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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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A Song of Ice and 'Flu'-er

A Song of Ice and 'Flu'-er Being from Texas there is nothing as exciting as some sort of winter weather. “Snow days” are something that we long for, covet, and store in our memory for as long as possible. You can ask any Texan and they can probably tell you the exact date of the last time there was snow in Texas. We’re constantly mocked by our non-Texan relatives in the North, as well as by the stories of walking both ways to school, up-hill, in 20 feet of snow, while Texas completely shuts down at the mere idea of ice falling from the sky. Hey, I’m not complaining, especially when it turns our three-day weekend into a four-day one! The storm that hit last week that was supposed to bring lots of ice and, more importantly, snow. A winter storm warning would pop up on my screen as I watched the Patriots dismantle the Titans (Go Pats!), and my mind and body were ready for the snow. Monday came around and then the news that school is being cancelled due to the ice that is e... (Read More)

Weather Days: A New Tradition?

Weather Days: A New Tradition? The best part of the bad weather days??? NO SCHOOL!! This semester, school was cancelled the Tuesday after our three-day, Martin Luther King Jr. weekend because of the ice. It was so nice to have two extra days of the weekend during which I could get to sleep in and study a little. I did not have much schoolwork to catch up on, because classes for veterinary students had just begun the week before, so I studied some, and then I also got to spend time with friends and just enjoy the extra day. After four weeks apart from people with whom I am use to spending all day, every day, I was so grateful that I was able to spend the day catching up not only on school but on friends’ lives and their breaks. There is a catch with getting a random day off, though. Because the day was not planned, we did have to make up the labs that we missed, and on Tuesdays, first-year veterinary students have three different labs, so making up the classes was frustrating... (Read More)

Refreshing During Winter Break

Refreshing During Winter Break What an amazing winter break I had! Because I live eight hours away, I had been loning to see my mom and dad, so I really enjoyed being with my family for a whole month, cuddling with the family cat, and catching up on bunch of Netflix series. My family and I also got to travel and make some new memories; it was great to be close to them and catch up with the lives of my older friends. I was saddened to have to leave them, but they are never too far for a phone call. On the bright side, I got a new cat named Moose! He is now living with me in College Station, and he is just purrrrfect. He loves to cuddle, eat, and play, when he is not sleeping. What a life he has! While all good things must come to an end, the start to the semester has interesting because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday and an extra day to relax due to cold weather. I was expecting some snow, but a girl can only wish. After that interruption, as I'm getting back in... (Read More)

My Dog Timmy

My Dog Timmy This is my family dog, Timmy. Every time I visit my parents' home in Hurst, I can always rely on him to greet me as if I have been gone for a century when it’s really only been a week. It’s definitely cold days like these when I miss his warm dog cuddles and appreciate how my furry companion has improved my life! Timmy somehow stumbled into my life when I was just 13 years old. A close friend of my family's had just had a baby and were uncertain about how the puppy would do around a newborn, so they decided to surrender Timmy and offered him to our family. Worried about the time constraints and responsibilities of raising a puppy, my parents, of course, said "No!" But, somehow, Timmy still managed to get into my duffel bag and made it home with us that same night. It took a lot of dedication and puppy-training classes for Timmy to be the good dog that he is today, but I loved growing up with him and every challenge along the way! The th... (Read More)

Tracking Food Animal

Tracking Food Animal Now that Christmas break has come and gone and we are now back at school this week for spring semester, I am finally in the homestretch of my path of becoming a veterinarian. After my spring semester finals, I will be going straight into my clinical year this May. During our clinical year, each student takes a core set of rotations in both the small and large animal hospitals, since as veterinarians we are licensed to work on all species. But for the remaining rotations, we get to pick a track that most closely follows what we are interested in doing once we graduate. I want to work primarily with dairy cattle, so before break I chose the food animal track. I will spend several rotations in the Food Animal Department, where they treat food and fiber animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, pigs, and even the occasional camel. I then have the opportunity to conduct externships that will give me more experience in my chosen field. ... (Read More)

