Sunday, September 5, 2010

Budgeting time

I had a viola teacher in middle school who gave me the following rule about practicing my viola: You practice every day that you eat. He meant that if you were ill, and thus had no appetite and could not eat, you could take the day off.

At the time I never followed his advice, but these words came back to me this past week as I try to re-orient my lifestyle to the relentless pace of medical school. I'm still don't know how many leisure activities I can allow myself.

Should I take 1 hour go to DSW this weekend to buy boots? No. I'm trying a new line of thinking: If you find that you need something from the store, wait a week anyway. That goes for clothes, groceries, random stuff for the apartment. I hope it works.

All sorts of people -- faculty, administrators, fellow students, second-year students -- have been giving us advice about studying. But in the end, none of them are that helpful. A professor told us that we must study everyday. He specifically used football Saturday as an example of what we should not do. He said that we can't wake up early to tailgate in the morning, watch the game in the afternoon, go to the bar in the evening. Those days are gone! Oh wait, I never did those things in one day anyway. But for me it translated into checking facebook less and blogging less.

But some students say that it's not THAT bad. A second-year told me to take one night off a week. Don't study that night. But that confuses me somewhat too. Should I count Thursday night as my "break" night? I'm not studying much on Thursday anyway. On Thursday I already have class from 8am to 8pm, with an hour lunch break and breaks between classes of at most 15 minutes. I'm really just going home to get ready for bed. I feel a little cheated of my supposed free time if I count it as my "free night".

A fellow student, when asked about hobbies, replied that she reads every night before going to bed. I actually checked out a book from the library that I plan to read for 10 minutes everyday. This means I probably won't remember the beginning of East of Eden or The Unbearable Lightness of Being by the time I've reached the end. But I hope I can get some reading one this way.

I can't remember the last time 10pm or 10:30 was my cue to get ready for bed. I get up at 6:30am now and I need at least 7 hours of sleep to function at all the next day.

Lastly, I will make an effort to blog once a week. See you next week.


ecomarci said...

hey I read East of Eden before I go to bed too! i've heard people say that you just need to pick one hobby in grad school. also heard that you should take one night off a week... have a glass of wine.

weirdly, i've only have about 40 hours of work a week (i think) so I have a lot of free time to bike, cook, read, watch grey's anatomy. At some point I'll have to balance things out though.

CYW said...


Jessieroo said...

I think you've received some good advice so far, but it's also important to remember that once you adjust to your new environment/workload you will find what works for you and what does not. I know plenty of medical students who are still able to participate in weekend activities, play IM sports, etc. and do well in school. I also know others who seem to live at the library and not do as well as they would like. Life, as you well know is about balance, and everyone has their own.

You'll do great! :)