After 20 years of schooling, the big day is finally here. It’s graduation day and I’m finally a veterinarian. The day started off with the entire school’s commencement ceremony which was held in the football stadium. Getting to walk out onto the field with my classmates and jump to Enter Sandman one last time will be an experience I’ll never forget. Each veterinary student had a pink palpation sleeve to wave around to help us stand out from the crowd. The governor of Virginia, who used to be a surgeon gave us a speech about how he had saved a baby in the past. Ultimately the moral of the story was we had to take charge in situations where we were capable of helping and “save the baby.”
Our veterinary student specific ceremony was held that evening. I never imagined it would be as sad as it actually was. Our pathology teacher, one of our favorite teachers of all, was our commencement speaker and even he started to tear up at the end of his speech. As an avid violin player, he even ended by playing a song. His violin just resonated throughout the theater and you could hear my entire class starting to choke up during his final drawn-out notes.
I don’t really remember much after getting called onto the stage. Everyone always pronounces my last name wrong and our Australian dean somehow managed to get it as correct as her accent could possibly allow. I got hooded and shook the hands of a few people I’ve never met before. I was granted my diploma and at that moment I officially became a veterinarian.
Afterward, everyone gathered outside for pictures. This was the saddest and most depressing part of veterinary school for me. This would be the last time that I saw most of my friends. The last time that we were all together as one big group. I got plenty of pictures with most of my friends but I missed a few friends in the mob crowd. Before long everyone had cleared out and headed home. It was as if everyone just vanished into thin air, most likely never to be seen again.
While I’m quite upset that veterinary school is over, for this reason, I’m excited to have my diploma and be starting my career as a veterinarian. Even though everyone has been calling me doctor ever since I don’t feel any different. Maybe that will change once I start my first job in a few weeks and actually start putting my skills to use.