I know it has been a very long time since I have posted, but to say that my life has been tumultuous these past months would be an understatement. That being said, I have very exciting news, I have been accepted into my first choice of veterinary school and will be attending the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in the fall! After months and months of waiting and being accepted into four amazing veterinary school programs, I am glad that this application journey is over (even though it has been an exciting one). I am not an exceptionally patient person, so waiting 6 months to hear back from veterinary schools was a rather stressful experience for me. However, the wait was most definitely worth it and I’m so excited to be embarking on the next chapter of my life!
For those of you interested in applying to veterinary school in the future or for those who are getting ready to apply in May, feel free to contact me! I would love to help in any way that I can!
I can’t believe that it has been almost a month since I last blogged, I am so sorry! After finishing with the semester, I jumped right into work and veterinary school applications. There have been so many little things happening on the side too (including my sister graduating from high school)! Although I have been busy, I am loving life! I’m slowly adjusting to my crazy schedule and I have missed blogging so much. Today I’ve decided to share my experience with finding a veterinary hospital to shadow. It was not an easy process, but it has brought me so many opportunities!
One of the best things that I have ever done is volunteering at the vet hospital where I now work. During my winter break of my freshman year of college I contacted around 10 veterinary hospitals about volunteering for the summer. I received varying responses, but the most popular response was ” We are not currently accepting volunteers, but please feel free to contact us at a later time”. This initially disheartened me, but I persevered and I eventually found a place that was willing to have me volunteer for the summer. I set up a schedule and started volunteering the summer after my freshman year of college. I immediately fell in love with the hospital. It had the most beautiful facilities I had ever seen, a large staff of people who were willing to answer all my questions, and there was always something for me to do. At the end of the summer I talked to my boss about coming back to volunteer the next summer and she told me to contact her during my fall semester about scheduling and other details. What I didn’t expect is that when I called I would be offered an interview for a summer job, I was ecstatic! After the interview I received a phone call saying that I got the job! This is now my second summer working at the hospital and I still love every second of it. I will be eternally grateful for the staff giving me this chance of a lifetime and I love being able to come back to the same place after each school year. For pre-vet students beginning college, I highly recommend building a relationship with a veterinary hospital, whether as a volunteer or as an employee, because having someone to talk to about veterinary school applications will make them much easier to fill out (and they can give you tips and write you recommendation letters)! Building a strong relationship with one hospital does not mean that you should stop contacting other veterinarians though, I still shadow other veterinarians to gain experience in other parts of the veterinary field. Being able to work with the same people summer after summer and getting to know how the hospital works has made my experience priceless and has helped me feel ready to apply to veterinary school!
I hope that you find my experience helpful and that you are able to have as amazing of an experience as I have had!
And here is a cute dog to start off your week:
Source: Bonifant Veterinary Clinic
Last Saturday I traveled to Columbus to attend the 2016 Midwest Veterinary Exploration Conference. It was my first time attending and it was definitely not what I expected. I thought it was going to be a conference where veterinarians came and spoke about current research and problems in the field to their colleagues, so when I arrived and saw that a large amount of the people in attendance were high school students and their parents, I was surprised. The conference was broken up into 7 different 30 minute sessions with topics from careers in the veterinary field to veterinary school admission. Although a lot of what I heard was information I already knew, I did learn some new information about veterinary admissions and even discovered some new career options in the field. Did you know that a veterinarian (Richard Linnehan) has been to space? The career options are endless!
I wish that I had known about this conference when I was in high school because I think it provided younger pre-vet students a lot of helpful advice on what to do to prepare for applying to vet school. Since I’m applying to vet school in May, many of the things that they talked about were things that would have been of more help to have been told a few years before. However, there was a student panel of current Ohio State veterinary students and they were very helpful in answering questions about the veterinary school application and what is expected both on the application and in the interview. Overall, this was an interesting, educational experience that I would recommend to young pre-vets (especially high school students) who are looking to enter the veterinary profession.
