How long is a semester, really?

It’s been an entire semester since I started my veterinary career as a student at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. It feels like it’s been about three years. The difference between my attitude, confidence, and knowledge after just a few months is tremendous! Admittedly, things were difficult last semester. As someone who came into the vet school class having not been a science major in undergrad, I had a lot of adjusting to do. For one, I wasn’t used to taking 18+ hours worth of straight science classes in any one semester. I wasn’t used to having to study for hours and hours, or to having two, three, or four, tests and quizzes in a week’s span (sometimes two weeks, if we were lucky). I wasn’t used to treating life as cumulative, rather than simply final exams. So, yes, it was a struggle. But, I made it through stronger and more knowledgeable than ever.

Vet school is truly a life-changing experience. I learned so much about the things I can handle as a student, as a future veterinarian, and as a person in general. I gained confidence from knowing that I got through an entire semester of 8-to-5 classes and some of the most difficult tests I have ever taken. Now, I feel like I can take on this semester without the fear of “newness” that accompanied last semester, without the anxiety about “change” that came with starting at a new school, in a new town, and making new friends. Honestly, I missed Texas Tech (my undergraduate school) more that first semester than I experienced Texas A&M. I left my friends and roommate and fiancé in Lubbock, Texas. Of course I was going to miss it, but you know, all those things are still there. I still have those friends, that roommate is a going to be a bridesmaid in my wedding this summer, and I get to marry that wonderful man who is about to graduate from Texas Tech. I have learned so much, and probably by the end of this, I’ll have forgotten more than I will ever learn, but it is so worth it. I feel like I’ve lived another life having finished only a single semester, and I can’t even imagine the opportunities that await me in the coming years! I survived, I am surviving, and now, in vet school, I have finally figured out how to thrive. Prospective students—this is something you can do. Current students—you are amazing and intelligent and talented! It’s go time, 2015. Vet school is going to have to survive me now.