‘Final’ Motivation

It’s that time of the semester! The time where class days are dwindling and stress levels are growing.

Madelaine and an alpaca at a Pre-Vet Society event
Madelaine and an alpaca at a Pre-Vet Society event

Finals can be a little overwhelming, but the excitement of summer is a great source of motivation. My summer plans will be keeping me very busy; I’m really looking forward to all the different opportunities ahead of me.

Among those opportunities, I will be participating in a study abroad program through which I will spend four weeks in Thailand. I am beyond excited!

We will spend each week in a different region of Thailand as we gain a better understanding of how animal, human, and environmental health interact. I will have the opportunity to shadow a veterinarian at an elephant sanctuary, explore a new culture, and help with coral reef restoration.

This trip is going to be something I will never forget, and I am so excited to gain a broader view of veterinary medicine.

When I get back from my trip abroad, reality will settle in and it will be time to apply to veterinary school.

It is both exciting and terrifying to think about. I can’t believe how quickly my time at A&M has flown by.

The pre-veterinary resources here at A&M have already helped me so much in this process.

Recently I attended an application workshop that gave me a better understanding of the online application.

Fender smiles for the camera.
Fender smiles for the camera.

The TAMU Pre-Vet Society also has given me very unique animal experience that I never expected to receive. For example, I have been able to volunteer at alpaca farms, attend equine clinics, and help in the exotics room at Vet School Open House.

I’m very thankful that I am not going through this process alone. Applying to vet school is going to be nerve racking but I am excited to see where it takes me.

But before I can step into summer I have to face my final exams.

I am trying my best to be diligent and finish this semester strong. Things that keep me grounded include my friends, family and, especially, my dog, Fender.

Although the stress of finals is upon me, I know there is an end in sight, and I am hopeful that all of this hard work will be worth it.

Transitions

If you’ve been following along at home, you’ve likely noticed that as springtime hits the CVM, our ambassadors have lots to say about the upcoming summer and year ahead.

Chelsea and boots celebrate her receiving her Aggie Ring.
Chelsea and boots celebrate her receiving her Aggie Ring.

Our BIMS students are excited to attend study abroad and internship programs. Our first-year veterinary students (1VM) have their eyes set on some well-deserved rest and relaxation after enduring the most rigorous year of schooling of their lives. Many of our second-year veterinary students (2VM) will try out different clinical externships to help flesh out their career goals. And, finally, our third-year veterinary students (myself included) have a major space-occupying lesion in our mind—fourth-year clinics.

You’ve heard it before—this is our final year of veterinary school, during which we become immersed in the activity of A&M’s elite referral large and small animal hospitals.  If you’ve attended one of our tours, you’ve likely seen current fourth-year veterinary students (4VM) dashing about in white or green coats.  Our job in the fourth-year is to work alongside board-certified specialists to help guide clients through the diagnosis and treatment of their animals’ medical conditions.

I have several friends in the current 4VM class who are now solidifying job offers and planning their move from veterinary student to veterinary practitioner. This process also includes acquiring appropriate licenses and insurance policies necessary to practice.

As you can imagine, summer is a time of transitions, and we are all excited and anxious to step into our new roles.

Recently, I had the great honor to receive my Aggie Ring. Most veterinary students, if they didn’t attend A&M as an undergraduate, apply to receive their ring in the middle of our 2VM year, around the same time as our White Coat ceremony.

I waited until my third year because I decided that it would be nice to have another milestone right before I head into clinics and also because it was a great opportunity to see my parents, since it’s going to be several months before I return home.

Group making gig'em signs and showing their Aggie ring On Aggie Ring Day, we had a lovely dinner at Madden’s in Bryan (definitely recommend), and three of my close friends joined us for my ring ceremony. The evening was filled with love, support, and pride for all of the hard work that underscores the journey to receive one of these rings.

I received my first Balfour ring when I graduated Bucknell University in 2013, and it seems fitting to have a second one to commemorate my time as an Aggie veterinary student.  I’m not one for a ton of jewelry in the first place (it all has to come off for surgery!), but I do love what these rings represent and cherish the education I’ve received from both institutions.

Another important milestone to consider is that I have to say goodbye to my time as a CVM Ambassador.  I have worked in this program since 2015 and have held the position of lead ambassador for the past two years, managing the logistics of providing tours of the VBEC and our teaching hospitals.

It’s been a great honor to hold this leadership position—I’ve worked with some wonderful students with so much passion for the A&M community. Furthermore, with the incredible support of a dedicated supervisor, I have gained many skills in communication and team management.

Chelsea, as a child, with her mother and her horse Sparkle.
Chelsea, as a child, with her mother and her horse Sparkle. Horses have always been a big part of Chelsea’s life and are part of the reason she pursued veterinary medicine.

The next generation of this program is going to have so many exciting features for our future guests, and I can’t wait to see our new lead ambassador walking through the hospitals training new guides!

As I wrap up my swan song, I’m inclined to think about when I was about 8 years old, visiting Texas A&M for the first time—it was the first veterinary school I had ever seen.

While my pony was being treated for a soft tissue injury, my mom and I were given a tour of the newly built Large Animal Hospital, and, in only the way that a child can, I declared something of a premonition—this is where I would become a veterinarian.

Shortly after that time, my family moved to England, and I wasn’t sure when or if I would be returning to the States. I haven’t the space to thank everyone who has played a role in my journey back to this school, but as I transition into my final year as a veterinary student, I think of them daily and am so grateful to be here, watching my childhood ambitions mature into a promising career as a DVM.