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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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Lessons of a Break

Lessons of a Break Merry Christmas (a few days late) and Happy New Year (a few days early)!!! This time of year is a favorite for students, a time when we can sit at home and enjoy some textbook free days! It is good for us to get away, and visit with our families. As vet students we spend so much of our time engrossed in our studies, I know many of us (me included) neglect to make time for friends and family the way we should. The Christmas Season always reminds me of the importance of the people in my life, without them I wouldn't be where I am today, and even when I don't keep in touch with them like I should they always support me now. As we move into a brand new year it is time to look at all that we have accomplished over the past year and remember how far we have come! The first year students have completed their first semester of vet school, second year students survived a vigorous semester of parasites and pharmaceuticals, third years are now one semester a... (Read More)

Study Buddies

Study Buddies Finals - that one word elicits a host of negative thoughts. The all-nighters, caffeine overload, and high stakes can add up to be a recipe for disaster. Luckily for Texas A&M students the libraries are offering some really neat stress relievers including free hot chocolate, chair massages and, new this year, therapy pets acting as "study buddies". Aggieland Pets With A Purpose (APWAP) is a non-profit volunteer organization that provides trained animals for educational, rehabilitative and emotional assistance purposes.  They volunteer in elementary schools, nursing homes, rehabilitation hospitals, hospice, and other locations helping the community through their animals. I have been lucky enough to participate in this organization as an associate member. I don't currently have a pet but am able to help members who do have an animal, especially those who have more than one. It has been a very rewarding experience working with special n... (Read More)

Exams

Exams With finals less than a week away, diligently studying (aka "cramming") is pretty much on all of the third year students' minds.  It gets to a point where you attend lecture, but may end up studying material for another class at the same time.  With several semesters of finals behind us, a study strategy has become very important.  Every hour counts. Whether the hour is for studying, napping, working out, or a late night run to Dairy Queen, we are quite aware of how this time is spent. I am sure pre-finals week can be just as frustrating for professors, many of whom will stop just short of standing on their heads to get our attention.  I realized today that as much as students rely on strategy, so do our professors.  Today we got to bring our own dogs to school for our last Small Animal Medicine Lab.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Although years have passed since our instructors had vet school finals week, t... (Read More)

And We Give Thanks

And We Give Thanks The semester is winding down, and through the hallways at the TAMU Vet School there is excitement, apprehension, and especially thankfulness.  It is Thanksgiving week, and we are all geared up for a few days of no class, and some time to rest our brains.  This time of year we all want to remember that we are lucky.  We students are healthy, intelligent people with budding careers in front of us, and we are receiving a top quality education!  As students we can't ask for more than that. We are lucky to be studying at Texas A&M. There is a spirit of family that cannot be replicated elsewhere. We are there for each other, no matter what happens.   With the fast approaching week of finals it is even more important for us to remember that we are lucky to be here.  It is easy this time of year to search for sympathy because of our exam schedule and the difficulty of our courses, but what I would like to remind ever... (Read More)

Catching Up

Catching Up Right now, we second-years don't have another test until finals.  It's quiet…a little too quiet.  But I'm making the most of this lull in stress and studying by… studying?  I know, it sounds weird and nerdy.  I have good reasons, though.  For one thing, it makes it easy for me to study when both of my roommates are also studying.  The only difference is that they actually do have exams coming up this week.  I feel guilty if I'm sitting around watching TV while they are diligently making flashcards and charts.  Also, for the first time in a very long time I can study without a deadline. I can take more breaks, get on Facebook, and zone out a little more often than if I were stressing about a test coming up.  It's easier to learn for life and not for a test this way.  And finally, I find myself studying this weekend because, frankly, finals scare me.  How many times have I had to take finals?&nb... (Read More)

