Making the most of the holidays

Want to make the most of the holiday? Read GCU student Raj Dhillon's advice on making the most of your precious summer break.

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Summer – the season commonly associated with sunny days, beer gardens, and holidays abroad. Or for the average Optometry student, the season associated with relentless overtime in practice to help fund the upcoming year at University.

I would love to be able to tell you that there’s a magical way for you to chill out all summer, without the need to embrace your half-broken PD ruler, or listen to the monotonous beeps of a patient failing to correctly perform a visual fields test. But for most of us, there’s not. Unfortunately, the majority of Optometry students have to work over our summers, and that’s just the reality of it. However, that’s not to say all we should do is work. We just have to find that perfect work/life balance.

In the past, I have made the mistake of accepting every overtime shift available to me and as a result, I was working 5 or sometimes even 6 days a week. Looking back, I simply cannot understand why I would do that to myself. Not only did I feel burnt out before I even started back at Uni, but, I also missed out on valuable time I could have used to do things I won’t ever get a chance to do again.

Think about it. Whilst at University, you only have a few long summer breaks to do the things you might not get a chance to do once you start working full-time in practice - take things like Camp America for example. Even if you don’t want to travel, just find time to relax! The summer period is there for us students to recharge out batteries, not burn them out even more.

My advice to you is to make a list of all the things you want to do at the beginning of the summer – whether it’s travelling, volunteering, or even just having a barbeque with friends. Once you’ve got a rough plan of all the fun stuff, work around it! You’d be surprised how accommodating managers at work can be with regards to shifts if you just simply have a chat with them. Also, remember to pencil in a good few ‘chill’ days where you can binge watch your favourite Netflix show whilst cuddling a family sized pack of Doritos.

I hope you’re all well rested before your next semester of Optometry begins, and please enjoy your summer holidays while you still can!

Rajpreet Dhillon
Student rep, Glasgow Caledonian University

Raj is a third year optometry student at Glasgow Caledonian University. He loves the clinical focus of optometry, the challenges it presents whilst dealing with different patients, and of course the OpSoc nights out... Raj represents the university in the first XI hockey team and is helping to arrange this years GCU Eyeball. You will normally find him eating in a lecture theatre, eating on the train, eating en route to clinic, or cultivating mass in Taco Bell at 4am. If he wasn’t already studying optometry, he’d be figuring out how to. Optometry is his lobster.