Gearing Up for My Last Summer Ever

Spring has finally sprung in Aggieland, and I couldn’t be happier for it to finally be here. This winter seemed especially long, wet, cold, and dreary. I am not a huge fan of cold weather, especially not when you couple the cold temperatures with constant rain. Luckily, it seems as if the cold days are behind us and warm weather is here to stay. Spring is one of my favorite times of year for many reasons. I love the increase in temperature and the growth and rebirth that comes along with it. Birds are chirping, bluebonnets and wildflowers are in bloom, trees are turning green, and baby animals are all around. The longer days mean I actually have more time to see my horses and even occasionally take them for a ride. So in general, life is pretty good right now.

Summer is just around the corner and I feel a simultaneous sense of excitement and sadness thinking about it. I feel excitement, because summer is awesome. I will have the freedom to have time to pursue learning at vet clinics, to work, to travel, to sleep in, to enjoy outdoor activities, to visit family and friends, and to catch up on life outside of vet school. The only reason I feel sad when I think about summer coming up is because this summer represents the last summer of freedom before I enter into the real world and get a job. Next summer, I will be a fourth-year veterinary student, and I will be in clinics starting the week after the end of my 3VM semester. So this summer, I need to make sure to enjoy to the fullest.

I have big plans for the summer that include traveling back to NYC for a few weeks for work, doing a couple weeks of externships at various clinics across the country, attending several weddings of some of my very best friends, traveling, and spending time out in the great outdoors riding my horse as much as I can. I plan to spend time with my friends and family, because there is no telling where life will take me after I graduate. So this might be my last opportunity to spend an extended period of time back home. I also really look forward to getting to spend quality time with my nieces and nephews who are growing up too fast while I am away at school.

Ultimately, I can’t wait for summer to get here. Life moves at an incredibly fast pace, and in the blink of an eye, I know I will be walking the stage and earning my DVM degree. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy every minute of this time I still have left as a student.

Spring Semester Perspective

It is now the spring semester of my second year as a veterinary student, and for the first time in a while I am excited about my classes and the curriculum. The first year of vet school was a challenge, on so many levels, for my classmates and me. The classes are difficult and there is (what seems like) a never-ending flow of work and studying to be done, with no breaks to catch your breath and recover. Then, in the second year of vet school you start fall semester with some rather challenging classes. The schedule was far improved over that of first year, but the classes increased in difficulty almost enough to offset that extra time we had in our day. By the time I got to Christmas break last semester, I was exhausted and needed the time off.

Now, I am in the spring semester of my second year and I am really enjoying my classes thus far. One particularly exciting course is my anesthesiology and surgery class. In this class, we start working on real live animals to learn how to administer anesthesia and perform minor surgical procedures. Not only is the material we are studying interesting to me, but it is also incredibly motivating to be working with live animals and doing things you have actually seen veterinarians do in practice. The first week in this class, we went over all the parts of a general anesthesia machine and learned what each component did and how to control the entire system. The second week, we reviewed the basic of intubation, catheter placement, and pre-surgical sedation. Then, we were given a chance to practice drawing up medicine and administering to the patient. We each were given the opportunity to place a catheter in a dog. I had only placed a catheter two times before this, and both times were in the cephalic vein. This time, I was able to place a catheter in the lateral saphenous vein, which is considerably more challenging. I needed a little coaching from a classmate who is much more experienced than I am, but I got the catheter placed successfully on the first stick of the needle. It was quite an exhilarating feeling to do this on my own, and I was beaming with pride showing my friends in the lab my beautiful catheter placement job.

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and imagine one day (in the not so distant future) I will be graduating and be a practicing veterinarian. One day, I will be the doctor people entrust with the care of their beloved pets. I will be looked to for information and help on how to best care for a variety of species. The realization of the responsibilities I will soon have has reinvigorated my motivation to work hard, to be the very best veterinary student I can be, and to learn everything I can while I am in school. I am blessed to be studying at a world-class institution like Texas A&M University, and I have access to speak to some of the top authorities in veterinary medicine. I should seek to maximize every minute I have here in this program, because one day I will be on my own and having to figure things out without the help of a professor or senior clinician. I hope to make the best of this semester and learn as much as I can because the future will be here before I know it, and I want to face it ready and armed with knowledge!