My last blog post was about the transition from third to fourth year. The synopsis is that it really hasn’t set in yet. During the day or two off during the changeover, I really thought about what I wanted out of my fourth year. It has been a long three years, especially for someone like me who struggles with multiple choice exams. How do I make the most out of the next 12 months?
My first expectation of myself is to be realistic. Some rotations are going to be wonderful, and others might fall on the other end of the spectrum. I hope to keep this in perspective. The longest I will be on a rotation is one month. We can make it through anything for just a month, right?
The second expectation is to work hard. All the advice I received about how to have successful years has been to work hard. I’ll admit — after the past three years of classroom time, I am questioning whether I still have the work ethic I grew up with. Some of my rotations (coincidentally the ones I am on for a month) will run from 6 or 6:30 am to 7 pm (and more often later), at least six days a week. This doesn’t include the paperwork that most people take home with them. I am going to be really tired. Knowing that many other students have come before, and will come after, me makes it just one of those hoops we jump through.
My third expectation isn’t for myself, but for the clinicians and colleagues I’ll be working with. My hope is that if I work hard and take the rotations seriously, they will help me learn as much as possible. For the most part, the reputation of the veterinary teaching hospital is a positive one. However, just like in any situation, some people will be unhappy or just having a bad day. More advice I received was to not take things personally. Some of the higher stress rotations are rumored to be harder on students than any of us would like.
All things considered, I expect to have a really productive and educational fourth year.