Forward Thinking

I am now almost halfway through veterinary school, and I can’t help but be blown away. Just the other day, I stood talking with my friend at the dog park while our two pets played. The topic came up of our mutual friend being accepted into the incoming class of veterinary students. My friend mentioned how excited she is to apply next year and how crazy it would be if she got in: she would be in the first year, our mutual friend in the second, my roommate in the third, and me in my fourth year. I agreed, not fully processing the concept at the time.

Helping out in the CVM Marketplace, a fourth-year student came in to purchase some College of Veterinary Medicine merchandise. As we casually conversed while she checked out, I noticed the tears in her eyes. “I just finished my last rotation at the vet school,” she informed me; afterward, she said, she sat in her car for 30 minutes processing that fact. I couldn’t imagine the emotional overload she must have felt. I, myself, will have had 20 years of schooling, in total, by the time I graduate.

After that conversation, it hit me—this is the top of the hill. All semester I have joked about the “Wednesday of vet school,” as I like to refer to it. You work so hard and climb so high just to realize it’s all downhill from there. Two years is still a lot of time, but for the first time since entering vet school, it feels within grasp. I’ve finally begun to feel like a doctor this semester, and it has both amazed and terrified me at the same time. Having just finished anesthesia before Spring Break and jumping straight into the “Principals of Surgery” this week, it’s amazing to think of how school has just flown by. Before I know it, I’ll be picking my third-year electives and my White Coat Ceremony will be a thing of the past.

My Spring Break really seemed to summarize these feeling for me. My family and I returned to my grandparent’s coastal property to hang up pictures and clean up the place after all of the construction completed post-Hurricane Harvey. Driving down, my mother remarked about how all of the telephone poles had been knocked down the first time they had driven the route, and I noticed all of the new streetwork that had been done. It’s an odd feeling, really, how a place can look so foreign and familiar at the same time.

Despite what happens and the obstacles that arise, life keeps moving on and people adapt. I find it hard, sometimes, to look forward instead of back, but it’s nice to see how far things have come. Come two years, there will a completely new chapter of my life that begins. Though I’m hesitant to turn the page, I’m excited to see what’s in store. With every uphill battle comes the other side, and I’m just happy to be along for the ride.