Interviewed by Jack Vorgias, transcript by Saleha Sehgol
A brief discussion with some of the most talented meddies reveals their hidden secrets to time management
Jemma – Art
Jack: Hey Jemma, thank you so much for having the time to chat with me today. I’m going to start by asking what is the talent that you will be telling us about today?
Jemma: I’ll be talking about my love of art, creativity and everything like that
Jack: Mm okay, can you describe what you do with art?
Jemma: Yeah! I really enjoy any medium of art whether it be oil painting, drawing, crochet, knitting, embroidery – all sorts of different art mediums. I really enjoy creating and I do it both in a sort of serious sense but also just to relax and for fun.
Jack: So what got you into art?
Jemma: So I’ve always had a very artistic family. When I was very little I would be with my grandmothers a lot – they would always pick me up from school. One grandmother is an amazing painter and drawer and the other one is an amazing knitter and embroiderer. So that resulted in me having exposure to all different mediums – both textiles and visual arts. I would always do art with them from when I was very little. As I got older, I continuously enjoyed it (I ended up doing it for the HSC) and I really loved that. I find exploring different mediums to be really exciting so it’s been a sustained passion of mine until now and into the future!
Jack: Wow! Coming back all the way from your grandmas that’s a really cool connection. How do you tend to manage having time to work on your art while also managing keeping up with Medicine?
Jemma: It’s been a challenge because obviously Medicine is pretty intense. But I think finding little pockets of time helps – for example in the mornings I typically wake up very early and do a little bit of crochet before going to uni. Finding these small little pockets of time can help me get in some relaxation time in between work. At the same time I will typically multitask during my breaks – so if there’s a show I want to watch, I’ll watch it while drawing or painting. If there’s a lecture that is not requiring full focus, I might do some crochet during that lecture. It’s a bit of multitasking! Also prioritising rest and relaxation through scheduling time, not rigidly, but making sure I leave myself enough time to do art and have fun is also really important.
Jack: I’ve never thought of that personally – I’m more of a one-track mind. But the idea of using those little pockets of time to spend a little bit of time on your hobbies and all that as well as multitasking seems like a really good way to do it. That’s really interesting! Within all of that – amongst your crocheting and drawing – do you still have time to do other things like go out with friends or do some other hobbies?
Jemma: Yeah! I definitely still find that with meeting up with friends, exercising and even working in Medshow, which are all of my various hobbies aside from art, I can still really enjoy. Also, combining the two is a really good idea – for example I’ve got a few friends who like crocheting and art as well. So we might meet up and do that together which is really fun because it’s social but we’re also embracing those passions. It also makes it more fun when you can share your passion with others. So combining various activities is really good because it’s double the enjoyment.
Jack: That’s great because finding the ability to combine things is a really great way of managing your time. I hope that people who listen can learn some things from the way that you do it – the way you manage your time by combining things and make your hobbies and talents a sociable activity so you can go out with your friends at the same time. I really liked hearing that. Thanks so much for talking and agreeing to have this chat with me! It was really helpful and I hope people enjoyed what they heard today!
Jemma: Thanks so much! 🙂
Isabella – Running
Jack: Hey Isabella, I’ve brought you here to describe a particular talent. What is the talent that you’re here to tell us about?
Isabella: I quite enjoy long distance running! It’s one of my hobbies.
Jack: What do you typically do in terms of how you spend your time throughout the week if you want to practise or get in some casual runs?
Isabella: I tend to run about 5-ish times per week. I vary the distances up – anywhere from 5 to 25km. But what I really enjoy the most is running with different groups of people throughout the week to keep it fresh. So typically I’ll do 2 runs alone and 3 with clubs or people.
Jack: So you typically combine your runs with some socialisation?
Isabella: Yeah for sure. It definitely keeps me fresh and motivated. Especially in the cold weather – it gives me a reason to wake up!
Jack: Yeah I’m sure it does! So what got you into running in the first place?
Isabella: So I ran on and off throughout high school – I’ve always been into sport. But it was through uni and joining UNSW RunSoc (not a plug) that I found the community really helped build consistency and allowed me to see my friends and hang out. It was a pretty good reason to turn up to each run as well as the fact that the runs were already made for me and I didn’t have to figure out a route. So I think it was definitely the social aspect that kept me more consistent and from there I could keep setting and pushing my goals while I had everyone around me to keep me going and encourage me.
Jack: So when you tend to set goals, do you try and set goals regarding the distance or time you can run?
