I spent the four years before vet school working tirelessly in order to become someone that AUCVM would want as a student. I was so busy studying so I could have plenty of experience (& money), shadowing different specialties to make sure I loved the work, and doing everything else that I could to stand out from all of the amazing students applying for the seat I wanted in my veterinary class. I was so busy doing all of that, that I didn’t even take the time to think about what life would be like once I got in. I didn’t give full attention to the debt load, the compassion fatigue, the suicide statistics, or the older veterinarians that told me they wouldn’t pursue vet med again if they could go back. I thought all of those issues must just be exaggerations…we never talked about them in depth during my time as an undergrad student.
Once I got into vet school though, I felt like I hit an emotional brick wall. My enthusiasm was replaced with imposter syndrome and anxiety over the lifestyle I was pursuing. Could I handle vet school’s demands? If I made it through vet school, could I handle everything that came with being a veterinarian? My first year was full of me going back and forth between feeling totally capable and feeling totally drained. Luckily, I had my friends and I was constantly surrounded by colleagues who were open about going through similar struggles. Vet school is hard but we helped remind each other that it’s worth it. With COVID, students don’t get that anymore. First year students have had to mostly rely on messaging apps and social media to meet each other and try to make connections. If I’m struggling with feeling isolated at times – even with my amazing group of friends here to support me – I can only imagine what some of them are feeling.
If you’re a student that is currently struggling with feeling overwhelmed, isolated, etc.
If anyone ever wants to talk to me about my wellness journey through vet school so far, I’m always happy to do so. Message @NotOneMoreVet on Facebook or Instagram and I will see it.