Returning from the Break

The hardest part of winter break is how short it is—just long enough for a mental break from school, but just short enough that you yearn for another week off. On the positive side, winter break can be a time to enjoy friends and family or even show off your new skills that you learned during school.

During my break, in December, I traveled to the lovely state of California to watch my little brother play in his last high school lacrosse tournament. Watching my little brother enjoy his passion is an inspiration and a reminder for me to find a hobby to be passionate about it.

Also during the trip, the state of California won my heart; I possibly found my future home.In addition to my small amount of travel, I went back to work at my home clinic. To most, working over break would be less than ideal, but I really enjoy it.

Going back to the clinic gets better and better with each semester as I learn more and more here at Texas A&M. I can finally understand the doctor’s thought process when working up a case, and the veterinarians continue to push me to think more like a doctor each and every day.

Plus, I get to show off the new skills I have learned in my “Professional and Clinical Skills” classes, things like new suturing patterns or how to work the ultrasound.

I did get to enjoy the little things in life over winter break, things like dinner dates with your best friends you haven’t seen in a year or eating a messy breakfast with your goddaughter; little moments like these are ones that last a lifetime and stick with you in the future. Break is always nice time to reflect and get in the right mindset for the next semester. The second semester of every year is an exciting one, as we start to test our knowledge and are encouraged to start thinking like doctors in classes like “Organ Dysfunction.” We also get to dip our hands into the exciting world of surgery with our “Principles of Surgery” class, which is where we start to learn about the proper techniques and gear up for “Junior Surgery” come fall.

My 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting one, filled with new adventures, positive thoughts and encounters, and encouragement in learning. As we begin a new year and a new semester, I encourage students to take a moment to reflect on their break and what they did, to recognize the little joys that were experienced over break and the memories that come.



Making Tough Decisions

Spring semester is a time for new beginnings and new chapters. As a senior undergraduate, this is the time to make plans for the future.

Over winter break, I made it a personal goal of mine to map out “what ifs” for my future.

I have decided to take a gap year before applying to veterinary school. My parents and quite a few people I know were disappointed to hear that I did not apply for veterinary school last summer; however, I felt relieved.

Mentally, I do not feel prepared for the rigor of vet school, yet. After working as an ambassador for almost three years, I have been given an amazing opportunity to work closely with veterinary students, veterinarians, and faculty members.

From hearing the students’ personal stories on how they got to veterinary school, whether it was applying early, on time, or taking a gap year or more, I made a decision for myself to wait at least one year before applying.

In the meantime, my “what ifs” consist of working full time at a vet clinic, taking online classes to bring up my GPA, doing a non-thesis masters, and/or graduate research.

The future is so unknown and so far from “tomorrow” that it is hard to know where I will be and what I will be doing prior to vet school. I still intend with 100 percent confidence to apply to vet school, but it will now be a matter of “when.”

By looking forward to the future, I also had time to reflect on my past to get me where I am today.

My college career has been full of laughter, tears, and passion. I started off my freshman year in six student organizations, whereas now I’m in four student organizations and working two jobs.

I have gone from a general member of Patriot Paws of Aggieland to president of the organization, continuing to serve in the training of service dogs for veterans in need.

I am a student worker in equine research, and I have gone from living in a dorm to living in a house off campus.

I also am in a serious relationship of over three years, and I own a dog now.

Reflecting on where I started my college career, loving where I am today, and anticipating the future ahead, I can say that despite the tears, stress, and mental breakdowns, I do not regret who I have become.

College has both challenged and changed me, for better or for worse.

What I know now is that this semester is my final spring as an undergraduate, and I couldn’t be prouder about it.

New Year’s Resolution


People often say that hindsight is 20/20 and nowhere have I seen that to be more true than in my first semester of veterinary school. Looking back, there are many things I’m very proud of but also many things I hope to change for this next semester. Because of this, I decided to make some resolutions for my first semester in 2020. I’ll start with the things I was proud of and that I am going to make an effort to continue.


Last semester, I was very happy with how consistently I exercised and the goal I had to get to know as many of my classmates as possible. While I haven’t been able to meet everyone yet, I have made some very close friends that I’ll be able to reach out to even after I graduate. As for my new resolutions, I decided to only make two so that they would be easy to keep track of.


The first goal I have is to try to gain experience in as many aspects of veterinary medicine as possible. My background in veterinary medicine is mainly small animal, but I really want to see all types of medicine before I pick my track in my third year of school.

My second resolution is to improve my study habits. I had very good study habits as an undergraduate, but about a month into my first semester of veterinary school, I realized I was going to have to relearn how I studied; there just simply wasn’t enough time to do as much test preparation as I used to.

