Are medical students too busy to have a social life?

There’s no doubt that students across the country are usually bogged down with unimaginable amounts of delayed submissions. However, when it comes to medical students, they tackle the pressure of dealing with human lives during their medical studies. While indulging in extra-curricular activities comes naturally to several medical students, some find it extremely difficult to meet academic targets. 

This PaGaLGuY correspondent spoke to medical students from various institutes in India, some studying MBBS and some in their resident years. For several students, the college festivals are the only events they end up being a part of either as volunteers and committee members or as participants in various performing, fine and literary arts events. 

For some, it’s the best way to step out of their routine and interact with people. Though not many see the importance of having a so called ‘social life’, it’s often essential in building your personality. After all, no doctor would want their patient to opt for a second opinion just because you didn’t seem confident enough while diagnosing them. 

Not only does it add value to one’s personality but it’s also one of the few things students do to keep their sanity intact. Though one might have to compromise on luxuries of a long weekend of doing nothing at all, spending time with friends, catching up on movies or even taking a short trip is not impossible.

Sharayu Rajawade, a third-year medical student studying at Homeopathy Medical College, Pune says, “I’m a person who pursues hobbies like dancing cooking, reading As a medical student, you cannot afford to be frustrated because of how many things you’re missing out on because. Having a fresh and active mind is essential.” 

However, on the other hand, there are students who feel that a medical student’s lifestyle is very different from most other students. Simran Thapar, a student from Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Mumbai adds, “Not only are exams stressful and hectic, but submissions, extra classes, and journals keep piling up too. I love Zumba and have been contemplating joining it again, but I have just not been able to- because in my free time, all I want to do is rest and catch up on a month long’s sleep. It’s difficult to manage juggling between studies and hobbies but, I like what I’m doing, so it keeps me going.”

While students fight the battle of going that extra mile for their careers by giving up on hobbies or even sleep sometimes, here’s what Dr Ragini, the Head of the Ophthalmology Department at Grant Medical College, Mumbai has to say, “I’m not saying it’s a cake walk, but this is a classic case of what my generation didn’t have and what yours is lucky to have. There’s so much more connectivity, so many options as well. What doesn’t work is comparing yourself to students from different academic backgrounds.”

Though stepping out of one’s comfort zone comes for some students as an instinct, for those others who find it difficult to reach out to doing something fun, get out there and spend an hour on what you truly love.