You’ve been accepted to veterinary school. Woo! Congratulations! As you enter the summer before starting perhaps the most challenging and exciting time in your life, you ask yourself, “What should I do during this last summer before vet school?” Of course, there’s no right answer, but here are some thoughts about the best ways to spend your last “summer of freedom.”
Many people have asked me if it would wise to take courses over the summer to help prepare for the rigors of vet school; courses like comparative anatomy or medical vocabulary. Others have asked about shadowing at a hospital or gaining more animal experience. What about research? Here are my two cents:
Spend these few months doing something you enjoy. Travel, be a pool-bum, read, work a fun job. If you truly enjoy shadowing, research, or other veterinary-related activities, go for it. When you’re in the thick of vet school this coming fall you’re probably going to think back to this upcoming summer and wonder how it went by so fast. As you already know, veterinary school is quite time-demanding, to say the least. If you think your free time was cut short during the most challenging part of undergrad, think again. I’m not saying you won’t have time to enjoy yourself, hobbies, and spending time with friends, but that time will be even more of a luxury. Use this summer to take advantage of that free time. Don’t worry about “priming” your brain for vet school. One or two extra summer courses or another hundred hours of experience isn’t going to make or break your first year in vet school. No matter what, vet school is going to be like drinking from a fire hose – and there’s nothing you can do to turn down the pressure.
Take these three months and do something that makes you happy. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished and let your brain take a breather before it’s time kick into high gear.