Toward the end of last semester, I began to figure out what methods worked the best for me, and now my goal is to continue to develop those methods so that I can become much more efficient at learning all of the new material.

As I was thinking of my resolutions, I decided to reach out to some of my new friends at school and see if they had made any themselves. A lot of them had, so I want to share them here, as well, for anyone who is looking for resolution ideas.

One of my friends is taking the approach of making three new goals each month. This month, she is striving to drink a gallon of water each day, take 10,000 steps a day, and practice intermittent fasting. Another of my friends has a much smaller goal of simply not buying Cheetos from the vending machine during our long afternoons of class.


Yet another friend is trying to focus on keeping her car cleaner throughout the year. And the last friend told me that her goal is to continue to kick butt in veterinary school and support her fellow “DVM Queens” in the process. My resolutions and my friends’ resolutions have motivated me to start this second semester off strong and to push myself to be better both in school and in my life outside of school. I hope everyone is able to start their year off strong and succeed at any resolutions they have made for themselves.

Starting Off the New Year Right

It’s that time of year again to make New Year’s resolutions and, more importantly, to stick to them.

I’ve done a commendable job of managing my academic goals and expectations through the first three semesters of veterinary school, but I can’t say the same for my personal health/fitness goals; every semester starts out with good intentions, but 10 weeks in, I start to slip.

Not this year!

2020 is going to be the best one yet. And how will I make that happen?


Finding a support system that helps you stay focused and on track is the key to success, especially during transitional times like starting veterinary school.

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor describes seven principles that will teach you to lead a happier, more productive life.

The seventh principle is about social investment—if your life was a football game and you were the quarterback, then your support system would be the offensive line. They are there to protect you, keep you in the game, and celebrate with you when the drive is over.

People have a tendency to keep to themselves when life gets tough, especially introverts like myself, so it’s important to remember your team.

My roommates and I have made a commitment to each other to stick to our wellness goals this semester. We cook together, workout together, and hold each other accountable.

My community has helped me reach the almost halfway point of veterinary school, and I can’t wait to celebrate with them at graduation as my happiest, healthiest self.

Beginning 2020 with Passion

Over winter break, I was given the opportunity to attend Passion Conference 2020, a gathering of Christians ages 18-25, in Atlanta, Georgia. It was the trip of a lifetime, allowing me to meet new people, experience a new environment, and come into closer contact with my faith than I had been in quite some time.

We left at 5 a.m. on Dec. 30. My group had decided we were going to pull an all-nighter, figuring that since we would be enduring a 13-hour drive in a van, we could catch up on sleep then.

Here enters the first challenge of the trip. I am 6 feet, 2 inches tall. I was stuffed into a cramped 15-passenger van with 12 other people. By hour four, I couldn’t feel my knees, and by hour eight, I was having trouble walking.

But the pain and boredom were completely worth it once we laid eyes on Mercedes-Benz Stadium! The home of the Atlanta Falcons, and the location of Passion 2020, was truly a sight to behold.

Seating close to 80,000 people, with fan-friendly concession prices and parking lots easy to access and not far from the building, it was a great choice of venue for the conference.

Did I already mention that the stadium could seat close to 80,000 people? Because it did!

And Passion 2020 was a sold-out event. Nearly every seat in the building was filled with people eager to be filled with the spirit and come into connection with their faith. It was fantastic to see, and breathtaking to be a part of.

The lineup was just as great. Christian music staples like Crowder, Passion band, and Hillsong UNITED topped the marquee but were supported by acts such as Elevation Worship, Sean Curran, and a rap medley featuring Tedashi, Lecrae, Trip Lee, and Andy Mineo.

The jump in energy was enough to shock you, but it was an experience I’m glad to have witnessed and been a part of.

The lineup of great acts didn’t stop at the musical performers, however. Messages were given by some pretty popular names.

Of course, there were sermons given by Louie Giglio, the founder of Passion Conference, and Christine Caine, one of the loudest and best speakers I’ve ever heard. There were also messages given by Tim Tebow and Sadie Robertson, both of whom gave fantastic messages that resonated better with me than those given by some of the more established pastors.

All of this pales in comparison to the highlight of the entire event.

The first night of Passion 2020 started on Dec. 31. There was a sermon given, music, and worship, a really amazing ceremony during which a flame that had been transported from Jerusalem, Israel, all the way to Atlanta, was put on display.

Then, finally, the new year rolled in. While the crowd was led in worship by Hillsong UNITED, 2019 came to a close and 2020 was ushered in. Fireworks exploded above the stadium, and it was simultaneously a fantastic end to 2019 and a wonderful beginning to 202