I don’t know about other vet students, but for some reason I’ve held on to every veterinary-related item I’ve received over the past three years. I have pamphlets from drug reps, a ton of pens (most of which are probably out of ink), veterinary journals, and all the classroom notes I’ve taken since first semester. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I realized this past week that I do not need to keep these things around!
First off, as I was cleaning out the tubs of stuff I’ve accumulated, I realized that a lot of the materials I had from food/drug/marketing reps was outdated. I had product guides from three years ago, and the veterinary world changes far too fast for those to be relevant any more. Also, the massive pile of CVMA journals I’ve been building on was out of control. I had skimmed them when I got them, then promptly cast them aside as reading for another day, which has not yet happened.
My biggest realization was that I was hoarding all these papers and notes not for a practical reason, but almost sentimental. I had saved a large majority of these notes to my computer, so why did I need them? I certainly haven’t been going and digging through my bins of notes to find that one anatomy lecture we did two years ago. No, I go to my computer or a relevant anatomy textbook. This lead me to a giant cleaning spree and a small journey of self-discovery.
My first year, my notes were impeccable. I printed every lecture out before class, took excellent notes, and highlighted everything I thought was important. Looking back however, I realize I had worked so hard my first year to the point of absolute mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. I was not particularly happy, and my grades did not reflect how hard I was trying. Flash forward to now, when I probably look like a worse student, but I’m way more balanced. I get out of the house and I’ve developed less insane studying methods that work far better for me. It’s amazing to see how much I’ve grown over the past three years, not just in study habits. I take a much more broad-spectrum approach to everything I do, and I think it’s a change for the better.