Halfway There

I’m almost halfway done with my second year of veterinary school and it’s still absolutely flying by!

This semester, we officially started learning about one of horse-lovers’ favorite (and most frustrating) examination to perform—that for equine lameness.

We had dabbled in lameness exams last semester as an introduction, but when I saw all of the equine lameness exam lectures and labs on the course syllabus and realized that we’d be getting into the details and the how-tos of the exam this semester, I was ecstatic, even though I know they can get tricky and take a long time to truly master.

Equine lameness exams are almost like an art form. As a (hopeful) future equine veterinarian, this is a skill I know I will need to be great at. So, every week that there’s a lameness lecture or lab is my new favorite week, as they become more and more advanced.

With some of our previous lecture subjects, there have been some about which I remember thinking, “oh boy, not this again;” however, my continued excitement for lameness exams confirms that I’m on the correct career path, since I’ve always wanted a job that I would be excited to go to everyday.

Even though at the beginning of the semester some of the practice cases shown in class were frustrating to get, seeing my skill, and my confidence, in these exams growing has been so rewarding.

And the best part? I get to take a whole class next semester over equine lameness and rehabilitation.

I truly can’t wait.

Trying Something New

Hayley M.Everyone in veterinary school, and even most who are not, knows that vet school requires an abundance of study time.

However, the piece of advice that I heard the most from veterinarians, current students, and professors before and during my first year in vet school was to always make time for myself and do something that I wanted to do at least once a week, no matter how much studying I needed to do or what test was coming up.

That sounded fine and all, but during my first semester, I found myself wondering how in the world I was going to make time to do that when we have two tests a week for the majority of the semester!

As an undergraduate, I was the person who was able to study the night before a test and still get a great grade on it. I knew that was definitely not going to be the case when I got into vet school and that I would have to make some major adjustments.

So, I thought there was no way that I was going to be able to take their advice and make time for myself between studying, taking care of my pets, going to the gym, and making time for my family and boyfriend. I thought it was a lost cause and I didn’t even attempt to plan something out for myself each week, instead burying myself in my notes and study guides, because after all, school has to be my priority for the next three and a half years.

But this past week, my friends and I decided to actually take that advice and try it out to see if it might affect our grade on our upcoming anatomy test. Instead of vigorously studying the entire week, every single chance we got like we had originally planned, we took a break one afternoon and decided to go out and eat at one of our favorite restaurants and not talk about school.

We talked, we laughed, and we had a great time while eating our favorite meal—chips and queso of course—and finally took a breather and a moment for ourselves. It was definitely a needed moment, and I instantly understood why so many people had given me that advice before I started vet school.

For the remainder of the week, I felt like I had a second wind. I was able to retain more while studying and I didn’t feel so burnt out. I found myself legitimately enjoying my week instead of stressing about what to study next.

Now, I think it’s safe to say that even if my grade goes down a point or two, I will definitely begin to plan and set aside time each week to do something for myself.

For the rest of my vet school career, I will put value on self-care to make sure I make the most out of my time in school; by trying to thoroughly enjoy vet school instead of thinking about it as the time I had to study for four straight years, I know I will look back on the experience as I time I really did enjoy and remember how appreciative I am that I’ve had this awesome opportunity.

‘Flying’ Through the First Semester

Hayley MorganWe are entering the seventh week of veterinary school, and I cannot believe how much time has flown by and that I am almost halfway done with my first semester!

Vet school has been a whirlwind, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, I’ve had to study more than I ever have before, but seeing it pay off in the end and knowing that it’s helping prepare me for my dream career makes it worth it. Learning and practicing how to perform a proper physical exam on all kinds of animals has been my favorite, so far, because it ties in the information we have learned in lecture and allows us to apply those concepts to a living animal—plus, we get to be around the animals.

Another thing that I have really enjoyed is how willing all of our teachers are to help us learn and grasp concepts and to help prepare us for the future; they keep telling us that we’d be amazed at how much we know already, even in the first semester in vet school. As we progress through the semester, I’m starting to see how true that is. Family and friends who know that I’m in vet school will contact me with questions and concerns about their pets and I feel so elated when I’m able to give them an educated answer. It really makes me feel like I’m on my way to becoming a doctor!