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Life Lessons in Veterinary School

The veterinary school curriculum is designed to teach you many things. Yes, you will learn plenty of anatomy, physiology, and pathology, but there are some things that aren’t part of the curriculum that vet school teaches you, as well.

Cortney PeaseI feel like each semester I have learned at least one very important lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

In my first semester, that lesson was that failures are a part of life and everything will be OK afterwards. My second semester, I learned that hard work pays off, and my third semester, I learned that it is OK to take the time to take care of yourself.

This semester—which is my sixth, and final, semester of coursework before starting clinical rotations—has already taught me so much in such a short period of time.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the fragility of life and the most important things in it, and there is really only one answer that I keep coming back to—people. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for the incredible people in my life, I would not be counting down the months until graduation (15, in case you were wondering).

My classmates and friends have been a huge driving force in my life these past three years. They provide support and encouragement. They share in my struggles. And, in the end, we all earn our victory together.

There have been many times that I have felt defeated and one of my friends reminds me that it might be one failing exam grade but it does not define me as a person.

There’s also my dad, who calls at least once a week to ask me how my week is going and to make sure I get a healthy dose of "dad jokes" and my mom, who always keeps me in the loop about what’s going on at home and reminds me that there is a world outside of vet school.

My two sisters are a constant source of love and always bring a smile to my face. My nieces look up to me so much—one even says she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up—and that is enough motivation to keep anyone going.

Last, but certainly not least, my husband goes above and beyond to take care of me and support my dreams. He deserves a gold medal for all that he does on a daily basis.

These people have all done their part to make me successful, and I hope I do a good enough job of returning that love to them. I hope that I never take any of them for granted.

All of this to say, whether you are focused on trying to get into veterinary school, struggling through vet school, or trying to advance your career, never forget to take the time to nourish and appreciate your relationships. At the end of the day, the people in your life are what matters most, so make sure that they know that.