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Advice / Tips for Class of 2012?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by rosemma, May 18, 2008.

  1. rosemma

    rosemma MSU CVM c/o 2012
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    I, like many of you, will be starting vet school in August and I was wondering if any of you who are already in vet school have advice or tips for us? Academically, socially, financially... ANYTHING!!
     
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  3. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!
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    Academically:

    Start studying day 1. Plan your time well, so you can get your studying done and do other things that are important to you. Some people can cram the night before, but let me tell you, most people don't want to get into that habit in vet school. It is just too hard to assimilate that much new info in a night or two. Therefore, your best bet is to make a study plan and STICK TO IT!

    Socially:

    Meet as many people as you can. I've said this on a number of different threads, but you never know who you're going to get along with, so really get to know all of your classmates. My group of close friends didn't come together til second semester.

    Financially:

    Live as cheaply as possible, but allow yourself a few nice things. If you like movies, go to one a semester. If you like concerts, go to one a year. Whatever it takes to keep you sane as long as you stick to a budget. Take out as few loans as possible!
     
  4. StealthDog

    StealthDog U of MN 2010
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    I have a few!

    A lot of people go through the freshman-15 again in vet school. Here's a few ways to avoid it. If you're a coffee drinker, buy yourself a nice coffeemaker rather than going to Caribou, Starbucks, the campus cafe, etc... You will save money and won't be tempted by the so-yummy-but-so-unhealthy carmel macchiatos, mochas, etc. You will also be surrounded by free lunches (in exchange for sitting through a schpeel from Hills, Merial, etc). It's hard to avoid the temptation, but they usually serve something like pizza or Chiptole, chips, and pop- not the healthiest choice. I don't think you have to give them up altogether, but do try to limit it if you can. Last, try to get your study groups to study somewhere outside of a restaurant... We made Panera our study spot, but also ended up eating way more and spending more money than we wanted.

    Vet school drama can eat up classes if you let it. Rise above it and don't participate in the gossip.

    Give yourself permission to take time off. I spent most of first year either studying or feeling guilty for not studying- definitely not a healthy way to live. If you can enjoy your time away from studies, you come back a lot more refreshed.

    I know a lot of people recommend not having pets during school because you don't have enough time, but I would have been really depressed without my dog. You spend so much time either in lecture or with cadavers that it's easy to forget why you enjoy all this in the first place. If you can't have a pet, at least find a way to spend time with some critters- spend a couple hours at the shelter, volunteer with a therapeutic horseback riding facility, help take care of blood donor greyhounds at school, anything!

    Definitely talk to the class above you about which textbooks are actually useful. I could have saved myself a bit of money and a lot of shelf space if I'd done that rather than gotten every text on the required books list.

    That's all I've got for now... Congratulations and enjoy your summer!
     
  5. LynnKat

    LynnKat Member
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    I'm going to echo what StealthDog said, especially about the freshmen 15. I actually lost that in undergrad, but karma got me in Vet School. I gained almost 20 lbs :( . Also, packing lunches and walking places when the weather is nice will save you money as well as help to keep fit and work off some stress.

    My other advice is to not get caught up in what other people are doing. Some people appear to to study every second of every day and talk about how much they study all the time. This is their way of coping with the workload, but it made me panic through all of first semester; the trick is to find what works for you and not get caught up in the craziness. I'd especially recommend not talking about exam answers with classmates right after you take the test. After one of our practicals, for example, I was convinced I failed, because a classmate assured me that she knew the answers and almost none of hers matched mine. I ended up with a 93, but spent the week needlessly depressed and stressed out.

    Books? Definitely ask the second years what was useful and keep an eye out for signs and e-mails from upper classmen selling books. You can often pick up inexpensive copies of things you want.

    Try not to feel guilty about watching television or going out with friends. There is so much material, that it is overwhelming at first, but you adapt, and having balance helps you stay sane.

    Also, sleep, lay in the sun and have fun this summer!
     
  6. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    forget concerts once a year... at LEAST twice a month. support local music, plz.

    but yes, meet as many people as you want. i'm still getting closer with some of my classmates.
     
