Lessons Learned from Last Semester

I’ve made it through my first semester as a veterinary student and am now charging my way through second semester. As I look at the classes, labs, tests, and experiences that lie ahead this semester, it is a perfect time to reflect on all that I learned from last semester and how it will help me moving forward.


Our first test of this semester is already just around the corner. In your first year, it is typical to have a test on Monday and Friday each week. This schedule can be demanding at first, but you learn ways to manage your time in order to succeed.


Last semester, I fell into a schedule of studying for a particular test as it came up, which ended up leaving me with very little time during the weekends before Monday tests. Losing weekends for consecutive weeks definitely took a toll on me, and I got very tired later in the semester.  Knowing what I know now, I plan to try a different approach to studying for my tests. Each day, it is my goal to set aside 30 minutes to an hour right after school during which I will stay at the school and recap all of the things I learned in each class.


Then, at least once a week, I plan to review again the things I learned in class that week. Hopefully with this strategy, I can keep topics fresher on my mind, instead of learning something in class and then not revisiting it until the week before the test.


I’d also like to see if this helps free up more of my time on the weekends so that I can use that time to relax and recharge or take care of things like grocery shopping and cleaning. I also found it challenging to put aside time to take care of my physical health last semester, especially on weeks with two tests.


Now, I am making it a goal to use the gym at the veterinary school at least three days a week, since I know that once I am home, I tend to focus on studying and can forget to fit in a workout. From the times I did stick to my workout schedule last semester, I found that it really made me feel better and more awake during the day and also served as a great mental break from studying. For that reason, I want to make my physical health an even bigger priority this semester.

Veterinary school is, without a doubt, a challenging time, but reflecting on the things you learn about yourself can help guide you toward a more successful future. It’s all about learning what works best for you and what is sustainable with your schedule!

New Year, New Mindset

Taylor SheffieldThe same old saying of “New Year, New You” really is one of my least favorite sayings. Instead, I like to think of it as a new year, new mindset.

Every year we create goals and ambitions for the start of the semester, and as life gets a little chaotic, we tend to forget those goals or think they are unreachable. So instead of trying to change who I am and my life style, I decided I am going to change my mindset.

I’ve set out to have a more positive outlook on life, and instead of adding more things to my plate (as a veterinary student, that is a lot), I’m going to focus on how to rearrange the plate to make it less full.

By being more positive and looking at the silver lining, I hope my life can be more focused on the “what can I do to make it better” versus the “this day really stunk.”

In order to do this, there are apps that send me daily affirmations and positivity quotes to start my week. The positivity train doesn’t stop there—I have decided I will try to pass it on to my classmates or fellow colleagues, because you never know who truly needs that small reminder that everything is going to be OK.

As veterinary students, our plates are filled with more activities than a normal student, so the question becomes how do you balance it all without getting rid of some things?

Well, that is where the thought of rearranging comes into play; sometimes you have to get rid of things that may not be of use or benefit to you in order to allot more space to things that are important.

If getting rid of that activity is not your style, I encourage you to look at your time as a puzzle and all of the activities are pieces. Each week may be a different puzzle, and each activity may be a different size, but that is a slightly different mindset than just piling up activities.

With the New Year and new semester, I encourage all students and faculty to think about instead of changing you, change the mindset around you and your life.

Be more positive about the small victories that happen throughout the day, versus focusing on the small mishaps. Spread the good energy from classmate to classmate or friends to family because you never know who needs it. Change the way you look at a busy schedule by focusing on what makes you happy and getting rid of things that are just extra. Piece it together like a puzzle rather than a pile of responsibilities in order to create so more structure.

Welcome to the New Year, and go for that goal!

Refreshing During Winter Break

LisaWhat an amazing winter break I had! Because I live eight hours away, I had been loning to see my mom and dad, so I really enjoyed being with my family for a whole month, cuddling with the family cat, and catching up on bunch of Netflix series. My family and I also got to travel and make some new memories; it was great to be close to them and catch up with the lives of my older friends. I was saddened to have to leave them, but they are never too far for a phone call.

On the bright side, I got a new cat named Moose! He is now living with me in College Station, and he is just purrrrfect. He loves to cuddle, eat, and play, when he is not sleeping. What a life he has!

While all good things must come to an end, the start to the semester has interesting because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday and an extra day to relax due to cold weather. I was expecting some snow, but a girl can only wish. After that interruption, as I’m getting back into a routine, I’ve decided to try something new—Zumba! Let me tell you, it was a lot harder than I thought. Who knew that dancing could be such a workout? But it’s also very fun, something I believe I am going to enjoy with my busy schedule.

I have high hopes for this semester, as I do every semester, but the homework is going to be another story. I hope everyone’s semester started well and that you really love your schedules. Gig’em, Ags!