One of the reasons I immediately fell in love with Quillen College of Medicine was the surrounding area. Growing up in Chattanooga and living in Knoxville, close outdoor access is very important to me. As a kid, my family was always at a different swimming hole or hiking on Lookout Mountain. In college at Knoxville, I loved our college get-away trips into the Smokey Mountains. So, when I got to Johnson City and saw the mountains, I knew this was the place for me.
Medical school involves a ton of studying, and I find I am sitting inside quite a bit more than I would like to be on some days. However, one place I have found that allows for a quick, beautiful escape is Buffalo Mountain. Buffalo Mountain is perfect because it is less than a thirty-minute drive from campus and has a range of trails. One of my personal favorites for a quick study break is a less than half mile round-trip trail to a scenic overlook. But, my favorite hike, if more time is available, is the White Rock loop. This trail winds four miles round-trip around the peak of Buffalo Mountain and offers much prettier views. These hikes are a perfect way to spend a study break or even a longer half day exploring the beauty around Johnson City and being out of the study center.
Another personal favorite for me is bowling! Early in the semester, a few people found a local bowling alley that has specials meant for money-lacking medical students. This has become a near-weekly tradition on Sunday evening as a fun way to relax and prepare for the next week. This was another chance for me to get to know people outside of class and un-wind. Overall, bowling and getting outdoors are some of my favorite ways to take study breaks and keep sane during medical school. If you ever want to join us on either, just let me know. 😊