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For Auld Lang Syne

So, this is the New Year! 2011 is here, New Year's resolutions are momentarily in full-swing, and the student recreation center is soon to reach full capacity. The spring semester is always an exciting time at the College of Veterinary Medicine: 1st year students are desperately searching for the best odor neutralizers after numerous failed attempts at freshening up their large animal anatomy jumpsuits, 2nd year students are looking forward to saving bananas from hemorrhaging out as we fumble through our "Suturing for Dummies" textbook, 3rd year students are about to step into full-time clinical rotations, and 4th year students will soon be referred to as Doctors of Veterinary Medicine!

Meanwhile, the College of Veterinary Medicine just finished up conducting interviews for the upcoming Class of 2015. Throughout the process, interviewees were welcomed by the Associate Dean for Professional Programs, provided a complimentary lunch, and offered a behind-the-scenes tour of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal and Large Animal Teaching Hospitals. Throughout my tours, two reoccurring questions were asked: what are my chances of failing out? And, will I have time to have a life?

Our professors are not out to get you. Is veterinary school difficult? Sure. Is it impossible? Absolutely not. If you are confident in your abilities to learn the material and truly wish to become a veterinarian, you will find a way to get the job done - after all, you're a vet student! If for some reason things begin to look a little shaky, you will have a massive cavalry of a support system consisting of 131 fellow classmates, faculty and administration doing everything in their power to help you ride out the storm. The College of Veterinary Medicine has 132 degrees to hand out at your graduation…they don't plan on running out any time soon.

Lastly, I cannot stress the importance of reserving time for yourself and the people who matter most to you. In my honest opinion, taking time out of your day to walk the dog, ride your horse, or watch the football game is the most important thing to remember while in veterinary school. Spending countless hours in the anatomy lab or staring at parasitic worms' life cycles will make even the soundest mind go a little crazy. The fact of the matter is: a veterinary student's well-being and happiness is far more important than a few extra points on an exam. Mastering classroom objectives, then applying them in a clinical atmosphere is imperative; however, one must remember to never let that impede one's ability to find the joy on a daily basis.