That may seem like an odd title. Don’t most people (all I would hope?) live through vet school? Yes, in an ideal situation, most of us will in fact live through vet school. We may have some late nights, some boring moments of studying a less-than-appealing subject, and some stressful times. But, we will live. However, this is not the type of living that I am referring to. I am inquiring as to whether or not you are actually alive during your time in veterinary school.
Are you spending your days stressfully studying your tail off until you pass out, exhausted, after every day? Or are you studying with determination and enthusiasm, happy that you get to study veterinary medicine? I can assure you that there is a difference between the two situations. I can also assure you that the grass is truly greener on the side of joy. I know. There was a time when I used to live on the other side of the hill, along with all of the stress and exhaustion that comes with it. Luckily, that was back in 2011 when I was an undergraduate. That seems like a long time ago now. I was lucky to realize my situation, and even luckier to be able to make the necessary changes.
Living through vet school can come in many forms. Some of my classmates dance with a dance collective group at school to burn some energy in a fun environment. Some of them play in the school orchestra to keep their passions for music alive. Some of them go ice skating in the evenings. A lot of my classmates ride their horses. Personally, I stick to my ultrarunning to balance my class hours with hours spent outdoors running through the woods with my dog.
Living through vet school in no way means that we put other activities before our studies. In fact, the only way to get through vet school successfully is to commit a consistent and focused amount of time to your studies on a regular basis. What I am talking about is finding the balance that allows you to live your life in a healthy, sustainable way that allows you to achieve your academic goals and experience a full life outside of school. As one of the vet school professors that I met in my travels told me, “Life does not get put on hold when you are in vet school. Life happens when you are in vet school.”