Vet school is hard; probably one of the most strenuous things a veterinarian will do in their career – seemingly endless lectures, exam upon exam, and lots of late nights. Sometimes it makes it easy to lose sight of all of the positives. To combat the necessity of school, I have learned that giving myself a much-needed break has been the best solution. At times it can be daunting and I know when I am really struggling with an upcoming exam, a presentation, or the Monday blues – that is when I most need an outlet. I am a strong advocate for having hobbies, something outside of the veterinarian life that gives you a break. Something to take my mind off of things and rejuvenate me for another day.
Roller derby became my outlet. I am on the Arizona Derby Dames, known as Little Bo Reap. I never imagined that I would be on a roller derby team nor that I would remain on it while in vet school. But it has been a huge blessing for me. What’d ya know, knocking down other girls on skates is a great stress reliever. A team of amazing women depending on me to show up and supporting me through my struggles has been what I needed. Two nights a week I get to escape from the library and speed around the track knocking elbows. I may go by an alter ego and have more bruises than the average vet student, but I have found something that is my own that gets me free from the books for a bit. Staying active is important to me and I found a uniquely fun way to keep it up.
I do not recommend everyone go out and join a team, but I do recommend that you give time to yourself. I imagine most of you already have a hobby – just find ways to keep doing it. It is truly important for life balance to get outside of an endless cycle of studying. Vet school has honestly been some of my best memories and I know it has to do with that fact that I made sure to give time to myself amidst all of the studying. There is time to do a weekend hike, join a book club, go riding once a week or even skate in the park. I found my niche for freedom, and I am sure all students can find their own too.