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Finding the right Balance: Social life and settling into medicine


Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Medicine
Course: MBChB Medicine
Category: Student blogs

20 June 2023

Starting a new course is an exciting time, however it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed. Medicine is no exception to this, as a student you will be juggling studying, attending placements, lectures and maintaining a social life. The art of balancing all of this is not something that happens overnight.

It can take some time to figure things out, find out what does and what doesn’t work for you. Remember, things that work for others, may not be the right method for you. The most important thing is to remain on top of things and find a rhythm that works best for you. In this blog I will be sharing some tips on how to balance social life and settling into medicine.

Finding your community

Suddenly finding yourself in a new city, a new course and a new room can be particularly daunting, however it is important to remember that university is one of the best places to make friends.

  • Societies: Universities have a range of societies ranging from academic (Surgical Society) to cultural (Afro-Caribbean society) to downright niche (I am looking at you hot chocolate society). This is a great way to meet new people who share common interest. There will be many opportunities to attend events and gatherings hosted by these groups.
  • Welcome week: This is a week filled with fun, free food and lots of icebreaker events and activities. Whether you enjoy staying out until dawn or playing board games, there is something for everyone. Take advantage of this week to come out of your comfort zone and approach your fellow peers.

Settling into Medicine

  • Attendance: Attend your lectures and tutorials. It is quite easy to lose track of all your learning in medicine, there is a lot to study after all. So, make sure to stay on top of the lectures and course related activities. This will help you with your workload and avoid cramming during exam season.
  • Time management: Be effective with your time. Use an app or a calendar so you always have your timetable at hand, and then add in your study schedule and stick with it. Building good habits over time will give you the discipline to stick to them on the days you are looking to find motivation.
  • It is ok to ask for help: If you are struggling, remember you can speak to your personal tutor or a member of staff.

The balance

As mentioned, it can be a worrying prospect trying to juggle university, social life and even possibly a part-time job. However, there are ways to decrease this pressure and enjoy your time as a medical student.

  • Be effective with your time: If you have scheduled a 6-hour revision session, and you find that you are not productive, try breaking down your studying time into more manageable blocks. This will help you get the most out of your studying and your time.
  • Take breaks: This is essential as it allows you to relax, recuperate and avoids burnout. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your studies, try scheduling in breaks so that you are more likely to take them regularly.
  • Keep doing the things you enjoy: Being a medical student doesn't mean you can’t keep up with all the hobbies you enjoy. You will be a more rounded student if you still do the things you enjoy, whether that is hiking, gaming, or diving!

Fatima studies Medicine at ARU in Chelmsford. If you're interested in studying a medicine, nursing or allied health degree, book your place at an Open Day to find out more.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.