryan-College Station area, I have picked up a few favorite places in this area. Visiting all of these places, regardless of the reason, always provides me comfort and might help you feel integrated into the community as you begin classes here!

A woman and her daughter taking a selfie at a park.

An on-campus gem is the Texas A&M Gardens. These gardens are located behind the Wildlife and Fisheries building on main campus. Different styles of gardens are sectioned off for both practical and educational purposes. Spanish-inspired gardens with stone fountains and Mexican tiles encompass a large first section that alone make your trip worthwhile. Separate butterfly, bee, and bird watching gardens bring an interactive aspect to the space.

The Gardens also hosts a variety of community activities, including a spring celebration and butterfly release events. String lights located all around The Gardens allow for night-time visits as well. The Gardens is very versatile, serving as a fun date spot or great outdoor study space.

However, if you are looking for some more lively entertainment, there are plenty of other awesome places. The Palace, located in Bryan’s downtown area (about a 20-minute drive from campus) is an old movie theatre-turned-entertainment center. I recently went to see a country band cover old-school country songs, including George Straight and Robert Earl Keen. The large stage allows for band performances every weekend that are sure to entertain. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

After a concert at The Palace, you might be interested in grabbing a bite to eat, which tends to be my favorite part! As far as restaurants go, downtown Bryan has many to choose from that are a little less well-known than the College Station ones. Rx Pizza is a small-town-feel pizza place in the middle of Bryan’s town center that has become one of my favorite places to eat. It has a quaint, outdoor seating area that neighbors busy sidewalks on weekend nights.

For breakfast, Snooze in College Station would have to be my most loved spot. Because of the unique seating and the most perfect eggs Benedict you will ever have, this is my favorite place for brunch. The only downside is that is also seems to be everyone else’s favorite place as well. On weekend mornings, they typically have a line out the door, but I personally think it is worth the wait!

For lunch or dinner, my friends and I love to play dominos at Dixie Chicken. Get me a set of dominos at the counter and a basket of onion rings and I am set for the night!

A young blonde woman sitting on a bench next to a person made out of terra cotta garden pots.

Despite grocery shopping normally being a chore for most people, I enjoy it here because of the places available to shop! Farm Patch, a small produce center in Bryan, is a rare gem that’s easy to miss. It is an open-air produce market and garden center with locally sourced items, and I always enjoy shopping here to support my community and get fresh produce. If you enjoy both of those things, the Aggieland Famers Market opens on Saturday mornings and is full of both produce and local artisans. My roommates and I enjoy spending Saturday mornings together looking at the local artisans’ work and grabbing a coffee!

The list of places I enjoy here at Texas A&M both on and off campus is endless. However, I have found that regardless of the physical place that you are at, the people here make you feel included in the community. This alone makes my time here at Texas A&M invaluable.

5 Tricks To Help You Avoid Burnout In College

By Adrienne G. ’25, B.S. in Biomedical Sciences

College, as many know, throws students into a whirlwind of both exciting opportunities and challenges. Throughout my undergraduate experience, I’ve discovered a few ways to avoid burnout, and I’d love to share my experiences with you.

View from inside a hammock looking out at trees and camping tents.

No 1. Prioritize Self-Care

Even in the thick of those seemingly endless assignments and exams, I made it a rule to press pause and indulge in things that bring me joy. Whether it was going to the gym, immersing myself in nature, or getting lost in a new book, these breaks have been my sanity checks. Self-care became my weapon against burnout.

No 2. Master The Art Of Time Management

Balancing biomedical sciences and a minor in business is no joke. I have had to devote countless hours to not only studying but also to going to tutoring sessions. My agenda became my best friend in ensuring I had room for both academics and my personal passions. I would schedule time for studying, working, and social gatherings to ensure I did not have to sacrifice things that bring me joy.

No 3. Focus On Quality In Socializing, Not Quantity

Instead of overbooking myself with activities, I zeroed in on meaningful connections and quality time with friends. I choose to hang out with people who make me feel energized rather than those who would drain my energy.

Close up of a table covered in healthy cooking ingredients, including chicken, tortillas, cucumbers, carrots, and chopped greens.

No 4. Make Health-Conscious Choices

With my love for sweets and eating out, I have to be mindful of what I put in my body. Eating nutritious meals, staying hydrated, and limiting my caffeine intake became the cornerstones of my healthy lifestyle. It was all about fueling my body with foods that made me feel good.

No 5. Set Realistic Expectations And Goals

Dreaming big about post-graduation plans is exciting, but I’ve learned the power of breaking those dreams into bite-sized goals. It’s not about just the final goal; it’s about the steady progress that keeps you on the path without feeling like you’re drowning in expectations.

