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Student Perspectives
The Student Perspectives blog is a fresh and realistic snapshot of the life of veterinary medical and biomedical science students.
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Filling a Puppy-Sized Hole in my Heart

Filling a Puppy-Sized Hole in my Heart   Laine, before her undergraduate graduation, and Karsen, the service dog she raised, who graduated to become a diabtic-alert companion for a woman in Arizona. It’s funny, the things you look forward to in life as time goes on and things change. Looking forward to the break has always been a constant in my life and now that I’m nearing the midpoint of my second year in vet school, I only have two winters and one summer left to cherish—what a thought! I’m looking forward to going home and visiting my family, of course, but I’m also excited to go back and work for the veterinary clinic I’ve been helping at since I was 16 years old. They’ve always been a second family to me and I’ve never failed to learn something from the staff there as I practice my new knowledge. It’s never really work when you’re with people you love, doing what you love. That isn’t the only reason I’m excited to return home this winter, though! As an undergraduate student, I rai... (Read More)

Taking Advantage of Opportunities

Taking Advantage of Opportunities Only 20 days of school left! I can’t believe time flew by so fast. Just a little over two months ago, I was starting my first semester of my sophomore year. Because of the opportunities I found last year, I have been balancing not only school, but also working as an ambassador, doing research in the animal behavior lab, and volunteering at the Wildlife Center (it’s a class, but you’re essentially volunteering). It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun, too! I experienced so many new things this semester, and I can’t wait to experience more. I like to think I’m a hard worker. Maybe it is the Vietnamese blood in me. Maybe it was my family’s circumstances. Maybe it is just my personality. Whatever the reason, that trait helped me get to where I am now. About a month ago, I applied for the BIMS Costa Rica Study Abroad (which, by the way, I encourage any BIMS undergrad to apply for). In my application, I wrote a two-page essay that was peer-... (Read More)

Looking Forward to my Last Break

Looking Forward to my Last Break This upcoming Christmas break will be my last as a student, as my peers and I will be entering clinics immediately after the conclusion of the third-year veterinary curriculum. I have been meticulously planning to get the most out of the four-week break, during which I will be spending two weeks doing a veterinary externship in Dallas and the remaining time traveling with family and friends. Externships offer students an exciting opportunity to spend two to six weeks under a direct doctor mentorship to apply the clinical skills obtained during the first three years of veterinary school and ease the transition from classroom to clinical practice. I am really looking forward to the externship experience, as I feel more confident interpreting blood work and other laboratory data than I have ever been. Needless to say, I am also very excited to travel! My advice to all future students is that you should use your free time to travel spontaneously... (Read More)

Semester Turns Down, Skills Turn Up

Semester Turns Down, Skills Turn Up There are less than 20 days left of the semester! Hallelujah! The 2VM class has had a countdown since the middle of October, and I already have plans to become a permanent resident of my bed for at least a week when I get home. Maybe I’ll venture out to chat with my mom over brunch, mindlessly watch “Top Gun” with my dad for the 100th time, and bribe my brothers to go to the movies with me. But I’m also finding myself feeling excited to go back to work for this winter break, more excited than I have been any other break. I have worked at a clinic for four years now, starting as a shadow (also known as from the bottom) and moved my way up to technician (where I now am), albeit a still-somewhat-clueless one. One thing that I’ve noticed is that after every semester in veterinary school, I actually understand more of the things that go on in the clinic. After first semester physiology, I understood heart rhythms on EKGs and why everyone was conc... (Read More)

Exploring the Unexpected

Exploring the Unexpected College—what a scary word, even for students IN college. It is a time to live and a time to settle down and really focus into what you really want to make of your life. For me, my first semester as a sophomore in the BIMS program has been a little bit more stressful than what I had anticipated compared to my freshman year. My experiences within this program has taught me a lot about college—most importantly, that life goes on. I have never been the smartest girl in my class but I have been one of the most hardworking. Obstacle after obstacle, my experiences have taught me of my limits and boundaries. What I have learned about my challenges in school is that grades matter, but so does your overall happiness. A&M has been the biggest challenge I have had in my life. Being seven hours away from home, making friends, and keeping up in a challenging program is stressful but, yet, such a great experience. Overall, I am still in the process of... (Read More)

