school-blog

Some study tips for lazy students like me:

Make an aesthetic study table, get everything you need so you don’t need to get up repeatedly. Keep everything on your table organised and aesthetically pleasing.

Before you start, skim through all the content you plan to study. Try learning the challenging concepts first. Don’t miss out on anything, make a checklist.

Timetables suck. Keep a clock on your study table and keep adjusting your time e.g you finish half a chapter in an hour then add another hour and 15 minutes to complete and the rest revise at the end.

To those of you (including me) who feel like you always need to be doing The Most: do what you can. Do your best. This doesn’t mean doing everything at once!! This doesn’t mean you can’t have free time to relax!! Also remember that someone else’s best is different than your own because they are doing different things and that’s ok.
You gotta do you man. If you can only read 10 pages today and need to relax for a bit? That is a-ok. Because everyone needs relaxation time. “Your best” includes down time because you need to relax and take care of yourself more than anything else

What to do the Summer Before Vet School

So you applied to vet school, waited 809,089 years to get a decision, and you got accepted! What an awesome feeling! So…. now what do you do for 2-3 months before vet school begins? Never fear, your friendly vet student is here to help! 

-> Relax. I know, I know, you hear this all the time. BUT SERIOUSLY. You have 4 years of vet school to work, study, and worry. Go hiking at a national park, go lay on the beach, go read a ton of great books. But whatever you do, DO NOT PRE-STUDY. The only thing you should study is the back of your eyelids while you are napping. “But soontobedvm, what if I never had anatomy before? What if I had a few gap years and haven’t studied in forever?” I know you don’t believe me, but not only whatever you study will be taught within a lecture or two, vet school is good at catching everyone up to speed quickly, regardless of whatever background you are from. So please don’t burn yourself out already by pre-studying! If you are worried, I have several other posts about preparing for vet school, mental health, and anatomy here, here, here, and here.  If you want to glance at your anatomy book because that excites you, then by all means do so, but don’t feel like you NEED to pre-study, because I can ensure you will quickly be on the same page as everyone else. :)  

-> Establish good habits. Now one thing I WILL advocate the summer before school is to get into good habits that will follow you into school! For me this was getting into an exercise routine and trying out and freezing recipes for my crockpot. This could mean discovering your de-stressers, revamping your nutrition, or simply making time in your daily routine for “you” time. These types of things in my opinion was way more helpful to adjusting to school than pre-studying ever was. 

-> Settle in. You know what is worse than starting school and not knowing anyone? Starting school and not knowing where anything is. Take a few days (or a few weeks for some people) and explore the town you are in. Go discover some future study spots, take the route to school once or twice, unpack everything, go find something fun to do, that sort of thing. It might just make adjusting to vet school a little easier if the rest of your life is organized. :) 

-> Wait to buy materials/books. I know, I know, you are chomping at the bit to buy books, because I was too. HOWEVER, do not waste $200 a book quite yet!! Wait until you either contact your big sibling (Most schools have a second year buddy you are paired with), or communicate with upperclassmen via your school facebook group/email. You will either get hand-me-down books or online PDFs that are FREE, or you will get the down-low on whether or not you actually need these things. So just try to be a little patient and wait and see what materials you actually need! 

-> Get excited! This is it folks, you are going to be a vet in 4 years! It’s going to be a crazy, ridiculous, exhausting rollercoaster of a ride, but you always have someone to help you through the tough times, and never forget that we are all here rooting for you! 

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Hai everyone!! So the happenings so far these past few days have been a bit boringgg because acads acads acads acads. Butttt. Leaving all of those aside, the second photo is the waiting area in the center of the main building, (not sure if its really the center but thats where we hang most of the time) it has a caution tape huhu. It means we cant hang there anymore. The first photo, are my notes, those are my review notes because in order for me to get focused more is to get motivation and beautifying my notes is one of them. He he . Oh and about the vendo? The vendo is under maintenance which is sad because I really want coffeeeeeeeeeee. Like, I need it very much. Oh and we had our first lesson in pre calculus awhile ago which was pretty awesome but at the same time, it was pretty stressful also because the numbers are circling in my head like yes. But all in all, Tuesday and Wednesday was fun and felt like a normal school day as always 😊

