On Friday, some of my classmates and I are taking a studying break and enjoying some wellness—we will be putting the books away and painting instead!
Having typically seen these people in the realm of professionalism and medicine-minded academia, it will be nice to let our creative sides shine for a change! I only hope my dog, Jethro, doesn’t try to join in!
It’s nice to be reminded that there is a life outside of veterinary school. So often in class, we are taught to try and balance the different aspects of our lives and set ourselves up for success.
But, as we are going through our second year of veterinary school, it’s easy to just plug along with the same routine day after day. We are learning so many exciting things each day in lab and lecture that it’s very easy to hyperfocus on our school work.
I have learned that we have to actively work on diversifying our time to prevent mental and emotional fatigue. If we set up these habits now, it builds the toolbox that we can use later in life.
When I was an undergraduate, I adopted a high-energy shepherd mix named Addie from a local shelter, and she quickly became my partner in crime and strongest supporter.
I had plenty of time to expend her endless energy, even between work and school commitments. But I knew going into veterinary school that I was going to assume a lot more responsibility and have much less time to spend with her; I was worried that it would add extra stress to my life and not be fair to her.
Soon after beginning veterinary school, however, I realized that having a dog while in vet school was the best choice for me.
Even after a long day, she constantly manages to make me smile when I get home. She’s the best kind of study buddy because she’s always supportive and doesn’t judge if I get it wrong. She has also helped me build relationships with other students with dogs.
And, most importantly, she reminds me to make time for brain breaks, whether that be taking her for a run or just throwing a ball in the backyard.
She’s even helped me with my classes; I’ve been able to practice physical exams on her and, a couple of weeks ago, I even used her for a palpation exam in anatomy!
Though I still have to make a conscious effort everyday to ensure she gets the attention she needs, I wouldn’t change it for all the positivity she brings.