Mikey Kohan, a third year dental student at UCLA, gives us his advice for how to stay healthy and productive in dental school.
Are you feeling overwhelmed in dental school? Are your Zoom lectures turning out to be more exhausting than you thought they would be? Are those 10 minute Instagram breaks turning into an hour?
It’s ok, we’ve all been there.
Especially during the pandemic, when we are all inside a little more than we would like, prioritizing your health and finding simple ways to stay productive is helpful to avoid cabin fever.
Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you juice celery every morning and stop using social media. We talked with Mikey Kohan to put together 5 easy tips to live a healthier lifestyle, even as a busy student. Get comfortable, grab some tea, and read on, you deserve some you time.
Mikey is from Los Angeles and he is in his third year of dental school at UCLA. He took a gap year before he applied to dental school and spent time shadowing doctors, volunteering, and asking questions about their lifestyle to see which career path was best for him. He told us that taking this time to find what he was passionate about was a great decision, and he recommends that other students do the same. Mikey loves that he will soon be able to bring people confidence and joy by giving them better smiles. This is what drew him to dentistry initially and keeps him motivated in school.
Now that you have met Mikey the dental student, let’s get to know Mikey when he’s off the clock and prioritizing his health and happiness. Mikey loves to run, hang out with friends, watch Netflix, and travel (remember that?) when he’s not working.
Mikey shared with us some easy tips for students to follow to live a healthy lifestyle in dental school. Pin this list up as a reminder, or make your own healthy lifestyle schedule based on these tips because sometimes all it takes is a little push to prioritize your health.
From taking a gap year to find out what you’re passionate about, to taking extra time to study for the DAT, it is important to not rush any of these important decisions and steps. Mikey says that taking a few more months to study for the DAT is definitely worth it if you can perform better and not rush your studying. Even though you may feel lots of pressure and competition in this industry, set your own pace that will be the best for your success and happiness.
Mikey said that one of his favorite things about dental school is the amazing people he has met from all over the world. Find friends that you can study with to help test each other and enjoy their company. Having a social circle with the same goals and work ethic can help you balance academics and your social life. Even Zoom study sessions can bring a sense of joy and comfort before a looming test. And then you can celebrate with a virtual happy hour after you all pass with flying colors! There are also apps like Wrdup that allow you to virtually study with friends and share study materials. This might be the best alternative to meeting up with friends in the library if campuses are closed.
Making time to stay active is also another important piece of advice. Schedule physical activity into your day to make sure that it is a priority. Mikey told us his favorite activities are to run, play basketball, and workout. Find a variety of activities so you don’t get bored with a daily routine. Just simply ask Siri to remind you to go on a walk everyday at 12, or download an app that will push you to get outside for a little bit instead of watching that next episode on Netflix.
It’s also important to clear your mind every once in a while. Dental school is challenging and it is beneficial to take time to meditate, do yoga, or just focus on your breathing. Schedule it into your busy day if you have to, but making time to not think about school is a great way to stay healthy and calm. There are lots of great mindfulness apps that can help you practice meditation or breathing techniques. Smiling Mind is a great free option. Mikey also shared the Wim Hof breathing method with his followers on Instagram (@kohandds). Try it out next time you’re feeling stressed.
Finally, stay organized. You may not have to worry about running into class late, or cleaning your room for guests right now, but staying organized, even if it’s just for yourself, is always helpful. Mikey said that even with pre-recorded online lectures, staying on a schedule and planning out your day is important. Sure, you can let yourself sleep in and watch the lecture later, but a little organization can go a long way to make sure everything still gets done.
Make it a habit to write a to-do list in the morning or before you go to bed for the next day to stay on track and feel productive. You can download the free Whippy to-do list template here! Even if you write down to eat lunch and take a shower, it will feel nice to check off those boxes.
There you have it, 5 easy tips to help you live a healthy lifestyle in dental school. Thank you, Mikey, for your great advice on how to make the most out of dental school. Take some time to sketch these tips into your busy schedule. A healthier mind and body will help you perform your best in school. Watch some Netflix and run; it’s called balance.
Follow Mikey on Instagram (@kohandds) for more healthy lifestyle tips and to follow along with his dental school journey!