“How can they do that to you?!”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that question over the course of the past few months. Since the beginning of fourth-year, my time spent working or at school has essentially doubled, if not tripled. Just last week, I spent over eighty hours in the small animal hospital for my surgical rotation.
I have received many inquisitive messages from friends and family wondering where I have been, why I haven’t been in touch, and why they have not seen me around. Well, when most of your time is spent working, you don’t have much of a social life. When pressed, I tell them how much I’ve been working and how little free time I have had. This usually results in some form of an outraged remark as stated above. I am told how unfair my working situation is and that it should be unacceptable. While I know these people in my life are trying to support me, it becomes very frustrating to deal with the negativity over and over again.
At this point in my career, this is my reality. I knew that fourth-year was not going to be a walk in the park. I expected to work long hours and often be a bit sleep deprived. I have accepted that this is the way it is and I wish that the people around me would do the same.
Support can come in a variety of forms. Whether it be by lending an ear or offering words of encouragement. I know my friends and family are being supportive when they speak out against the long hours I’ve been working. I know they don’t understand the nature of the beast and so I try not to become defensive. I simply explain that this is the way the the final year of vet school is and that no amount of resentment will make the situation any easier. The negativity has started to wear me thin and gets me worked up. Being angry or frustrated takes so much energy out of me. So I ask the people around me to be more positive. I want them to lift me up and support me with encouragement. To help me make this situation more bearable.