My First Birthday in Veterinary School

This year was the first year I was truly on my own for my birthday.

In planning for the occasion, with two upcoming tests, I decided it was better for my, my family’s, and my husband’s schedules if we all met up in two weeks. However, that didn’t make my birthday any less special.

The day itself started out with sweet “happy birthday” texts from my family and husband and then in-person wishes from my classmates.

With a long day of class and studying for our anatomy test that Friday, I spent most of my day at school, but that didn’t stop my friends and me from celebrating later that night, when we all went to eat dinner at Mad Taco. While we talked about school some, we were able to get out of an academic environment and just hang out with each other.

These kinds of nights are my favorite because they allow us an outlet to get out of “study-mode” and get into a more relaxed and lighthearted situation. They, my friends surprised me with a birthday cake topped with candles.

After we were finished with dinner, I studied a little more and then ended my day with a couple short Facetime calls to my parents and best friend, as well as a longer one with my husband.

While it’s hard to be so far away from my parents, husband, and best friends, they showered me with love in the best ways they could.

My veterinary school friends have quickly become “my people” and are the ones who truly understand the struggles and victories, the highs and lows, and everything in between of being a veterinary student.

I’m incredibly lucky to have found them so early in school and am so thankful that they help keep me sane during this journey.

My birthday wouldn’t have been the same without all of the special people in my life!

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.

Home Sweet Home

As a junior biomedical sciences (BIMS) student, I have had a good amount of time really get used to my college life and what it really means to balance school, work, a social life, and most importantly, sleep!

The homesickness that results from living away from home, however, never really goes away—especially when home is a 10-hour drive, in sweet, old El Paso.

Homesickness is something everyone, at one point or another, experiences. Calling and video-chatting home to ask for mom’s recipes and dad’s help with “that strange sound the car’s been making” seems to help even the most stressed students cope, but it just simply isn’t the same as having a home-cooked meal and a warm hug to come home to.

As a very family-oriented individual, attending a school so far away from my parents, a school as great as Texas A&M, seemed nearly impossible! Fast forward to three years later, though, and here I am, so close to graduating!

I have officially finished my first round of exams, all in the same week. Having to choose between studying for biochemistry, immunology, or “Great Diseases of the World” was not an easy task, might I add.

After a long couple of weeks, almost halfway through the semester (and after saving up), I decided to reward myself with a trip home!

Driving 10 hours, back and forth, is almost impossible to do in just one weekend, so flying is the best option.

I have been looking forward to this little getaway from busy College Station for so long, and I cannot believe it is finally here! I am overwhelmed with joy by just thinking about seeing my friends and family!

As CVM Ambassadors, we are asked all kinds of questions. One of the most common, and my personal favorite, is, “What was the hardest thing about coming to college?” While, of course, study habits and college workloads do take a while to develop and strengthen, I always answer with a variant of the same thing: independence is something that takes a bit of time to really get used to!

When we are younger, we are so eager to start the rest of our lives, to move out, to be ourselves, and to be on our own! We fail to realize how much of home some of us might miss, how comforting it is to ride in the back of the car with your siblings, how hard it is to get your favorite dish to taste just how Mom made it, or how reassuring a smile or hug from your family was after a long day.

Life comes at us very quickly and soon we are real adults with real responsibilities! So, as every romantic comedy has mentioned before, enjoy every little moment!

I know I sure will this weekend!

A ‘Test’-y Situation

carter mcadooAs I’m writing this, I am finishing up my fifth week of classes in my first year of veterinary school.

At this point I have had an anatomy exam, a physiology exam, and my first immunology exam.  I am a little worn out, but the one thing that never fades is how much I am loving vet school. I have been working toward this goal my whole life and because of that I am truly enjoying my time.

The things we are learning have a new level of pertinence to them and I am trying to soak up as much as I can. We have had multiple opportunities to get hands-on experience with animals, which makes the whole process so much fun.

It is a lot of hard work being in vet school, but my experiences during my undergraduate career are helping me to be successful. Being a biomedical sciences student as an undergraduate, I learned how to effectively manage my time and focus on my studies. Taking classes like anatomy and physiology in my undergraduate days also set me up for success in my first graduate years. I am very happy that I made the choice, four years ago, to pursue a degree in biomedical sciences.