Work/life balance, or, combining passions

4 May 2012

Football (soccer) has been a long time passion of mine. I began to play competitively at the age of four and now twenty years since I first kicked a ball, I am still yet to miss a season (touch wood). Despite my love for the game, I found that it wasn't the only aspect of my life that I wanted to excel in. After my local dentist inspired me to discover the field of oral health, it became another passion. Now studying at the University of Sydney, many people have said that it is time to give up football and focus solely on my studies. However my love of the two fields (and stubbornness to excel) is yet to collapse.

When asked why I wouldn't give it up, as I limp around in class, I could only say that I enjoyed it too much, but it wasn't until I was forced to sit on the sidelines for most of the season in an injury-filled year that I realised how valuable it actually was to balance what seemed like an unforgiving course with regular exercise. Whilst injured I noticed I was far more stressed, easily irritated, more tired than usual and struggled with grades compared to previous years. Once recovered I actually had more energy to expend on something other than study and found that I was more relaxed, happier and more able to deal with stress.

Now when I'm asked the same question, the answer is easy. It is my passion; my outlet away from study. It's my release, keeping me sane in what can be an overwhelming course.

I personally believe that everyone should have their own outlet regardless of what it may be. It should be something active that allows you to enter another domain outside of study, a way to relax and re-vamp your mind. Otherwise, you will find that you are not only compromising your health, but also the ability to reach your maximum potential with your studies.

Ihsan Savran