Not unlike most veterinary students, in college I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, and held multiple leadership positions across campus. I imagined that I would take a step back in veterinary school and try to simply focus on school. That’s not exactly the case…
During the “club fair” my first year, I put my name on the email list of just about every club Penn has to offer. That is a pretty standard procedure I’ve come to realize, as our clubs don’t tend to have traditional meetings. Typically the club will just send emails out to those on the listserv, inviting those who might be interested to attend various wet labs and talks.
Being interested in equine medicine, I obviously signed up for Equine Club first. It became quite apparent that the Equine Club is extremely active in setting up wet labs, dinner talks, and offering opportunities to get involved with horses in just about every way imaginable.
Every time I get an email about an extracurricular opportunity, it always seems like I can come up with some excuse to not attend. I could either be studying, watching television, or studying…or studying. However, after I mustered up enough courage to stop making excuses and attend my first dinner talk about equine orthopedics, I was reminded why I love veterinary medicine so much.
Sure, sitting through another two-hour lecture at the end of an already lecture-heavy day seems like torture. The idea actually makes me want to just immediately go to bed and not wake up until the next day. And even still today, over a year after attending that dinner talk, I have to constantly challenge myself to not fall into a rut of staying in and studying and potentially losing sight of my career aspirations.
Attending the dinner and lunch talks has given me the ability to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom to clinical situations. Through doing a little “extra,” I have become a better student and hopefully will be a better veterinarian in the future.