Feeling Certainty in Second Year

Laine T.Howdy! My name is Laine and I am a second-year veterinary student and a brand new ambassador! My interests lie in small-animal medicine, focusing on dogs and cats. I am a strong canine enthusiast and absolutely love dog training and pet photography. I have wanted to be a veterinarian since fifth grade and have spent much of my time after my 16th birthday either volunteering or working at a vet clinic. Now in my second year of veterinary classes, I am more excited than ever to pursue my dream as the countdown continues until I receive my doctorate of veterinary medicine—only 33 months left!

I had assumed my second year of vet school would start just like my first one, with the added luxury of more time to study and less time in class. While I was not necessarily mistaken—the coursework is still rigorous, the expectations are still high, and the opportunities are still endless—the beginning of my second year was radically different from my first. For starters, my attitude has changed drastically. After having made it through my first year, I am now more confident in myself and eager to help the incoming first-year students as they learn how to adapt to the change in course load and the shift in lifestyle that comes with entering the veterinary curriculum. The sense of a vet school “family” has become stronger in me as I reach out to those who seem unsure so that I can offer my help and experience in any way that I can. We each worked so hard to enter this program and are now in it together. We also are future colleagues who treat each other as equals and help those in need. If there is anything I wish to accomplish this year, it is passing on this feeling of belonging to the first-year students.

Less subtle a change than my attitude, however, was the nationwide eclipse on our very first day of class; yet, it drove home the same idea. It was heartwarming to watch students and faculty gather in the courtyard to set up scopes and cameras to view the eclipse with their special glasses. Everyone had something in common as they struck up conversations all day, whether they were a longtime friend or stranger.

Then, natural disaster struck that Friday as Hurricane Harvey commanded the news. Though undeniably devastating, it has been incredible seeing the Aggie core value of “Selfless Service” in action for the entire past week. The College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ own Veterinary Emergency Team was deployed along the coast to offer medical support to animals in need. Homes have been opened up to anyone facing floodwater threats in Houston. Kayaks were bought to assist in rescuing those trapped, and countless fundraisers and relief efforts are constantly being made. In this trying time, I am proud to call myself a Texan and an Aggie.

Last year I entered vet school excited, but apprehensive and unsure. This year I know without a shadow of a doubt that I belong here and I am not in this alone. It’s not just a school; it’s a community.