Prospective veterinary students often ask me why I chose to come to the University of Pennsylvania. The word “choose” is an interesting word to me in regards to getting into vet school. I do not think that many students get the opportunity to “choose” to go to vet school. Hitting submit on that VMCAS application is a surreal experience when you suddenly realize that everything you have done in your lifetime has been effectively summed up in a computerized application and all of the control you once thought you had over getting into school is suddenly relinquished to the veterinary schools’ admission committee.
Once you’re lucky enough to be chosen to attend a veterinary school, the decision is supposed to be a little easier. Still, many students struggle with the decision to attend their state school versus a school that may cater to their interests more. Furthermore, there are students who just want to be veterinarians and of the twenty schools they applied to out of fear of not being accepted, were admitted to nearly all of them and have to consider each school’s strengths and weaknesses more carefully.
I, however, was neither of those students.
I have wanted to come to Penn since day one. Not because of its stellar academic record or the quality of the veterinarians it produces (both to which I can strongly attest from working for an incredible alumna of the school), but surprisingly enough, because of its location.
The school resides in historical Philadelphia, and while I grew up saying New York City was “my city,” Philadelphia has quickly become home. I knew that coming to UPenn would mean not only getting an incredible education in veterinary medicine, but its juxtaposition with a rich cultural and social atmosphere made it even more desirable. For me, it was important that when I left school for the day, I could really remove myself from the classes I just sat through and have an enjoyable outlet in which I could relax, unwind, and stimulate the other side of my brain.