Welcome Back

It’s the first day back at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) after winter break, and I feel recharged.

I went home to Michigan to spend some much-needed time with family feeling very proud of myself for all I accomplished in my first semester and feeling even prouder of how well I did, not to “humble-brag.”

Within the first week of being home, it started snowing, which meant one thing—snowball fight. My two older brothers and I reverted into our inner children and it was amazing; it felt like a mini-celebration for the end of the semester.

I sent all of my friends in Texas a picture of the snow and was very excited.

Sadly, however, it all melted, so there was no white Christmas for me, but on the bright side, I did get to see how pretty everything looked covered in snow without really having to drive through it. I know this may seem a bit foreign to some Texans, but up north when it snows, the salt trucks hit the road as it starts sticking and it’s only really an issue if the snow is continuous…sometimes. Luckily, they were on point when I was home.

Over the break I got some much-deserved sleep and got to see friends and family for the first time in months. We spent hours just talking and catching.

I would like to say I was productive over the break, but, honestly, I felt like I was in a three-week coma and just slept. But, hey, at least I’m going back in fully rested.

I also can’t wait to see all of my DVM friends. I made all of them animal plushies as a belated Christmas present. They are really cute, in my opinion, but so time-consuming.

Looking ahead, this semester, we get to start on our pathology class, and I am so excited. I love learning all about diseases and what causes them.

Here’s to hoping for an even better spring semester. Wish me luck!

My Veterinary Education Update

I have officially finished another semester of veterinary school! It feels awesome to have another semester under my belt.


Though this was definitely my toughest semester so far, I feel as though I have learned so many valuable things from my classes.


Clinical pathology was probably my favorite course this semester; clinical pathology encompasses how to perform and interpret lab work, and I really enjoyed how clinically relevant I felt it was.


I enjoyed this course because it got me excited to spend time in the clinic over the winter break and practice reading and interpreting lab data. I will be spending a lot of my break working at a clinic and putting what I have learned into action.


While I am always excited to go back home and apply knowledge, it is always even more exciting to see just how much I have learned.

Knowledge is Power

It’s amazing to say that we’re almost done with this semester and so close to Thanksgiving!

It’s incredible to me those of us in the Veterinary Class of 2022 have completed our first year and are halfway through our second year.

Looking back and considering all of the things we’ve studied, I see each skill I have learned in first year gradually increasing in difficulty and bringing me closer to use in a veterinary practice.

For instance, this semester included the Pharmacology class, which teaches us the study of drugs for therapeutic use in the clinic.

A few of my friends and I realized that in addition to giving us a good basis for diagnosing conditions, we can now consider treatment options as well!

How we reached this point when I feel like we’ve just started is something we all joke about, even though we are consistently reminded of the day-to-day activities and classes that stretch our knowledge in the best way.

I’ll have to admit that it’s so great to reach this point in the year because it allows us to take a breath before finals. I begin to think back and appreciate the tough waves my classmates and I faced and conquered within 15 weeks.

Plus, with Thanksgiving in sight, I get to enjoy an awesome meal with my family, so how can I resist from saying this is one of my favorite times of the year?!?

The Value of ‘Brain Breaks’

Taylor SheffieldThe first year of veterinary school is fun, exhilarating, and, sometimes, exhausting. With the excitement of class and lab throughout the day and then coming home to study at night, we vet students occasionally forget how to step away from the books and slightly relax.

Now that the semester is half way over, I have learned that those tiny moments away from the books are essential to everyday life. At first, school seemed to take a big chunk of my time, or so I thought, and I could not possibly imagine fitting in any “brain breaks.”

Well, that did not last too long. I found my focus had started to decrease once I got home from school, and so I had to learn how to incorporate a small break here and there.

First, I decided to continue my summer exercise routine of 40 minutes a day of some kind of exercise I enjoyed. Personally, I enjoy running and yoga. Although some days I may not have all of that time, even 20 or 30 minutes of exercise is enough to get me up and away from the books. During those 30 minutes, I get my blood pumping, clear my mind, and take a step away from the bright luminesce screen. On days when studying is long and vigorous, after two hours I take a break and do a workout video from YouTube, and that short, and free 20, minutes of exercise is just enough to get me up out of my chair and reset my brain.

There are days when exercise is just not appealing, so other little stress relievers are useful. Coloring while listening to music, doing a load of laundry, baking a cake, taking 10 minutes for meditation, or even vacuuming up the apartment are all ways I step away from school. An even better brain break, and one I enjoy very much, as most veterinarian students do, is to play or cuddle with my cat, which releases that small amount of stress I was focusing on while studying.

Over the last nine weeks, the most important thing I have learned is to take those small breaks. I know it can be difficult at times, but those breaks help improve studying! Research has shown that our brains are not meant to look at something or stay stationary for long periods of time, so having short mental breaks, ranging from 20-30 minutes, can actually improve information retention.

So, no matter what you’re doing, remember to occasionally take a step away, enjoy the fresh air, and let the mind reset.