All my life, I’ve been focused on my grades. In high school, I needed to get good grades to be considered for scholarships and to get into the colleges I applied to. Once in college, I needed good grades to stay competitive for veterinary school admissions. Now that I’m in veterinary school, I still feel the pressure to get excellent grades, but do I really need to?
Don’t get me wrong, vet school can be HARD, and there are some classes and exams where it just isn’t possible to get the grade you hoped for. That’s part of being in a professional program; it’s supposed to be harder than any other schooling you’ve had before.
According to many people I’ve talked to, as long as you can get through school and get your DVM, no one will care in 20 years what your class rank was. Your future employers care much more about your ability to actually be a veterinarian than the grade you got in histology during your first semester.
However, according to others, it’s really important to keep your grades the best that they can be. Many students change their goals as they progress through the curriculum, deciding to pursue residencies that they may not have been interested in when starting vet school. As a way to select applicants, residencies look at GPAs, which means you need to stay competitive to be accepted.
I think that there are facets of truth in both of these arguments. There will be some classes that you just have to do your best to get by, and you may not end up with the grade you would have preferred, but that will be OK. However, you should try your best in every class, and even if you don’t think you’re interested in pursuing a residency, it never hurts to keep your options open.
I think the most important thing is bettering yourself, and becoming the best veterinarian that you can be!