College life is a rollercoaster, but my journey has been about thriving and not just surviving. Balance, self-care, time management, quality relationships, healthy lifestyle choices, and realistic goals have been crucial to my success. If you’re out there navigating the college, give these strategies a try. Chances are, they’ll make your college journey much easier.

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!

Continuing Hobbies in Veterinary School

By Gabriela H. ’27, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student

Many students believe that once they begin veterinary school, they will not have time for anything other than studying, especially time for extracurriculars. However, as a first-year veterinary student, I am proud to say that I continued my hobby of dancing.

Three young women in purple glittery Latin dance costumes under purple and yellow lights.

During my first semester of veterinary school, I learned that your studies can easily warp your priorities surrounding your physical health when you’re not paying attention. Yet, it is incredibly important to make sure that all aspects of your health are taken care of, including mental health, emotional health, and physical health.

Latin dance is something that I started as an undergraduate at Texas A&M by joining a student organization called the Salsa Fusion Latin Dance Company. I quickly fell in love with dance and, luckily, was able to stay on my dance team throughout this semester. Not only is it a great way to relieve the stress that studying can cause, but it also allows me to be mindful of my own wellness.

Although I was scared at the beginning of the semester that I wouldn’t have time for dance, I knew that it was something I needed to prioritize in my life. As I continued the semester, I realized that I made the right choice; my dance team was the physical and creative outlet I needed. I became mindful of other parts of my life and more disciplined in my studies. In turn, I was able to enjoy my first semester of veterinary school so much more!

About 30 college students posing for a group photo at a dance competition in green (back and front row) and red (middle row) costumes.

When you’re in veterinary school, it’s important to prioritize what is important to you. Vet school will take up some of your time, but you have enough to invest in yourself! When you take time for yourself, everything becomes easier to manage — including school. My advice for future veterinary students is to try to aim for a balanced lifestyle of both education and wellness. These habits will only benefit you once you begin and continue your veterinary career!

Surviving Game Day As A Veterinary Student

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

When you work as hard as a veterinary student does, you deserve to have a hobby or interest that gives you some time away from your studies. For me, that’s college football!

Ever since I was an undergrad, I’ve made it a point to go to as many football games as I can. This is now my third year in veterinary school and my third season of cheering on the Aggies at Kyle Field, and I want to share everything I’ve learned about how to survive game day as a veterinary student.

Thousands of fans dressed in maroon and white cheering on the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field.

Tip No. 1: Pull Tickets Early

“Ticket pull,” or the process through which Texas A&M students get their tickets to the game, seems daunting and confusing at first, but it’s really not that bad. Ticket pull takes place Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the week leading up to a home game.

Students line up at the ticket windows facing Joe Routt Blvd, sometimes camping out days in advance to ensure they get the best seats. I don’t necessarily recommend doing that, given that veterinary students have busy schedules, but I do recommend pulling as early as you can!

As veterinary students, we are allowed to start pulling tickets at 8 a.m. on Monday. You can send one person to pull the tickets for your whole group as long as that person has their student ID and everybody’s sports passes.

If you have more than 10 people in your group, you have to line up in the “group pull” ticket window. More detailed information can be found at the 12th Man Foundation.

Tip No. 2: Plan Ahead

We have a lot on our plates as veterinary students, so it’s important to plan your weekend work and study schedules around the game if you plan to go. Budget time before Saturday to make sure you get everything done prior to the game or leave an easily manageable amount to finish up after the game and on Sunday.

Tip No. 3: Stock Up

There are several things you can bring into the game that might come in handy.

Most importantly, especially for day games, is a sealed water bottle. One sealed water bottle of any size is allowed per person. Water is very important because the temperature in the stands can get upwards of 5 degrees hotter than what the weather station reports because of the body heat generated by the 102k Aggie faithful, and the sun and humidity can easily tack on 10 degrees to the heat index. It’s important to stay hydrated in that heat!

Sunscreen is also a great item to bring if the game starts during the day. And if there’s even a chance of rain, make sure you pack a foldable poncho —­ Tracy sells branded ponchos in the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS) Marketplace (the school’s gift shop).

To help carry all of this, you’re allowed to bring a clear bag of up to 12” x 6” x 12” or a non-clear small bag no larger than the size of your hand into the stadium.

You should also make sure to wear comfortable shoes — Aggie students pride themselves on never sitting down during the game.

A group of eight Texas A&M students in game day attire standing in the Kyle Field stadium bleachers.

Tip No. 4: Get A 12th Man Towel

12th Man towels have been a staple of the largest student section in the nation since 1985, and for good reason. Not only are they great for cheering on the Aggies and intimidating opposing teams, but they’re also multipurpose!

