In vet school, sometimes you just gotta dance. Whether it’s a victory dance after getting an acceptance letter into the summer externship you wanted, or getting up on a dance floor after a 5-hour anatomy exam, sometimes you just have to let loose. Especially since we spend so much time sitting in lecture or studying inside during these first two years of vet school, it’s important to find a healthy way to let off steam, have some fun, and get some exercise. Because let me tell you, it’s hard to find time to exercise when you have 8 am – 5 pm lectures during the winter, and you don’t like to work out in a gym setting.
I’m definitely more of a hiking, swimming type of gal, and a good hike or swim session for me is 45-60 minutes, both of which have travel time to a specific location that has to be factored in. I’ve found that I can easily add in a short stretch/weight-lifting session before bed, which is really nice on days when I’m tired but I can’t fall asleep, or when I didn’t have the time or energy to do anything more.
But I’ve found that making time to go dancing really does make a difference for me. Not only do I get to go with friends and have a great time, but it’s one of the few times when my mind goes miraculously blank, and I just listen and laugh and get dizzy. Those moments of clarity are so great, because often my mind is so full of information I’m trying to understand, things I’m trying to memorize, and an ever-changing to-do list that sometimes it feels like there’s no room in my head for me. After a night of Lindy hop or contra dancing, I feel much more like myself. My mental slate is wiped clean, and now there’s some room in there for my thoughts, not just my anxieties. So my advice is, if you ever have the chance to drop in on community dance events, go for it!