Out of office – Sumeet Sandhu and a love for netball
Sumeet Sandhu talks about her passion for sport, travel – and why she thinks having hobbies away from dentistry is a must.
Please introduce yourself
I’m Sumeet Sandhu, a final year student at Peninsula Dental School. I am a co-founder of revisedental.com and won Sportswoman of the Year at the Future of Dentistry Awards 2019.
From this, I have recently started a blog called wholesum.uk, fusing a healthy lifestyle and dentistry together to encourage others to look after their mouths and bodies.
What do you get up to in your spare time away from dentistry?
This is a big question for me, as it varies so much!
It can jump from exercising to going out for meals with friends, to art and exploring the outdoors!
Recently, this list includes blogging and writing too. And with lockdown I have tried a bit of everything.
The most common one for me would be exercise.
When at university, this would have been mostly the gym and netball! Last year I took up rock climbing and swimming with some friends. I’m excited to get back into those again!
Honestly, it can really vary though, as yoga and running have been some lockdown favourites too.
When I’m not active, I usually turn to going out with friends for drinks or a meal, or some form of art – mostly drawing. But I’ve also tried painting, crochet and scrapbooking (I’m very sentimental).
Are you a foodie? Why and what particular food do you go for?
Of course. All of my friends know me as the one who eats a lot more than you think. Especially a good Snickers bar or two!
In terms of meals, my absolute favourites are a good Mexican or Italian dish. As a student though, my typical every-day meals would be a decent stir fry, pasta dish or curry.
I enjoy cooking, and always have done. I’ve also been trying to explore vegetarianism and veganism more. I’ve learned so many new recipes by doing so.
There is something about a good hearty meal that makes my soul so happy!
Are you into any sport? If so, what sport and why did you get into it in the first place?
Those who know me, know how competitive I can be. So I think for that reason sports has always been a big part of my life!
Netball has a big place in my heart. I have been playing since I was eight or nine years old at primary school and have been playing in clubs ever since!
Joining the university netball club has played a huge role in my entire university experience. Not only did I get to play with some amazing girls, but it allowed me to captain and be part of the committee. I learned so much from it all!
I’m a goal defence/goal keeper kind of girl, and most definitely not a shooter. The team aspect of netball is definitely why I love it so much. Everyone shares similar passions and it’s always so fun training and playing with some of your best friends.
Aside from netball, I enjoy running, swimming, rock climbing and yoga and just love the variety!
I’m not good at all of these, but trying and seeing small improvements each time is the best feeling.
Rock climbing has definitely stolen my heart too; it’s a great challenge and fun to go as a group and try together. I’d encourage everyone to give it a go.
Naturally, as I go to university in Devon, my next venture is surfing. I tried and failed many times but hopefully I’ll master it in my final year!
What type of television do you like – any guilty pleasures?
I’m not a huge TV fan, just because I’m one of those people who loves to keep busy (many of my friends call it weird, I know).
Having said that though, I must admit, I’ll never say no to a good Friends binge every now and then.
Off the top of my head, some of my most recent favourite shows have been Money Heist, Peaky Blinders and the Last Dance.
Do you like to travel and do your hobbies take you anywhere in particular?
I adore travelling and have been fortunate that I was able to do so from a young age.
For me, travelling really grounds me. It reminds me there is a whole world out there full of different cultures and ways of doing things.
Exploring new cultures fascinates me and you can take away so much and apply it to your everyday life.
Put simply, it encourages you to be more open-minded and adaptable to different situations throughout life.
I’ve travelled in Africa, Asia and Europe and have had many holidays in America! I actually completed a dental elective with my friend in Nepal last summer. It was absolutely incredible and I would encourage everyone to do one if they can!
There are so many more places that I would love to explore, with South America, Australia and the Philippines at the top of my list.
Why is it important to have hobbies away from dentistry?
Since a young age, I have always participated in extra-curricular activities and found they have made me a more well-rounded person in terms of skills and socially, which I am grateful for.
As much as we all love dentistry, I think it is so important to have an outlet away from it all that allows you to engage with people outside of a healthcare setting and talk about ‘real-life’ things.
Especially as a student, I see so many people get engrossed in studying and ‘all-things-dentistry’. They forget to have fun and enjoy the university experience!
This approach is so detrimental for wellbeing too. We all know how real burnout is.
In my opinion, we have to love what we do. But should invest in living and growing as individuals too! Look at it this way – at least you have a bigger range of things to talk about with patients.
Anything else you would like to add?
I think, all in all, I just want to encourage people to take up hobbies and develop themselves as individuals.
These don’t have to be sports or exercise. Though I would highly recommend it due to the general physical, mental and social benefits!
If we all do something different, then we could be the most diverse and interesting group of professionals out there.