  7. Pennvet

    Pennvet Goldmember
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    I'm glad you said that....there are way too many great shows in philadelphia to pick just one per year! Two/week sounds right for me.

    Do people with dogs ever help each other out w. responsibilities?
     
  8. Angelo84

    Angelo84 Tufts Class of 2011
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    Academically: Stay on top of your reading as it piles up really fast. One thing that is working really well for me is to do a weekly review. I just go over the information presented in lecture/lab that week to make sure I understand it--not to pound it into my head. It makes things much easier when the tests roll around. Also don't put every other class on the back burner to study for your first exam--the second one comes up the next week! Study group are great but don't feel locked in to the first one you join if its not working find another group.

    Socially: Make time to spend with friends outside of vet school even if its just once a semester.

    Financially: Yes you could save every last penny and not have any luxuries to come out of vet school with slightly less debt. It will save your sanity though to do a little minor splurging, on a movie or a fun book or those fresh berries.

    It is very rewarding to munch while studying but if you limit this to healthy things (carrots, snap peas, dry cereal) it works out. Plus the chocolate's good for you right!

    Note: Attempt to avoid SDN leads to procrastination! Proof--I should be studying for comparative anatomy!
     
  9. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!
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    I go and see $5 and $10 bands like once a month with friends. I was more thinking of those $200 stadium concerts. (Like I have friends going to Bonnaroo this summer--you can't do that all the time on loans.)
     
  10. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    ahh, i see what you meant. def go see the five and ten buck bands all the time though.
     
  11. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11
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    No matter why you might consider it, no matter what: DO NOT RUN FOR CLASS PRESIDENT.

    :)

    /public service announcement
     
  12. critterfixer

    critterfixer Veterinarian
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    All of this is good advice. I seem to be doing the opposite of the freshman 15, though, because I forget to eat when I am stressed, so I lost 8 pounds first semester (gained a few wrinkles, though, so it evens out). I also sacrificed sleep, social outlets, fun, and relaxation, and I nearly had a nervous breakdown. Second semester, I actually had a more stressful personal life, but I allowed myself to get sleep, to relax, to put some fun into my life, and my grades actually went up, not down. I gained back 5 of those lost pounds, too.

    One thing I'd really like to stress, particularly to those of you who are coming straight out of undergrad, which you entered straight out of high school:

    Your grades are important, but one test, one grade, one class, does NOT define you. You may be one of those lucky ones who manages to avoid personal trials and tribulations, but most of you WILL, at some point, stumble. You might even outright fail a test. At the very least, you will find you are now amongst a whole bunch of people who are used to being the best of the best, and you will not always do as well as you think you should or even as well as you know you could.

    And it's ok! Do not allow yourself to be defined by one, or two, or sometimes three crappy performances. Dust yourself off, move on, and do better the next time.

    Our Associate Dean took pains to say to all of us during orientation that he wanted us to get used to the idea that, yes, we CAN sometimes do poorly. And he didn't want to have anyone go home after failing a test and call their parents to come and get them, because we will all falter at times. It does not mean you cannot do it. It does not mean you are a failure.

    Shoot, at some point, many of us will make a mistake that might even cost an animal its life. So failing a test--not such a big thing.

    So expect it. And then figure out how to do better. But do not allow yourself to be defined by every test.
     
  13. deadvet

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    Everyone has given great advice and here are a couple of other things!
    1) If and when you need help, don't be afraid to ask for it. At Iowa State University we have tutors for the first and second year students. It helps the first year because it is such a transition and second year...well the courses are a lot of memorizing names (parasitology, microbiology and virology) and understanding pathology.:scared:

    2) Along the lines of #1, talk to your instructors. If you don't understand the material, make an appointment to go see them. Take advantage of any study sessions. One of our instructors in immunology was great about having several study sessions. Take advantage of those...they care and want to see/help you succeed.:love:

    3) Along the lines of #2, be a responsible student (its your money; you wouldn't sock a bunch of money in a car and never get an oil change-that's just IRRESPONSIBLE). You have to do your part. That means read assignments before coming to class (takes some time management); get used to writing question in the margins of your notes so you won't forget to ask the instructor later; read every email that the instructor sends and come to class so you can hear what is said. You can miss critical information by not doing so. If you don't show your commitment...it may not be reciprocated.