Think Like a Veterinarian

Think Like a Veterinarian As my third semester winds down, I  am starting to feel like I'm beginning to think like a veterinarian.  Concepts in my classes are coming together and I am beginning to see the big picture instead of numerous, isolated facts.  The classroom is undeniably an important part of my education, but I have learned a lot outside the classroom this semester.  Earlier this month, I was able to spend a weekend learning about leadership with vet students, faculty, industry representatives, and leaders within the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).  It was an awesome time where we got to put aside the books and work on something more important, ourselves.  Sure you can be a genius and book smart, but if you can't connect with other people and communicate- how can you be a leader and succeed in your future career?  Thankfully, A & M's faculty has taken an active role in ensuring all veterinary students have the ... (Read More)

Journey of YOUR Lifetime

Journey of YOUR Lifetime LubDub. LubDub. LubDub.  These are the sounds of the heart.  On average, a human heart beats about 3 billion times.  It sends blood to the lungs which comes back to the heart to supply oxygenated blood to the brain and the rest of the body.  The brain, like the heart, works every single day, every single minute.  It keeps the heart beating, it keeps the rest of the body working.  It allows you to feel pain, love, fear, the pressure of the pen in your hand and the keys on your computer.  Through an entire lifetime the brain never stops working.... until I'm in the middle of an exam.  I can try and try to get the answers that I have studied for hours to surface, but for some reason, they refuse.  This is an issue that many of us in biomedical sciences feel.  We learn the information, we hear it, we can repeat it and even teach it to others, but the moment we step into that classroom, sit in our seats... (Read More)

New Puppy

New Puppy As you can probably imagine, vet students tend to have a lot of pets. Some of us have more than others. As of one week ago I only had two, a Golden Retriever, Nelli, and a cat, Boomer. For a while now I have wanted a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. They are amazing dogs, loyal, strong, outgoing and athletic. Last Thursday I welcomed an 8 week-old Swiss Mountain Dog puppy, Brigitte, into my furry family! Is raising a new puppy during your third year in vet school challenging, you might ask? Well yes, it certainly is! I'm back to the days of taking her outside every 30 minutes, making sure she eats and drinks (and poops!) enough, trying to start basic training and figuring out how to get her to stop chasing the cat! Nelli, my Golden Retriever, is a very spoiled dog; she has enjoyed being the only dog in the family. At first she didn't know what to think about the new puppy and just ignored her. Now Nelli and Brigitte are best friends and love to play... (Read More)

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The Light at the End of the Tunnel It's unbelievable how fast time has flown! It truly feels like it was just yesterday I was submitting my application to vet school, checking and double checking to make sure all of my information and essays were in order. Honestly, the 3 months I had to wait for a decision letter feels longer than the 3 years I've been here! I can't believe it, but here I am, preparing to submit my tracking request and 4th year clinical electives! As most of you know, the 4th year of veterinary school at Texas A&M is very different from the first three years. The most alarming change is the lack of a summer break! That's right, 3rd year will end on a Friday, and 4th year clinical rotations will begin on the following Monday. In one week, I will officially submit my request to track a small animal career choice. Other options include large animal, mixed animal (half large and half small), and alternative practice. Up to this point, we are trained and educate... (Read More)

Embryo Transplants

Embryo Transplants As an undergraduate student it is very easy to get frustrated when studying the basics. Organic Chemistry, Nutrition, or Statistics feel like classes you just have to get through before you can study bigger and better things. Plus you can get so bogged down in details that you tend to lose sight of the big picture and what you are working towards. So when I was given the opportunity as part of my Animal Science 107 Honors course to help with embryo transplants in sheep I jumped at it! So first, let me give you a little background about embryo transplants in sheep. The goal of this procedure is to create more lambs from the genetically valuable females. Naturally a female sheep, called a ewe, might have 14 lambs in her lifetime if she is lucky. So as producers we want to greatly increase the number of lambs from a given female. In order to do that we give the valuable, donor ewe hormones that cause her to 'super-ovulate' increasing the number of... (Read More)