My Fall as a 'Veteran' Pet Trainer

My Fall as a 'Veteran' Pet Trainer Fall finals are done and out of the way for undergraduates!! Yay! I survived…barely. Finals take an emotional and physical toll on just about everyone. But looking back on this semester, I would say the fall was, overall, successful. Throughout this semester, things got a little crazy in my house with my roommate’s two pets, an 11-month-old Great Pyrenees, Toph, and a 7 year-old-cat, Moo, as well as the service dogs I've been training that came in and out of the house. Back in August, I started off with a white Labrador Retriever named Pokey. He got along very well with the other pets, rough housing and keeping Toph company and even bothering, with mutual respect, of course, Moo. Training a service dog during the semester can be difficult; however, what made it harder was my replacement dog for Pokey, who returned to the headquarters of Patriot Paws of Aggieland to learn more advanced training. He may graduate as soon as spring 2018 to a vet... (Read More)

Looking Back and Ahead

Looking Back and Ahead Wow! This semester has just flown by! It seems like I just started classes again, but, instead, I just completed my finals. In my last block for the semester, I took two electives, "Clinical Pathology" and "Emergency Medicine." Clinical pathology is understanding disease processes and how they commonly present themselves using diagnostic tests such as blood work or cytology. Knowing how often veterinarians in practice read bloodwork, I was excited to be able to practice those skills and increase my confidence level before my fourth year. Emergency medicine was great because it helped me create a plan for the worst outcome, in hopes of saving lives. Having a basic idea of what to do in emergency situations helps give you a framework and the confidence to face those challenging cases head on. I have really enjoyed my electives this semester because I love how clinically relevant they are and how much they are preparing me for not only fourth yea... (Read More)

Terra, the 'Service Dog'

Terra, the 'Service Dog' Recently, I was able to bring my dog, Terra, to school! That is one of the perks of being a veterinary student—sometimes we get to all bring our pets to class. Mikaela and Terra We needed her for our orthopedics laboratory, in which we were learning to do a proper orthopedic exam and how to apply a splint. Nothing beats the real thing when it comes to practicing, and Terra was a willing patient (for a lot of treats). We started out by just watching her walk in a straight line from the front, back, and sides to see her gait and how she moves. This can help you identify if there is a lame leg and which one it could be. Then you do the same thing at a jog. After that, we do a standing exam and you feel over all the joints for anything that is out of the ordinary. It is important to feel both sides at the same time to compare the two sides. Following the standing exam, Terra got to lay down and we went through all the ranges of moti... (Read More)

Finals, Coffee, and Bears—Oh my!

Finals, Coffee, and Bears—Oh my! Finals week is upon us! There is truly nothing like a finals week in veterinary school, where it seems you learn an entire semester in one night! There is so much to remember and never enough time, so you are forced to learn as much as you can, do your best, and still be satisfied with never knowing all of the information. Third-year vet students are lucky and only have three finals this year—but they are all worth a LOT of points, so they cannot be taken lightly. The first final exam is in "Large Animal Medicine," over 29 hours worth of lectures. No pressure, right?! Our second exam is in "Small Animal Medicine" and ranges from placing external fixators on bones to how to tell if a female dog is pregnant. Our third exam is over "Radiology," and since it is cumulative, we have to study things from all the way back in August. Finals week and veterinary students are like hibernating bears and winter. We stock up on food and supplies, wear our... (Read More)

Making Time for Myself

Making Time for Myself As the semester moves from Thanksgiving break into finals, now is a better time than ever to stress the importance of self-care, which has a reputation of being a glamorous luxury that requires a lot of time and money. While this is far from the case, it is also more than just mentally checking out and watching Netflix for a few hours. Jana and her sorority sisters used their study breaks to prepare to participate in SongFest; their theme "Game of Thrones." As an average college student, I find myself under a lot of pressure to perform well in school, be involved in extra curricular activities, hold a job, maintain a social life, stay healthy, and keep my room clean. Even though that last one tends to fall lower on my list of priorities, I still struggle to make time for all aspects of my busy life, let alone to take care of myself. According to PsychCentral, self-care is defined as any activity that we do deliberately in order... (Read More)