I think my biggest piece of advice for anyone in vet school or getting ready to be is to get organized. From first-year on this is the one thing that has helped me succeed the most. Now, whether I’m in class online or in person, I try to stick to a daily schedule. Here’s how I do it!
First, I have found that it is really important for me to get up at the same time every day. This helps me establish a sleep schedule because I can plan roughly when I will fall asleep and wake up to get enough hours to feel rested. On my in-person weeks, I can get up to go to class and then study in the afternoon. On my weeks online, I typically study in the mornings and watch my recorded lectures sped up later. This is because I have trouble focusing on lectures at home in normal time. I can focus a lot better when the talking is sped up.
Second, it’s very important to have a daily schedule. I have one calendar on my computer that says what classes I have each day and what labs I’m supposed to attend. I also add quizzes, tests, and lab dates to my phone so that I get reminders about them on the day they are due. This helps keep me organized because we have multiple online formats for quizzes, so I don’t always get notifications about them. I keep track of what I have and haven’t done yet.
Third, I keep a lot of lists. I try to only go to the store once a week, so if I need something, I put it on the shopping list on my phone. That way I don’t have to wander around my house Sunday morning wondering what I need to buy for the upcoming week. I already have it all written out. I also keep similar lists for daily tasks that I need to do. This allows me to check them off when I’ve completed them and helps me double-check that I’m not forgetting anything.
Vet school can take up all your time if you let it. But staying organized and sticking to plans can help you manage your way through tough semesters. It has certainly helped me a lot. That is why personal organization would be my biggest piece of advice for doing well during vet school.