For one of my first lectures of veterinary school, I sat myself down in a random chair in the back half of the lecture hall among fellow first-year students with wide eyes, ready to learn. As I set my backpack on the floor, a tiny silver plaque caught my eye. Before I could start rummaging through my bag’s contents to find my laptop and prepare to take notes, I read the words engraved on the tabletop. They were nothing elaborate, just two simple words. Two little words that have since changed my life and shaped my veterinary school journey from Day One. So now, I share them with you: Ancora Imparo.
I was intrigued, to say the least, and did a quick internet search to learn what these magical words in front of me meant. One of the first translations I stumbled across summarizes their meaning simply as: “Still I learn.” I took a moment to let those words sink in. Even though I am at the starting line of my veterinary career and graduation seems ever-so-far away, I know that these words will help to remind me of what is truly important and I hope that they do the same for you. When I decided that I wanted to become a veterinarian and applied to vet school, I wasn’t merely signing on to earn a degree—I was making a commitment to lifelong learning. It is my job to keep a thirst for knowledge and a passion for learning alive in everything I do from today forward.
Right now, there is so much stress to learn all of the anatomy, immunology, pathology and pharmacology that I possibly can. However, the reality is that when I become a veterinarian, I will not and cannot know everything. There will always be something more to learn. There will always be another way to challenge myself. There will always be another way to grow. With these words as a constant reflection, I hope that 50 years from now I will look back on that day with fondness and say, even then, that I am still curious, I am still inquisitive, and I am still learning.