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This weekend was the annual Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners Wet Lab! As the president of our student chapter, all of my time has been devoted to planning this event since the school year began in August.

This year we were fortunate enough to be able to host 247 veterinary students from 22 different colleges of veterinary medicine. We had a total of 21 different labs, and each student was able to participate in 4 labs of their choice.

The day began for me when I arrived at the large animal clinic at 5:30 am. I met the rest of our 18 member committee and officer team to make the final preparations for the participants to arrive. By 7:00 student volunteers were arriving in great numbers. They checked in, picked up supplies, and made their way to their station to get set up. By 7:30 am participants were arriving!

After enjoying breakfast tacos and a few cups of coffee, at 9:00 am the labs began. The participants spent 50 minutes in each of their four labs from 9 until 12:50. During this time they gained hands on experience with the skills that we will all need to be successful equine practitioners. Students had the opportunity to do everything from place bandages, perform ophthalmic examinations, take radiographs, practice using endoscopic and arthroscopic equipment, collect semen from stallions, as well as many other skills.

We were excited to debut this year's new lab opportunity, Emergency Response. In this lab, students were put in a simulated disaster experience and then had to answer to cameras and questioning clinicians posing as press. Through their training during only 50 minutes, they were able to gain invaluable experience in how they might, and how they should react during stressful situations like those during response to an emergency.

We had barbecue for lunch while listening to some advice from a board certified internal medicine equine practitioner. Following lunch, we had Blue Bell ice cream while students had the opportunity to visit with the 11 clinics from all of the country at our Job Fair.

Finally, we all met up for a mixer and a little time for relaxing. It was great to catch up with so many of the people that I have met at different clinics during my externships. It is through experiences like this, that you learn just how important all those relationships that you build with people can become. The profession of veterinary medicine truly is a tight knit community of professionals. I am excited to be building relationships now with those individuals that will be my colleagues in just a few short years.

I finally climbed into bed, exhausted, at about 11:45pm. It was definitely a long day, but one I hope to not soon forget.

It will be a bittersweet goodbye to the 7am biweekly meetings, late night organization parties, endless phone calls, and paperwork. The most amazing part of the entire experience was learning just how incredibly generous the world class clinicians, technicians, and staff of the large animal clinic of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine all are. This event would still just be a distant dream in our student committee's imagination if it weren't for all of those who gave of their time, guidance, skills, equipment, and knowledge to help in making this a success.

It is at times like this that I am yet again reminded of how special Texas A&M truly is. I could not be more grateful to be able to learn in such an amazing place.