My first year of veterinary school came to an end. During that time I’ve made many friends, grown as a person, and realized that I am on the right path. Here’s what I’ve learned about life from surviving Year 1!
- Never take your friends or family back home for granted. Going to veterinary school meant moving away from my hometown, my family, and friends I have known since before I could walk. I miss them so much, and I’ve learned to maximize my time home when I’m there. Stay off my phone, put my textbooks down for just a little while and enjoy the people around me that I now don’t get to see very much.
- Learn to rely on the new people around you. When we began vet school last August, I was surrounded by complete strangers. However, that didn’t last long. I now consider many of them some of my closest friends. They are the only people who know exactly what I’m going through and we give each other support and encouragement when exams are piling on and the semester doesn’t seem doable.
- Breathe, it’s going to be okay. There were so many moments this year where I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. Am I really supposed to be in vet school? Can I really pass all these classes? Am I going to learn enough to make me a great doctor one day? All of these doubts and more went through my mind more than once, but I am learning to let them go and instead focus on my goals.
- Work smarter, not harder. Vet school is the most mentally rigorous thing I have ever done. Utilizing smart studying tips and being as efficient as possible helps keep me sane. For example, I do much better on exams if I have a full night of sleep before. Therefore, I don’t let myself stay up late the night before an exam trying to cram. I study in small increments for a week or more before an exam so that I’m not trying to learn everything in one night.
It’s been an amazing year full of ups and downs, and I can’t wait to see what Year 2 has to offer. In the meantime, I am enjoying a well-earned break over summer vacation!