Veterinary school can feel like running on a treadmill that is going faster than you could ever hope to run. Sometimes you may fall and get back up, while at other times you may feel like you are decently keeping up. It can be chaotic and challenging to stay consistent with your schedule and your endeavors outside of the school. Striving to maintain that laser-like focus on your goals is of utmost importance during this time. There will be many distractions along the way, some of which are not even remotely in your area of interest, but you have to stay the line and keep your focus. However, at the end of it all, when the smoke clears and school is done, where will you be? Will you be where you wanted to be in relation to your goals?
I bring this up because I am currently seeing both sides of the spectrum in my class. Many of my classmates have something lined up after school that they strived for throughout their years here. Sure, plans change and new goals can arise, but many of them still have something great lined up after school that they were inspired to pursue. But for some people, the chaotic schedule of clinical rotations and the demanding lifestyle associated with that has thrown them off course. Some of us have focused so much on just surviving our clinical rotations that the next step has taken a backseat. Rightfully so! Getting through clinics and learning all that you can while you are working alongside some of the brightest minds in the veterinary profession is extremely important. It may seem like an everyday occurrence to us, but the amount that we learn during clinics is immense. The more engaged we are, the more we benefit and the more our future patients will benefit. The balance of being engaged in clinics while also finding a job is a true challenge. It may be one of the most challenging parts about veterinary school as it almost requires us to be in 2 places at once.
Sometimes, unexpected things occur in life that can throw us off course. It can be difficult to get back on course and remember the motivation you once had. These present varying difficulty, and whether these things are personal or work-related can change the situation as well. The most important thing is that we are aware of where our efforts and attention are going in terms of what we need to accomplish. This is not easy, but it is necessary. One day school will be done, our degrees will be in our hands, and we will have the world waiting for us. After the smoke clears, where will we go next?