Finding 'Balance' as a First-Year Vet Student

Finding 'Balance' as a First-Year Vet Student When Caitlin's mom visited for the weekend, Caitlin and took her to an Aggie football game. Going into a professional program, you hear that all you will be doing is studying and going to class. Say goodbye to sleep, friends, family, etc. I heard all of these things coming into veterinary school, and, honestly, it was really discouraging. I didn’t want my outside life to be put on hold for four years while I pursued the education that would shape my career. Vet school was preceded by three days of orientation in which my classmates and I received many reminders to have a school-life balance. That was the first realization that school might not be as daunting as I thought. While I had thought that I would go in and four years from now I would see my friends, what I was hearing day after day was that I would still have friends as long as I made the choice to see them outside of school. Sometimes studying would have to be put on hold... (Read More)

Thinking about the Human-Animal Bond

Thinking about the Human-Animal Bond Ambassador Cortney (right) with her two best friends: her husband and her dog, who was a guest of honor at her wedding. This semester, we had some new artwork installed in Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex (VBEC) with the underlying theme being "the human-animal bond." These pieces depict animals and humans interacting with one another in various, mutually benefical ways. What is the human-animal bond though? We learn in veterinary school that the human-animal bond is the dynamic relationship between humans and animals that adds to the health of both in ways such as emotional, physical, and mental well-being. Understanding the human-animal bond and its importance is a crucial part of practicing veterinary medicine. I, like many pet owners, care about my pets very deeply and am so thankful to have them in my life. I got my pup when I was 14 years old and she was only 8 weeks old. She is turning 9 years old next month and ha... (Read More)

Learning through Labs

Learning through Labs After the gauntlet of the first two years of veterinary school, it really is nice to experience some of the perks of third year. We get to put a lot of what we learned our first two years of school into use, especially during our lab periods. Just this past week, our Small Animal Medicine class had us practicing a procedure called a pericardiocentesis, a procedure that involves inserting a needle through the body wall and into the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart, so that the fluid can be drained. This may be necessary in certain patients to remove excess fluid to make them feel better and also so that the fluid can be tested to determine what may be causing the patient’s problem. My class was able to practice this on some pretty cool models that simulate how it will feel to perform the procedure in a live patient one day. We previously had several large-animal labs. My favorite was the ophthalmology lab, which gave us practice in ... (Read More)

Taking Time to Enjoy the Little Things

Taking Time to Enjoy the Little Things I feel that as I’ve gotten older, time has gone by much quicker. Days pass by in what feels like minutes, months fly by in hours, and years fly by in weeks. Throughout high school and even into college, I felt that I didn’t appreciate the time as it was happening; it felt like I was just focusing test to test, one event to the next, but I didn’t appreciate the things that were happening every day. Now that I’m in veterinary school, I’m trying to change that mindset, to not look at a professor’s material as “boring” just because it isn’t the subject matter that I’m interested in, to not complain about waking up early or staying up late, but to enjoy where I’m at. I feel that I’m fortunate to be here and to complain about the little things doesn’t allow me to be appreciative of the opportunities I have been given. Naturally, one of the ways I found to stay grounded and to stop looking to the future was getting a puppy. Now, sure, when he was goi... (Read More)

Managing Time as a BIMS Major

Managing Time as a BIMS Major I’m almost half way done with my first semester of my sophomore year as a biomedical science major. Looking back to the start of the fall semester, I anticipated a lot of exciting things when the semester began: another Fightin’ Texas Aggie Football season, taking courses more geared toward my major, the sophomore wildcat (a way for students to show class pride), earlier registration for classes, and not wandering around campus looking completely lost. However, after a week in, I realized I had a lot to balance, as well: a job, demanding classes, honor societies, organizations, officer positions for honor societies and organizations, volunteering, shadowing, and training to become a certified first responder. In high school, I was extremely involved, took advanced placement classes, and also worked, and I still had time to sleep and actively maintain a social life. In college, I’m still extremely involved, taking hard classes, and working, but... (Read More)