Monday, August 22nd. The date had been circled on my calendar almost all summer.
This date marked the beginning of a new era: The first day of class at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Although my i-card claimed that I was a veterinary student and I had a new fancy blue coat that confirmed I was a veterinary student, I didn’t entirely feel like one at the beginning.
The first day of class left my head spinning with information and my nose burning from the anatomy lab. Was I in over my head? How was I supposed to retain all of the material presented in 6+ hours of class? I spent the weekend after my first week of class figuring out how to study. I had spoken to several older veterinary students about study strategies and I had planned to put their advice to use. However, instead of feeling prepared and knowledgeable, I felt flustered and overwhelmed.
I told myself that transitioning to veterinary school would just take time and practice and it wasn’t meant to happen overnight. My confidence and positivity increased as the first month of class continued. I tried several methods of studying and finally found one that worked for me.
The more knowledge I gained, the more enamored I became with the field of veterinary medicine. The more student organizations I joined, the more excited I became about the continuation of the school year. The more I connected with my peers and faculty, the more at home I felt.
It is now the beginning of quarter two of the school year and with a whole eight weeks behind me, I can confidently say that I don’t have everything figured out about veterinary school and that is OK. I know that it is part of the journey, I know that my curriculum, faculty, and experiences are setting me up for success, and I know that choosing to join the profession of veterinary medicine is the right choice for me.