How to be Prepared for Clinical Rotations

-          Have all your necessary supplies! Now, some of this will depend on the rotation and school, but some supplies to have include: stethoscope, scrubs, pens (lots of them!), highlighters (for treatment sheets), thermometer, emergency stash of advil/ibuprofen, rubber boots (equine, food animal, etc), coveralls, bandage scissors, snacks, notebooks (lots of them!) white coat, hemostats, etc. Also, if you have a computer based paperwork system, look into getting it installed on your personal computer if possible so you can do late-night paperwork at home instead of at school.

-          Have some resources on speed-dial. There is nothing worse than being panicked at 2 am for not knowing the dose of carprofen or xylazine when asked. I’m not suggesting to carry around your textbooks to your rotations (plenty of schools have a textbook library in the hospital somewhere anyway!), but it can be useful to have some websites bookmarked, some pocket books (I love my small animal differential diagnoses and veterinary nerd books- both are white-coat pocket sized!), or have a little notebook full of common drug doses handy. I also recommend the Plumb (drug reference) app that you can install on your phone that should be free if you are a student!  

-          Don’t forget the importance of food! Food is love. You can’t run around the hospital working on cases if you faint from hypoglycemia. Stuff easy finger food in your white-coat and eat when you can! If you are busy typing up paperwork in between diagnostics- EAT SOMETHING. On that note, take care of yourself! Yes, you may have some 12, 17, 24+ hour days, but you have to make sure to take time for yourself or you will be walking on the thin ice that is burnout.

-          Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seriously. Don’t sit with that blood sample all day because you don’t know what to do with it. Ask. Everyone knows you are new. Everyone knows you don’t know what to do or where things are. If someone gives you crap for it, then take a deep breath and find someone who is happy to help. If you are lucky enough like me to enter clinics with upperclassmen still there, cling to them for dear life! They know the in-and-outs of clinics now and are full of tips and tricks to survive clinics!

-          Accept that you won’t always know the answer. Or, at first, you might feel like you never know the answer. Or how to do a certain “easy” procedure. Or how to put in paperwork. Or where anything is. And that’s okay! Your attending clinicians have been doing this for years, so don’t feel bad for not knowing the 25th differential for diarrhea or for missing that IV catheter placement. It takes time, and you may not see it, but you will grow, and you will get more comfortable as time treks on.

-          Accept that you may not enjoy every rotation. In fact, you may hate a few. And that’s okay. Paying $40,000 + a year to perform scut work, yelled at, or being constantly chained to paperwork is frustrating, to say the least. It’s important to know this because vet school, even in clinics, is not the real world. And as such, it is more than acceptable to not like parts of this middle man that is vet school.  It’s also vital to remember that with the slog of clinical rotations, there are rewarding cases, clients, clinicians, and patients that make it worth it.


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Other useful links:  what is a clinical rotation, what I learned after one week of clinical rotations

Dealing With (Social) Anxiety in Vet School

There are certain situations that certain people thrive in. And some situations that certain people will falter in. But what if you are in a career that you flourish in that contains situations in which you flail in?

Welcome to my world.

I am in a continuous battle with myself to maintain eye contact, to not stumble over my words, to not freeze in fear in the middle of a conversation. It’s so ridiculously frustrating because I love the career I am going into, and I want to be the best communicator I can be. I want to not be terrified of my superiors, I want to not stumble when I speak, and I want to explain everything to an owner in an easy and concise fashion. But it’s like my body overrides my wishes and begins to tremble at the slight inclination of a confrontation or unknown interaction.

I would like to say that it gets better the more you put yourself out there and practice being out of your social comfort zone. And maybe it does. Maybe I am far too critical of my own communication skills. Maybe I simply can’t see the growth that others are witnessing.

But I do know this. That you and I are not alone, and there are so many people (classmates, professors, family, mentors, friends, professionals) that are there to help you through and cross that finish line of whatever you are struggling with, whether that be social anxiety, depression, or a broken foot.