Ahh yes. The dreaded VM2 year. It seems across the country, no matter the school, this is THAT year of vet school. Information-packed classes supplemented with hands-on lab experience that you really just have to hang on for the ride. It feels as if I’ve been hearing the warnings of this year since I was accepted into the school. Well, what happens when it’s time for the hardest semester of your academic career during a pandemic?
I remember being at work this summer when I got the email sentencing my fate. School was to start a week early, lectures were online, and labs were with one-sixth of your class for an hour of time. Oh, also, the semester is shorter but the same amount of material will be covered. I read the email allowed and a young vet knowing it was my second year literally responded “yikes.” I was nervous and a bit angry going into this semester, I felt cheated. But now that I’m two weeks in, I’ve actually had a change of attitude to some of these adjustments. For one, most of my professors who teach labs will give an online lecture describing what you need to get out of the lab session for that week. It’s nice because I can take notes and go into my hour lab time ready to work. An additional bonus, I find I’m not wasting time with my hand in the air waiting for a question to be answered or standing in line to share a microscope. I feel as if my professors enjoy the more intimate sessions as well, they feel a lot more productive than traditional labs with the whole or half class. Another thing I am finding a positive is the ability to utilize my time in a manner that works best for me. I find I am most productive in the morning, and least so after lunch. The ability to watch some of my lectures early in the morning instead of at a scheduled time saves me time because I can pick times when I know my focus is at its best. If I’m feeling myself losing focus, I can pause and take my dog for a quick walk, and I often feel more in tune.
This year is just different. I know it’s hard but I appreciate the effort from my professors to deliver the quality of education expected with no shortcuts and at the same level of enthusiasm before the pandemic. Any change is hard, but I am grateful I still get the chance to pursue by DVM during COVID.