As far as my personal preparation for vet school applications goes, I am currently working on ideas for my personal statement, finalizing my list of schools to apply to, and impatiently waiting for the application to open!
After all the craziness of Christmas, I have officially started off the new year sick. Although I’m not feeling very well, I have to say that I am enjoying 2016 so far! I feel refreshed and well-rested after exams and I’m ready to get some work done. Instead of making a New Year’s resolution for myself, I just want to do my best to make 2016 the most amazing year yet. This year is going to be a big year for me: one of my best friends is getting married, my little sister is graduating high school, I am finishing up my junior year of college and beginning my senior year, and finally applying to vet school! I am lucky to have an amazing support system to help me as I embark on this journey, and I could not be more thankful for my friends and family.
Side Note: Now is prime time to get Christmas decorations for next year! I know that most people cannot think about Christmas anymore, but since most stores have their Christmas merchandise on clearance it might be worth checking out. I’ve already bought my Christmas cards for next year, and I got them for $3! Also, the Home Goods near my house had Kate Spade table cloths on sale for less than $20 (such a steal)!
With the semester 2/3 of the way over, I am crazily trying to make plans for winter break. I have almost 6 weeks off of school and it is the perfect time to get more shadowing experience with a veterinarian. Winter break is prime time for an internship because even with doing a 3 week internship, it still leaves 3 weeks to celebrate the holidays with family. I am going to put in some hours at work (I work at a small animal emergency hospital) and have found an equine veterinarian to shadow. A variety of experience is always helpful when applying to vet school, plus it’s really fun to be around and work with other animals than cats and dogs. Since I have spent 13 years around horses, I already have an equine background, but it can never hurt to get more experience! As a student who has shadowed many veterinarians over the years, I encourage all pre-vet college students and even middle school (that’s when I started!) and high school students who are interested in becoming a veterinarian, to reach out and contact their local vet. Veterinarians are normally more than happy to help students out and to have you shadow them because they know what the process is like and they want to help!
Everyone always talks about the “Freshman 50”, the “sophomore slump”, and Senioritis, but what about that 3rd year? I am officially naming it the “Junior Jolt”. For me and many of my classmates, this is the time we realize that the safety net of college is almost gone and that it is time to move into the real world. Not only are graduate school and job applications approaching, but also the scary notion that we have to figure out what we want to do with the rest of our lives.
Even though I know I want to apply to veterinary school and become a veterinarian, this time is still stressful and eye-opening. Between making sure that I have all the necessary required courses for each school, trying to prepare for the GRE, and supplementing my resume with more experiences, there is little time to sit back and think about any other aspect of the future. The only thing getting me through this time is knowing how much my hard work will pay off in the end.
However, to all juniors, just remember that you are not the only one feeling this way. All of us are scared of the relative uncertainty that graduation brings. And if you are one of the lucky ones and you somehow have managed to avoid the Junior Jolt, then congratulations to you! I am setting a goal for myself, to keep things in perspective (and prevent me from going completely insane), to set aside a little bit of time each day just to sit and do something that takes my mind off of school and the future. If you are feeling a similar way, I urge you to do the same and remember that no matter what happens, it will all turn out okay!
Every Christmas and birthday for the past 7 years I have received some sort of animal or veterinary book from my parents. I even have an entire shelf full of veterinary encyclopedias and reference books! These books have continued to inspire me to become a veterinarian and provide important insight into the day-to-day operations of different types of veterinary clinics. I have compiled a list of some of my favorites!
All My Patients Have Tales- Jeff Wells
All Creatures Great and Small- James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small was even made into a tv show and I highly recommend watching it for not only veterinary reasons, but also for some good laughs!)
Zoobiquity- Barbara Patterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers
GRE (Although this one isn’t specifically animal or veterinary related, it is important and I have learned a lot about the exam with this book!) I have been crazily studying for my upcoming GRE, and I can tell you now that it is never too early to start studying for it!
For those who have already taken the GRE or are getting ready to take it, good luck!