Aug 15, 2017
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Hey, I was just wondering if anyone could give me an idea of what the program is like.

How many courses do you take per semester? What are they like? Does school run during summer? How many hours/week are you in school? What is the workload outside of classes?

I'm a graduate (research) student thinking of applying in a few years and just want an idea of what my lifestyle will be like, as I'm a bit older and unsure of whether the program is a commitment that will fit in with my current lifestyle.
 

CalliopeDVM

7+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2010
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as I'm a bit older and unsure of whether the program is a commitment that will fit in with my current lifestyle.
What is your current lifestyle, and what are you not willing to change? I was significantly older (started in my mid 30s), but I committed myself to the program because of what I could earn when I finished. I totally changed my life in order to go back to school to get my DVM - I moved away from my family and friends, and lived off of savings for 5 years (i.e. didn't earn any money for 9 months of the year).

Vet school is pretty hard on time and attention. You can count on at least 50 hours a week of classes/labs and study/prep time in your first 3 years (4th year is a whole other thing).
 
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Aug 15, 2017
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What is your current lifestyle, and what are you not willing to change? I was significantly older (started in my mid 30s), but I committed myself to the program because of what I could earn when I finished. I totally changed my life in order to go back to school to get my DVM - I moved away from my family and friends, and lived off of savings for 5 years (i.e. didn't earn any money for 9 months of the year).

Vet school is pretty hard on time and attention. You can count on at least 50 hours a week of classes/labs and study/prep time in your first 3 years (4th year is a whole other thing).
Hey, thanks for the response.
Currently doing graduate research in turtle biology, so I have an extremely flexible schedule, except during summers where I do fieldwork. I can work a 50-80 hour week without losing my mind haha, but the thing is, I usually can do that work anywhere. A cafe, my house, my office. It means I get to spend a lot of time with my dog and my husband.

I'm cool with 50 hours/week, but I would like to make sure I have time to see my husband and give my dog attention. I'm talking like one date night and one nature hike per week. During my undergrad I was pretty good at working hard on weeknights so I could keep my weekends free. Hoping this is something I can do during DVM studies.

Another question - how "passive" is some of the work? I find taking classes and memorizing information very easy and "passive", but putting together new information (e.g. writing essays or papers, data analysis) muuuch more taxing. Is most of the work (at least at the beginning) more typical "studying" work? Thanks!
 

SocialStigma

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You take ~8-10 courses simultaneously for the entire academic year (September-April). No classes in the summer although you do have to complete an 8 week mixed animal externship the summer between 3rd and 4th year. Between lectures and labs, you're pretty much at school 8:30-5:30 Mon-Fri, with a lunch break every day at 12:30-1:30. Starting in 2nd year, you will have tests almost every Monday. I rarely studied on weekdays after classes but would end up studying 8-10 hours/day over the weekend in preparation. I would say on average I probably spent ~10-15 hours per week studying outside of class (more obviously during exam period). You will definitely have time for 1 hike and 1 date night per week. And I would say 99% of the work is memorizing information.
 

CalliopeDVM

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There's no guarantees of what will happen, but there are married vet students and vet students who are parents, so obviously it's possible. But no one can tell you now how much studying is involved, how much of your effort and attention it will take, and whether you'll be able to keep up with everything you want to in your life. You have to decide if you're willing to compromise (because no one gets everything they want), and be willing to leave if your choices lead you there.
 

Cephal0pod

c/o 2020
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Nov 16, 2010
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I'm cool with 50 hours/week, but I would like to make sure I have time to see my husband and give my dog attention. I'm talking like one date night and one nature hike per week.
I'm not at Guelph, but I can speak to this part at least as I think it is more of a vet school in general concern vs. Guelph-specific concern. I think that sounds very reasonable. My SO and I have an established date night each week, and we were able to keep that all throughout the year (I'm a 2nd year). We did a lot of evenings where I would be studying and he would be reading or something on the couch next to me, too. It's doable - you just have to be intentional about managing your time well, and be honest with your spouse/SO/etc about your studying load and what you need.

I'm also a strong believer in the philosophy that time spent not studying is an investment in time spent studying (within reason). :)

During my undergrad I was pretty good at working hard on weeknights so I could keep my weekends free. Hoping this is something I can do during DVM studies.
Again, I don't go to Guelph, and people study differently - but I would not count on having all of your weekends free. There will be some weekends that you will be able to get away with that, for sure. I think taking a night off can be helpful to let your brain relax, too; I generally take Friday nights off of studying, and I know quite a few of my classmates did that as well. In general, though, plan on having to study at least some on the weekends.

All the best to you!
 
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Jul 11, 2017
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You take ~8-10 courses simultaneously for the entire academic year (September-April). No classes in the summer although you do have to complete an 8 week mixed animal externship the summer between 3rd and 4th year. Between lectures and labs, you're pretty much at school 8:30-5:30 Mon-Fri, with a lunch break every day at 12:30-1:30. Starting in 2nd year, you will have tests almost every Monday. I rarely studied on weekdays after classes but would end up studying 8-10 hours/day over the weekend in preparation. I would say on average I probably spent ~10-15 hours per week studying outside of class (more obviously during exam period). You will definitely have time for 1 hike and 1 date night per week. And I would say 99% of the work is memorizing information.

Do the professors also post their lectures online and is attendance necessary? I applied this cycle but I live a good hour and a half away. I'd definitely be up for the commute if admitted, but I am wondering if it would be necessary to make the drive every day.
 

SocialStigma

OVC c/o 2015
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Dec 24, 2009
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Resident [Any Field], Veterinarian
Do the professors also post their lectures online and is attendance necessary? I applied this cycle but I live a good hour and a half away. I'd definitely be up for the commute if admitted, but I am wondering if it would be necessary to make the drive every day.
All lecture slides are generally posted online the night before, however there are no podcasts/audio to go along with the slides. Some profs will have all of the information on the slides already, but some will have only pictures/minimal info on the slides which means you would still have to attend lectures to get all of the information. Attendance isn't taken except for some labs/tutorials where there are assignments/quizzes that need to be completed.
 
Jul 11, 2017
7
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
All lecture slides are generally posted online the night before, however there are no podcasts/audio to go along with the slides. Some profs will have all of the information on the slides already, but some will have only pictures/minimal info on the slides which means you would still have to attend lectures to get all of the information. Attendance isn't taken except for some labs/tutorials where there are assignments/quizzes that need to be completed.
Thank you so much for your reply! That makes sense.