    4) You gotta have fun. Do it in moderation. If you have family make time for them and make sure they understand that this education is a commitment. Divorces happen in vet school:(. Work together so you are not a statistic. Again, at ISU we have a group called SCAVMA Auxiliary. It is composed of significant others of vet students. They share a common bond. Its good for them and for their attached student.

    5) Live within your means. Loan money is not free money-NUFF SAID.:cool:

    6) Lastly, don't be afraid to talk to someone. If you have a faculty mentor get to know them and let them know about you. At ISU we have faculty contacts for each student, we have on-site confidential personal counseling and a WONDERFUL Office of Academic and Student Affairs. The staff in that office really have a personal touch with students and is always a good source of CHOCOLATE:thumbup:
     
  14. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    Ugh, Bonnaroo! Don't remind me! :( I was soooo mad that Led Zeppelin didn't end up going. It would have been during the last part of summer semester for us, but sometimes, there are things in life that are just more important. :cool:

    Anyways, yeah, back on topic:

    -academic: C=DVM. Enough said. Well, except if you want to do competitive residencies.

    -social: keep an open mind and realize that the people who you hang out with after class may not be the best people to study with. Find low stress activities outside of just vet school folks. You never know who may be a future client! :D

    -financial: just remember...it's not how much you earn, it's how much you save and spend that matters. Take your lunch, ride your bike when you can, find out from your big sib or the second years what books you *really* need, do NOT spend $40 on a new lab coat for anatomy! :laugh: For food, buy in bulk if you like Sam's Club and/or Costco, check out the local farmers market and support local agriculture. The folks who raise meat at the farmers market are often willing to cut me deals on stuff as they know I'm a vet student, so they love to chat about their animals. :)
     
  15. Moonpaw

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    That sounds just about right for me! My entire entertainment budget pretty much consists of those $5 and $10 bands (or $0, which is always nice), who I've come to know and love. They're actually one of the things I'm going to miss most moving from New York to Knoxville. Yeah...that's going to be one interesting change.
     
  16. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    lol, i'm sure you can find $0 concerts down there... if you like listening to spoons.

    naaah, there's always something. good luck next year! :)
     
  17. tastrophe

    tastrophe NCSU c/o 2013
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    Hey everyone, I just found out about this - of course, everything's already gone :( but it might be useful to keep it around for next year...

    http://www.manncenter.org/freelawn/
     
  18. LynnKat

    LynnKat Member
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    Oh I just thought of something to add to this list of great advice. Know the feeling you had when you got your acceptance and how excited you are now and how good and smart you feel? Fix it in your mind. You will need to pull out this feeling at some point in Vet School, after a horrible exam, or when you are so overwhelmed you don't think you'll get through the semester and you can't remember why this seemed like a good idea. It's not that these moments are everyday, but having a touchstone to remind you why you're here and how much you want it can help.

    On a completely off topic note, tastrophe, my other kitty is almost a twin of the one in your av. :)
     
  19. critterfixer

    critterfixer Veterinarian
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    Moonpaw, we have LOTS of free entertainment in Knoxville. Free concerts on Thursday nights are going on right now, we have free Shakespeare in the Park, free Friday night movies at market square in the fall, tons of stuff. You will find Knoxville is the biggest little city around.
     
  20. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!
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    They have bands virtually every night at a few local bars. (Preservation Pub and Barleys come to mind.) That cost from $0-10 cover. I go to P Pub probably once or twice a week when I'm not busy and once a month during the worst times.
     
  21. Moonpaw

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    Something tells me this belongs in the "Is the debt worth it?" thread!

    But thanks for all the suggestions...I actually am looking forward now to seeing what Knoxville has to offer. I've only heard good things so far. You guys are awesome at making me feel better about leaving the only place I've known as home! :D
     
  22. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian
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    Here's one for BEFORE vet school...

    GO ON VACATION, NOW, BEFORE YOU CAN'T FOR A LONG TIME...:thumbup:
     

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