If you are thinking about becoming a vet student, there are a lot of things you’ll need to consider. Are you willing to devote many hours to studying when you would rather be doing other things? Will you attend a vet school near your family? How will you manage to pay off all your debt? What form of transportation will you take to campus? While all of these are important (and will be addressed in future posts), I’d like to focus on the last question. In college, I was fortunate enough to live in a dorm that was a three-minute walk from my nearest class and a five-minute bike ride from my furthest class. It was a bit of a shock to find out that Tufts does not have on-campus housing for students. After finding an apartment in the area with the help of my father, the next step was to get a car and join the ranks of 95% of my classmates who own one. After much deliberation, I decided I would put off buying a car until I really needed one. I ride my bike to school because it’s good exercise, eco-friendly, and economical. But apparently I’ve been doing it wrong.
I have never been one to ride with a helmet. It’s just not my style. Back home in New Orleans when I ride on the levee trail, this does not pose a problem. No cars and a flat topography make for a safe riding experience, but the route from my apartment to Tufts is more treacherous. Depending on the time of day, the road is fairly busy, plus the shoulder is very narrow. Despite this, I almost never wore a helmet for the first year of vet school. However, two classmates older and far wiser than me have implored me to ride with a helmet and have engendered a change of heart in me. They genuinely care about my well-being, and for that I must honor them. Furthermore, I must honor myself. We have our whole lives ahead of ourselves, so taking an easy precaution to prevent something horrific is worth it in my opinion. I am sure that mother will be happy to read this.
I have put a lot of time and effort into achieving my dream of being a vet. I would not want to jeopardize my career or life, because I was foolish enough to ride without a helmet. The same goes with any risks we take. Before engaging in that activity, it is good to analyze the situation and confirm that we do not put ourselves too close to harm’s way.