Do You Get Free Time in Veterinary School?

One of the most common questions I get while giving tours to prospective students is about veterinary students’ schedules, especially regarding free time. In fact, one of my close friends asked me this question a few weeks ago, since she will be starting veterinary school in the fall!

So, I decided to talk a little bit about how I schedule my time.

First, this picture is of my schedule for the past week. Here’s a quick key:

  • Dark green: Class lectures
  • Yellow: Class labs
  • Light green: extracurricular events (no, I don’t go to every one!)
  • Dark blue: my scheduled study time
  • Light blue: time with friends
  • Pink: time with my dog

Each weekend, usually on Sunday afternoon, I plan my week. I look at what exams I have coming up and what projects or quizzes are due, as well as think about my personal progress in each class.

I usually get home from school around 5:30 p.m., and then I give myself about an hour and a half to eat dinner and relax.

First thing Saturday mornings, I walk my dog around the nearby park. On Sundays, a friend and I are committed to going to church together. On Monday nights, another friend comes over and we watch “The Bachelor” together!

Now, you may be looking at this and freaking out. Let me say that no, I don’t stick to this schedule 100 percent.

Sometimes you just don’t feel like studying, and that’s OK! Sometimes, your friend texts you and invites you to go eat or to see a movie that starts in 30 minutes, and that’s OK too.

Part of taking care of yourself during veterinary school means doing what’s best for you, even if that means going to Raising Cane’s instead of studying for anatomy.

“But Tabitha, you only have time with friends scheduled once a week. Do you never see people outside of school?”

Good question! Often, my weekend study time is with another person. Study dates at Starbucks, or group study time at the house of the only person in my friend group who cooks, are common occurrences.

It’s all about balancing school life and social life, and it is possible!

Last, I would like to say that if you’re looking at this and worrying because you have never used a planner in your life—don’t.

Most people aren’t as… intensely nerdy as I am.

I have a friend who plans his week on a notepad and another who just goes with the flow and never schedules anything.

All sorts of people are in veterinary school, each with different learning styles and structures.

If you are currently applying to veterinary school, or planning on applying, I hope this helped you know what to expect, and I wish you good luck!

Finding Extracurriculars During Vet School

Before starting at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, I knew that it was going to be important for me to have a life outside of class because I easily get so hyper-focused on my academic obligations that I get burned out.


Extracurriculars were my plan to keep myself energized. I knew that there would be clubs for students to join and outside activities for us to get involved in, but I never could have imagined how many options we would have.


On the first day of orientation, we were presented with over two-dozen student clubs that we could join. These clubs ranged from Cat Club to Internal Medicine to Green Vets to the Veterinary Medicine Business Association.


Outside of these clubs there were a lot of events for us to attend, including a CVM BBQ, a mentor-mentee taco dinner, and a Calf-Fry with live music. I quickly learned that there is definitely no shortage of ways for me to be engaged with my classmates outside of class.


I have also always been someone who relieves stress through physical activity. As an undergraduate, I did this through intramural sports, so I wanted to find this in the veterinary school as well.


To do this, I decided to run for and was elected to be one of the Health and Wellness Representatives for my class. One of my responsibilities in this job is to organize intramural teams, and I am excited to say that we will be playing sand volleyball, flag football, and ultimate frisbee this semester!


The first few weeks of veterinary school have definitely been stressful, but having all of these exciting opportunities outside of class has made it so much more fun.

Shaping My Future Self

Texas A&M presents great opportunities for its students, and majoring in biomedical sciences (BIMS) is one of them, because there are a variety of career-specific classes to take.

I am now beginning to take more classes geared toward veterinary medicine, since I am a pre-vet student. Majoring in biomedical sciences has allowed me to gain a great understanding of the basic sciences needed for a great academic foundation leading up to veterinary school.

One class, in particular, that I have really enjoyed taking this semester is “Animal Nutrition and Feeding,” since it really pertains to what I need to know for my future career. I initially entered this class thinking it was going to be difficult, but because of those basic science classes I’ve taken in the past, I more easily understand the basic concepts of this class, which makes it more enjoyable.

Aside from this particular class, Texas A&M offers many other similar classes students can take as a BIMS major that further expand our knowledge.

Aside from classes, there are also many other things to get involved in, such as student organizations or even intramural sports.

I recently joined an intramural soccer team for the first time since I arrived at Texas A&M, and although we’ve only had one game so far, it’s been a lot of fun to meet new people and play the sport I love to play again.

Joining an intramural team can serve as a way to relax and destress or simply just hang out with friends while being physically active. I have also found that sometimes it’s best for me to take some breaks to relax and get away from schoolwork for a bit and joining this team has allowed me to do that.

Another way I spend my time outside of classes and working on homework and such is through a student-run organization I’m a part of, Aggie Guide-Dogs and Service-Dogs (AGS).

As a pre-vet student, I especially enjoy interacting with animals, so this organization allows me to do a lot of that. Our organization allows students to train service dogs while also educating the public about the different types of service dogs there are.

Like the intramural soccer team, this organization gives me some time to get away from classwork and participate in an activity I particularly enjoy doing.

Many people have told me to enjoy the time I have as an undergraduate, so taking part in these campus activities and doing so with friends helps me to make the most of my time.

Although we are here for a great education, having fun is also an important part of the process. Personally, I think it’s really important for everybody to find some fun things to do while in college, because while education is a big part of the journey, having fun and putting yourself out there will also help in shaping your future self.