Vet School Online

When getting ready to leave for spring break, I was excited to have a week off of school, but also excited to come back to see my friends and get right back into studying.

Towards the end of spring break, we all receive news that classes were cancelled for the week we were supposed to return due to COVID-19. Then, a few days later we were all told that all classes would be moved online, and we would not meet in person for the rest of the semester. After that news broke, I was left wondering how my veterinary education would look like for the rest of the semester.

At first, I didn’t think much of it. I figured we would just watch the lecture online. Then it hit me that we wouldn’t be having our hands-on labs anymore.

This semester, we are taking large animal anatomy and were in the middle of dissections prior to spring break. I panicked a little bit thinking that I was going to be losing that valuable time in the lab learning hands on.

However, our anatomy professor came to the rescue. She and the other anatomy professor got to work right away making detailed videos in the lab for us to watch and learn from. Her and the rest of our professors have been wonderful in helping us as much as they can during this crazy transition to online vet school.

I have been trying to stick to my normal schedule during this whole process. But it’s a little hard to stay focused at home with my two dogs constantly wanting to play. Now, instead of spending my normal 10-minute breaks I would have in between classes talking to friends in the halls, I spend them playing with my dogs in the backyard.

This time has been challenging on everyone, everywhere. But during this time, it’s important to try and stay positive and find the joy in the little things everywhere you can.

Vet School from a Distance

The COVID-19 pandemic has, in a matter of days, changed just about everything in our daily lives, and our veterinary education is no exception. Near the end of our spring break, we received word that classes during the subsequent week would be cancelled to allow planning for a pivot to an online format.

What does an online veterinary education look like, you ask? Great question!

As I write this, our veterinary classes are set to resume in a few days, so I don’t have all the answers. What I can tell you is what life for me has looked like for the past week. Although no formal classes were held, our instructors continued to post class material so that we could continue our learning.

Back in College Station, our instructors have been working tirelessly to revise their courses to an online format. They posted new syllabi to reflect modifications to class formats, exam schedules, assignment due dates, and exam formats. Some classes will lecture by virtual video conferencing (such as Zoom), other classes will have content posted ahead of time for us to watch at our leisure, and other classes will ask us to review content ahead of time then meet virtually during our normal class time for a Q&A session. While it will be challenging to adapt to the various learning styles, I am extremely grateful that we may continue our education during this unprecedented time.

Day-to-day life as a student looks a little bit different for everyone. Many of my classmates, myself included, are in their hometowns to be close (albeit socially distanced!) to loved ones. I am currently living with my partner and his roommate in Oregon.

Because of the time difference, I am trying to wake up early each day so that when classes resume I can cope with taking tests and being functional at 6 a.m. Pacific Time. It’s a small price to pay for being able to stay home and close to my parents and loved ones. My classmates and I study and collaborate via Google Docs. When the weather is nice, I take a break from studying by exploring the nearby walking trails. I stay in touch with friends and family by phone, Facetime, and social media. When all else fails, there are always board games to stay entertained.

Although these are uncertain times, I take comfort in knowing that my classmates, my instructors, and I are all doing our best to adapt to the evolving situation and keep each other safe. Our resiliency has helped us get to where we are now, and it will help us get through whatever the next few months hold.