I have made it to Charlottetown, PEI and it’s almost like this veterinary school business is real! Wednesday my parents and I made the drive up from Maine (it took us about 12 hours, plus we forgot the time change and the time at the border crossing where I’d pick up my student visa). It was quite the trek, but we got in late Wednesday night, threw sleeping materials into my new apartment, and passed out almost immediately. On Thursday we spent the day setting up my apartment, which ended up involving 3 trips back into Charlottetown for mini blinds, food, a drill to set-up said mini blinds, and various miscellaneous items we kept forgetting on previous trips. I also had to set up a Canadian bank account and new phone line (things you don’t necessarily think about when studying in a different country). We spent the evening exploring a tiny bit and caught a gorgeous sunset, but it was an early wake up call Friday for orientation so we headed back and hit the hay.
Yesterday was the big day, I drove myself down to the university and got all checked in. We got a bag of some awesome stuff like a nice new water bottle and a couple t-shirts, and also got our pictures taken. We were broken into orientation groups, so I met one of my orientation leaders and started to meet some of my fellow classmates. Orientations wouldn’t be complete without some icebreakers either, so we played a ridiculous but hilarious game called “Pterodactyl” where you had to keep your teeth covered while people squawked at you. I was laughing too hard to advance very far in the game but it was very entertaining to watch! Breakfast was donated by some local farmers and bakeries and was delicious!
We were all welcomed into the university by a couple of professors and mentors. They all congratulated us on our achievements, saying that we’re “the cream of the crop” for making it amongst the large pool of applicants. Words of advice and encouragement were given as well. The thoughts that stood out to me were told by our associate dean. “Work hard, but keep your sense of humor,” and “Remember, this is no longer a competition.” We all got to this point by putting in major hours in the classroom, library, and vet clinics, but we’re all in veterinary school now. When we graduate, we’re all going to be on the same level. We’ll all have our D.V.M., we’ll all be coworkers in the field of veterinary medicine. I think this is important to remember, because at this point, we’re not trying to climb over each other to get into veterinary school. Probably one of my least favorite things about undergrad was dealing with the people who didn’t care about making friends or even pleasantries because they were only concerned about moving up in the world.
Our next activity was the “AVC Amazing Race” where we ran around campus trying to find destinations based on clues and hitting “roadblocks.” My favorite destination was definitely a stop to the dog park to visit the school’s pack of beagles. There’s nothing like a little puppy playtime! Lunch was served followed by some more silly icebreakers and name games. Then we were sent home to get ready for the evening’s festivities.
Our Blue Coat Ceremony took place in a dining hall on campus. I sat next to a girl who had also attended the University of Vermont (small world), another girl who I had met earlier in the day, and one of my soon to be professors. We were fed a wonderful meal and the ceremony was started. Each of us was given our blue coat and inducted into the Atlantic Veterinary College. In four years, we will be receiving our white coats with the prefix of Doctor on them. One step at a time though, so for now, I’ll take the blue coat. Classes start on Monday!