Friends and other students ask me how I can manage to work 8 hours per day and be a full-time student. Some of my classmates are still debating if they should start working or not at some point during these three years of school.
How do I do it and would I advise someone else to do the same?
I wouldn’t advise anyone, not because it is not possible, but because each of us is different. Each of us responds different to stress, pressure, tiredness, and mental overwork.
What are my limitations and the things that I still work on improving?
I am not a morning person! Even if I wake up early I really like my personal space to be quiet and enjoy my time alone. My morning schedule doesn’t allow this alone time anymore. Three times per week I wake up at 5:00 a.m. and go to hot yoga before going to work. The rest of the morning I wake up as late as I can but I’m always at work by 8:30 a.m.
Most of the time I go to bed between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m., and this way I don’t get to feel exhausted. Sleep helps me a lot, and I love my 7-8 hours of sleep. On a happier note, it doesn’t take me an hour to fall asleep like it used to!
Do I still watch TV and my favorite shows?
Not really, but I’m sure I’ll survive. 🙂
Do I still meet with friends?
If they are friends that go to school, yes. If they are friends that I used to meet with before I started school, those connections are “on hold” and I don’t really get to see them anymore.
Do I still go out and have fun?
I realized that in order for me to be able to function, just working and studying won’t do it. So, every weekend I make sure I do something fun. This Saturday I went to a concert and I came home around 1:00 a.m. I slept later on Sunday morning, but now I can go back to studying and concentrating on school stuff.
Do I still cook?
That’s one of my biggest challenges! I love to cook and I don’t do well with junk food. Finding the time to cook and have a normal meal has been a struggle. Lucky for me, I follow a high fat, low carb diet so I don’t get hungry all the time. I know that high fat doesn’t really fit into what we learn in TCM, but this works for me so maybe I’ll understand more when I take the Nutrition class.
My diet is very simple. Breakfast: a low carb smoothie, a BPC or some organic eggs, and avocado on flax bread. Lunch: some protein with lots of greens, avocado and some low carb veggies. Dinner is very similar to lunch or might have a bit more carbs like sweet potatoes, carrots etc.
When do I study?
Most of the study is done during the weekends, lunch breaks or the breaks between work and classes. Whenever I feel I need some more time to study, I work half-day or take the whole day to study.
How long do I plan on working full-time? This schedule is only for this tri. Next tri I’ll be back in the clinic (come see me!) probably three days per week, so I’ll only work the other two days of the week.
If you decide to change your schedule and start working, let me know how you feel. I know there’s no perfect recipe and each of us will have their own struggles, but we can all learn from this experience! And if I l have learned anything, it is that I certainly don’t want to open my practice early in the morning! 🙂