On a hot day, they can shield your neck from the sun or wipe away sweat from your brow. If it’s raining, they can be used to dry your seat. They can even be used as a koozie!

12th man towels can be bought from pretty much any Aggie spirit store around town. I’ve bought several from the campus bookstore in the Memorial Student Center (MSC) on my way into games after forgetting mine at home. They can sometimes be purchased inside the stadium from merchandise kiosks.

Tip No. 5: Park In Lot 36

Because it’s the biggest veterinary student parking lot and just steps away from the Small Animal Teaching Hospital, chances are you already know where Lot 36 is and how to get there. To get in on game day, bring a printout or screenshot of your valid student parking permit barcode (found after logging into your account at and you can park for free.

There’s plenty of green space for tailgating (if you get there early enough to claim it), and you can take the free Agronomy game day bus from the Lot 36 bus stop straight to the MSC, a block away from Kyle Field. If you choose not to take the bus, it’s about a 10–15-minute walk to the stadium.

About two hours before kickoff, you can even watch the Parsons Mounted Cavalry march down Agronomy Road! I recommend taking the bus to the MSC at least an hour before kickoff to allow time for enjoying the pre-game pageantry that takes place in Aggie Park and outside the stadium.

Tip No. 6: Line Up Early

Finally, I recommend lining up at your assigned stadium entrance (shown on your ticket) around 30 minutes before kickoff. The crowds can be daunting, and sometimes the entrance lines can get pretty backed up, especially early in the season.

Plan to be in your seat about 15 minutes before kickoff so you can catch the flyover and stadium entrance, which has been revamped this season! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Miss Rev, the Queen of Aggieland, as she leads her team out onto the field!

With all these tips, you should have no problem having a fun and smooth game day experience cheering the Aggies to victory.

Gig ‘em!

Exploring the College Station Area

By Evie M. ’25, B.S. in Biomedical Sciences

My path through undergrad as a pre-professional student has taught me many life skills, one of those being to set aside time to rest and refresh so I can put my best foot forward in whatever I involve myself with. As someone who grew up in College Station, I’m also frequently asked by peers about my favorite recreational spots in the Bryan-College Station area.

An aerial photo of the Texas A&M campus at sunset including a view of the Academic Building and the Aggie water tower.

I’m an outdoorsy person, so the first thing that comes to mind is the area’s extensive parks system, which is great for walking, studying, getting some exercise, or picnicking with friends. Some parks I enjoy are Brison, which is close to campus and has beautiful, well-established trees, and Mabel Clare Thomas, which has a running track and tennis and basketball courts. I also recommend Lick Creek, which is a great spot for hiking.

Texas A&M has beautiful areas as well, including the Leach Teaching Gardens, the recently built Aggie Park, and, of course, the School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (VMBS) courtyard, with its view of neighboring pastures. 

One of my favorite things to do in town is visit the farmer’s market that meets on Saturday mornings in Downtown Bryan. Local growers let down their tailgates and set up tents, laying out homegrown vegetables, freshly baked breads, homemade soaps, eggs, and much more on their tables. This is a pet-friendly spot, and some of the sellers keep dog treats on hand!

Another spot to check out in Bryan if you want to get some exercise is the Bryan Aquatic Center, which is open year-round for lap swimming; their outdoor pool is kept heated.

If you enjoy being artistic, there are several art studios in town.

U Paint-It has shelves of pottery for participants to select from, paint, and then have fired. The Larry J. Ringer Library offers several recreational opportunities, hosting crafting events and speaking on topics such as gardening; one night, they set up a telescope powerful enough to see Saturn’s rings! The George Bush Library also hosts free community events, including evenings with performances and fireworks or outdoor movie nights.

There are many local artists to support as well, including the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, Brazos Civic Orchestra, or The Theater Company of BCS, which puts on musicals year-round for community members to enjoy or participate in. Spirit Ice Arena has figure skating showcases and also offers adult skating lessons and public skating.

Of course, one of my favorite Texas staples is the spring bluebonnets that grow wild all over the region, and there are plenty of them in College Station — you can find lots in the Leach Teaching Gardens, including Texas Maroon Bluebonnets!

A fun early summer activity is to find a local berry farm and pick blueberries or strawberries. Also, just down the road in Brenham, you can visit the creamery where Blue Bell’s ice cream started and the Antique Rose Emporium, a nursery that preserves historic roses.

This list just scratches the surface of things to enjoy in the Bryan-College Station area, with Texas A&M offering many opportunities to participate in groups and events as well.

The next time you take a break from studying, or if you come to College Station for a visit, take a minute to explore and try something new!