It’s that time of year again. Winter break has come and gone and the semester is ramping up. To my dismay, today is the first exam of the semester. Here’s a glimpse into what was going through my mind during the first two weeks of this semester. By the way, I’m a fourth semester student. Week one, life is good. There’s a strange feeling that this semester is going to be easy somehow. No assignments have been posted, professors are still figuring out how to use D2L, our course network. My most important priorities at this point were food, Netflix, and the gym. Not a bad way to start the semester. Then week two hits. Professors and lecturing clinicians have finally figured out how to post their lectures and by now we are well past the introduction to the course and syllabi. There’s been an assignment or two due already and the pace is ramping up. Good thing I just bought a pocket-planner so I can keep things straight. It’s also a good thing I organized the desktop on my computer because I need to download at least four lectures and lab material each day. Things aren’t that bad and I cruised into week three. Bam. Week three just hit, and it’s only Monday. We had a ‘mini exam’ in Systemic Pathology and a quiz in Cardiovascular Diseases, basically two exams that lured me into a false sense of security and a sub-par to moderate degree of preparedness. The worst part is that whenever a teacher says ‘mini exam’ or ‘just a quiz’ the importance of the assignment is understated. So here we are again. Stress levels have just risen to finals status last semester. Vet school can be kind of like a boxing match. You go into it expecting to take a few hits and hoping to learn quickly so it becomes less painful. It’s never advised to get caught off-guard and start out behind. That’s been the major challenge for me so far. Then again, it’s a good learning lesson for a procrastinator. Next time I’ll prepare well and in advance.