… by Craig / from Scotland / studying Medicine / 1st Year (UG)
As a first-year medical student at the University, also having completed a four-year BSc here, I thoroughly believe that taking time for yourself is one of the most important ways to maintain positive overall wellbeing. Throughout my first degree at Edinburgh, I took full advantage of the diverse range of academic, sports and general interest societies on offer. I benefited from involvement with the Society of Immunology and Infectious Diseases (SIID), the University tennis club, the Student newspaper and volunteering with the Patient Outreach Project.
The flexibility of such groups allowed me to strike an optimal work-life balance, where I could shut-off from the stress that accumulates with university and part-time work, and prevent myself from burning out. Although being physically, mentally and creatively challenged are not components of every degree programme, I feel as though I have developed into a well-rounded and adaptable individual due my involvement in these extra-curricular activities. Such refreshing and rewarding experiences often raised my spirits, cleared my mind and improved my attitude and approach to subsequent work.
A highlight of my involvement in societies has been obtaining a Fringe job working as a Fundraising Coordinator for the HIV and hepatitis C charity Waverley Care. This was an experience I will never forget and gave me the opportunity to develop my confidence, communication and leadership skills whilst advocating something that I am profoundly passionate about. I first heard about this charity when the SIID committee was researching a local group to support with our annual pub quiz. From there I followed the charity’s amazing work and applied enthusiastically when I saw the vacancy.
The fact that the University of Edinburgh is dedicated to giving every student more than a degree; ensuring well-roundedness, a plethora of transferable skills and sound wellbeing, was definitely a key reason why I chose to stay at the University and do my medical degree for another 5 years – I truly could not see myself anywhere else!
The University of Edinburgh Student Blogs are supporting the Students’ Association’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Week, taking place from 13–17 November 2017.