It’s that time of year when veterinary schools are filling their classes for next fall, which means there are a lot of excited preveterinary students out there who are both nervous and thrilled at the thought of starting vet school. In many cases, classes are forming Facebook groups for future first-year students to start to get to know each other. They all have tons of questions, and many are probably a bit nervous about finding housing, moving to a new city, etc.
It’s not like we veterinary students need more to do, but whether your school has a formal big sib/little sib program, take the time to help out your future colleagues. Helping, maybe just by answering questions on an incoming student’s Facebook page, could be establishing a formal mentor relationship.
Another way to help future colleagues could be by getting involved with the preveterinary club or connecting with students with where you went to undergrad. I have loosely mentored a girl I knew in high school for the last 4 years, and it has been a wonderful experience. She visited me when I was in undergrad and I gave her a campus tour. She ended up going to the same college I did for undergrad and will be starting veterinary school in the fall, just a few years behind me at The Ohio State University.
I never realized that I’d had such an impact just by answering some of her questions about vet school, helping her get a job in undergrad, and giving her advice on how to make her application more competitive, etc, until I recently received a thank you letter from her telling me how much she appreciated my help. I made a real difference for her, and it didn’t take tons of my time or even seem that big of a deal to me–but to her it meant everything to her. Take the time to help out a future colleague if you can. It is well worth your time.