Isabella: Yeah, I know a lot of people tend to work on time. But for me I enjoy pushing the distance first – for example saying I want to run an extra kilometre or two than last time or if I find a really cool route that can push my distance a bit. From there I’ll work on speed. I think getting familiar with the distance is a lot more fun than trying to push the pace, especially when running with other people because you can keep up the chat rather than having to intensely focus on numbers the whole time.
Jack: That’s pretty good! When you spend so much time on running, how do you find the time to manage your running with different groups, alongside alone, alongside studying Medicine.
Isabella: Good question! Anki has definitely been my best friend (unwillingly) this year. I think trying to achieve a study schedule that is more quality based than quantity is key. Having those short snippets of time where I can study has worked really well. Planning my runs around my hospital days as tragic as that might sound also works well. It also depends on my energy levels and how I’ll be feeling. For example, if I have a hospital day, I might just dedicate that day to studying. If I’m running, I might focus on that. So designating days is very helpful.
Jack: So you find yourself to be a big planner throughout the week?
Isabella: Yes 100%. I have a purple planner that I carry around everywhere and I have a to-do list that I complete everyday and prioritise it. I don’t know what I would do without it!
Jack: Yeah I think with all the commitments with hospital it would be kind of hard to go about the week without some sort of plan. Even with that, do you find you still have time to be involved in other things such as socialising?
Isabella: Yeah for sure. So for me Sundays are running days, Saturdays are work with tutoring all day. I think catching up with friends in the context of lunch breaks or dinners is really helpful. Also I have a few societies that I’m a part of and different events that I help run that keep things interesting. Luckily they peak at different times of the year so it’s not too bad to manage.
Jack: That’s really good – this is something that a few other people have been saying on the podcast too ie. that combining hobbies with socialisation is a good way to spend time. You also mentioned using little bits of time to the best of your ability works well.
Isabella: Yeah 100%. It’s also great when you can catch up with friends in the context of your activities but it also gives you a reason to keep showing up. Like looking forward to having that conversation or coffee after a run.
Jack: Yeah so it would give you some extra motivation beside the activity?
Isabella: For sure, there’s definitely a big benefit there – it keeps you accountable! 🙂
Jack: Thanks so much for answering these questions. I’m sure people who listen will take a leaf out of your book and implement it for themselves. Thank you again!
Sajid – Music
Jack: Alright Sajid, to start off our conversation, can you describe what your talent is?
Sajid: The main talent or hobby of mine would be my interest in music – whether it’s covers of songs that I really vibe with or mixing music that I set up through the digital-audio interface such as Bandlabs.
Jack: So what got you into this?
Sajid: Basically a long while back I had a long of spare time following an ACL injury through high school. I had a surgery and it made me incapacitated for quite a while. And during this time, one of Ed Sheeran’s best songs of all time, ‘Perfect’, came out and I really wanted to get into an instrument, especially the guitar. I really wanted to play the finger style version of the song. So why not get into that? Afterwards, I waned off my interest in my music but at the end of the first year of Medicine I got more into the chord style of guitar and singing at the same time. This felt really cathartic to me and I think a lot of people can relate to that – it feels like a stress-relief. Earlier this year, I got into mixing music with a mate who showed me how to use the software Bandlabs. From there on it was a deep dive into a rabbit hole of using the digital-audio interface – you can do so much with it (you can do vocal effects). We kind of made a makeshift boy band and from there it’s been so much fun.
Jack: Wow it sounds like a lot of involvement but it sounds like you enjoy it a lot! How do you manage keeping up with this talent while studying Medicine and keeping up with content?
Sajid: Keeping up with content? I really don’t know how necessary that is! With these kinds of hobbies it’s really good to set goals aside. I thought that with music, I definitely want to make goals if I want to go somewhere with this. So I had a goal of working towards something every 1 or 2 weeks, whether this was something completely ass that I might record or something that I might spend 4-6 hours on a Friday night, I always have a goal. Another way I make time for music is by making an Instagram account – it made me feel more accountable where I would aim to release music every 2 weeks for my thousands and millions of fans.
Jack: Do you want to plug your Instagram right now?
Sajid: Sure thing it’s ‘sajidr_music’
Jack: Since you’re managing music and Med, do you still have time to hang out with friends or anything like that?
Sajid: I think it’s a lifelong balance – juggling uni or high school with your social life and hobbies. I try to follow a mantra that it’s not just finding time but making time for things you want to get involved in. This year I’m quite interested in MedShow, especially dancing. It seems pretty cool and I’ve heard plenty of great things about it so I am planning to make time for that!
Jack: Medshow plug. Come to MedShow or join dance, tech or costumes. Find it on Facebook. Thanks so much for talking about your hobbies today and I hope some people find inspiration in what you’ve told us.
Sajid: No worries! Cheers Jack. Thanks for having me 🙂