I can remember planning my undergraduate summers with so much excitement. I usually planned them throughout the entire school year, finding that it made for a good mental break from school material. Planning for summer also served as great motivation to finish those tough undergraduate classes (like general chemistry – what a bear!).
So, what are you planning for your summer? If you are planning to apply to veterinary school, your summer plans would benefit from being very strategic.
It can be useful to approach your summer veterinary experiences by thinking about what areas of veterinary medicine you have gained experience in. Let’s start with some basics: small animal, food animal, and equine. Well, there goes three summers right there! Time can be spent shadowing or working in a practice in any of these areas.
Three categories seems awfully limiting, which is why it is beneficial to mix and match your summer experiences. Maybe you can spend your time shadowing at a small animal clinic while working at a horse farm to pay rent (I did this during the summer after my sophomore year). Doing multiple experiences at once can let you really build up that great resume you need to get into veterinary school.
I would not recommend totally taking a summer “off” from everything that is enriching. Leave the computer closed and put the movies away for a while. Get out and experience the world. Travel. Work with species you have never seen before. Go talk to people who are different from yourself. Develop as a professional. Grow as a person.
Whatever your balance is, be sure to enjoy your summers on top of any endeavor you choose!