COVID-19 diaries with TJ Kadiyo: But, why?

The next COVID-19 diary is with TJ Kadiyo, a third year dental student studying at Barts & The London...

TJ, a third year dental student at Barts & The London

"2020." Remember that. It is without a shadow of doubt that it will become the answer to several questions in forthcoming pub quizzes. In what has been an unusual whirlwind of a year, it is remarkable that we have only just crossed the halfway point. 

I'm TJ, and I'm a third year dental student studying at Barts & The London. Whilst assignments, online lectures and tutorials have still continued during the last few months, it is safe to say that my lingering mind has been sprawled around several different areas. Different people have reacted in different ways amidst the global pandemic; a dichotomy exists between using this free time to be super-productive, or taking this time to relax and "smell the roses" as a previous writer eluded.  To be quite honest, I have been ricocheting between both these states - however, I've learnt a lot about myself in the process. 

Those that have ever encountered a significant crisis within their lives have experienced the unearthing of determination, courage and uncertainty that hides and hibernates within all of our bodies. COVID-19 has removed the blanket of comfort and regularity, and stripped any sense of structural routine you most likely had. It's almost like a strong gust of wind sweeping across your body, while you're only holding a flimsy towel to protect yourself. Now you're standing there, stark naked. Do you choose to: embrace it? Take control and grab a blanket? Or stand and wait for a towel to fabricate itself from the heavens? Diffused light has little use, but when passed through a magnifying glass it becomes concentrated and possesses the ability to set fire to paper Your mim is that magnifying glass. You choose the direction. Am I saying go and listen to 10,000 webinars on dentures? No. Am I saying start an online business right now? Absolutely not. I hate toxic productivity and I believe it's unsustainable and useless. But value your time, because that's something money can't buy. In a year's time, what are you going to look back at and wish you started today? Seize the moment. Should I be trying to wake up at 7am? What benefit does that actually have to me? Or is waking up at 2pm fine? Does that align with my long term goals? Is the future me going to reflect and be happy that I chose to wake up early that day, or frustrated that I didn't take the opportunity to relax. The brakes of life are on, and you have time to think...

Please don't take this as my interpretation to "everyone should overthink themselves to death". But, if you're someone that just does things because that's what everyone else seems to doing (aka DFT or DCT?, expensive courses, driving tests, applying to jobs?), I challenge to ask yourself why you choose to do it. Maybe even write it down. 

Life would be boring without reflection. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? This is the question I have used to reiterate any decision I make. I'm a huge advocate of testing the status quo, and I vow to myself to never make a decision without asking myself the question, and knowing exactly, why?

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Do you want to write a COVID-19 diary? Please get in touch! Whether you're a dental student, foundation dentist, dental core trainee, associate, dental nurse, therapist I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

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