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Favorite way of dealing when the panic sets in?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by DVMorBust, May 12, 2008.

  1. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013 2+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    So, I'm having one of those moments when everything seems waaaay to big to overcome. Finals week, application opens in a short while, need to take the GRE, don't know how I'm going to get enough experience to qualify, and on general 'AH I'm not good enough!' sentiments all around.

    I'm not looking for reassurances or anything, just wondering how everyone else has dealt with those days when you just kind of want to curl up in a ball and hide away until - miraculously, years later, you've been accepted, flown through vet school, and started practicing.
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  3. ferral

    ferral member 2+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    I run..........
    I admit, when times are tough, I become an exercise junkie. When I'm super stressed out, I run until my glucagon levels spike and my primary source of glucose is from the breakdown of glycogen... :laugh: I run until I've pushed myself past what I thought I couldn't do before.
    Then, I'm ready to study. :p

    *or* I procrastinate on SDN :laugh:
  4. wi girl

    wi girl Wisconsin SVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Well, I've only gotten to the been accepted stage, but I vent to my mom. Loudly, and usually irrationally. However, she's gotten (over the course of four years of undergrad) to know exactly when these calls are coming (I usually try to warn her in advance too -- like next week I have three exams, its going to suck, expect crying) and how to calm me down.

    I also make lists. I feel like I've accomplished more if I make a list. Even if its something as easy as "read chapter 2 and take notes for exam". Crossed out things are good to focus on when is seems as if too much is in front of you. Usually my lists have sub sections as well. Like: Take GRE. With small points: buy book, read verbal section, read math section, take practice test (with two boxes, for the computer ones), etc. Each small step is something that you've completed.

    Downside to the lists is that it involves some procrastination. But I figure, I'll be more productive now if I plan, than if I don't --- isn't that true of essays and such too? Anyway, good luck with everything -- I'm currently putting off studying for molecular evolution, a class I should have dropped, and just found out that I do indeed need to send my transcripts to UW, so .... oops! I'm really hoping I don't bomb this class.
  5. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013 2+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    Ah, if only the only form of exercise I enjoy wasn't a 45 minute drive away. . .

    Lots of people have luck with exercise, though - I'm thinking that I should try to get there. Right now, I'd be even more upset after going for a run - but it would be a handy thing to like.
  6. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Davis, CA
    Ok, wi girl, you took the words out of my mouth. My two coping mechanisms, in no particular order: 1) Call mom and freak out. (Anyone who knows me knows that this is just a given.) 2) Make lists until my OCD has calmed the panic. The trick to technique #2 for me has been learning to make lists that are manageable...before I learned how to limit my lists, they become 5 page long panic-enhancers.:p (Heck, I still sometimes write lists like that. But these days it happens less frequently.)

    One of my favorite Sherman's Lagoon comic strips deals with To Do lists, but I can't find it right now. Otherwise I'd post it. I'll keep looking.
  7. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012 Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Sep 11, 2007
    I visit my best friend. He knows when I'm stressed out and takes me to buy cookies. I tell him what's bugging me, he tells me to stop being a wuss, then I get back to work. Usually does the trick, unless I'm having a major freakout. Major freakouts happen rarely and involve crying. They get fixed with a trip to some breakfast joint (like Shari's, Dennys), and their biggest breakfast combo with extra hashbrowns. Comfort food to the rescue!

    My family isn't really supportive and horrible at lending an ear, so I'm lucky my best friend is awesome.

    Oh, and lists are good too!
  8. Badger Girl

    Badger Girl 2+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2008
    New London, WI
    DVMorBust: I totally know how you are feeling and am also feeling this right now. Some days, I feel like I have everything under control and I don't need to be in such a rush, but other days I feel like there isn't enough time in the world to get all the things done that I need to! I used to use exercise as my main mode of relief, but unfortunately, not much exercising has been happening for me in quite awhile. :( Time to get my butt in gear.

    Anyway, I'm with you in this boat and can definitely relate. Don't worry, I'm sure we will rock all of the things we need to get done. Good luck!! :luck:
  9. CanadianGolden

    CanadianGolden 7+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I loooove lists. I could list things all day. I sometimes put things I've already done onto my list because I forgot to make the list before I did them and I feel better seeing them crossed off. List list list. My OCD has been running rampant for the past four years...someone save me...I need a closet to organize or something.
  10. hoodle

    hoodle UC-Davis DVM/PhD 2+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2006

  11. hoodle

    hoodle UC-Davis DVM/PhD 2+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Seriously, now that I'm done laughing at CanadianGolden (who specified exactly what I do, too!)

    1) vent loudly and ferociously to my partner, which involves lots of slamming and banging, as well as a lot of planning organized attacks on whatever is so overwhelming
    2) cook a big dinner
    3) lose myself in a novel
  12. OSJ

    OSJ Michigan State CVM 2012 5+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2006
    I make a list and schedule if needed. I figure out what I can do and when I will do it. For me, having it right there to see shows me that I actually can get everything done. If I make a list and it looks like there is no way I will get everything done in the amount of time I have, I figure out what can wait or get pushed off and make arrangements to do that later so I'm not so stressed out about it. I always factor plenty of time for sleep and a little down time into my lists as well! I also spend some time with my horses, even watching them mosey around the pasture makes me relax and calm down. I realize not everyone is so stressed right then! :)
    Oh, and I have a few key songs that I listen too! They motivate me. There is one song I listened to on my way to class junior year every day that I had a test! One is Rascal Flatts "Stand." Kind of dorky but it works for me!
  13. SillyFilly

    SillyFilly Tennessee CVM 2012! 2+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    NC, USA
    I love crossing off lists too! Striking things off just makes me so joyous.

    I play with my dog, read a good novel, watch trashy TV, and BAKE. LIKE. CRAZY. Or crochet.
  14. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2006
    I never was into this list-making thing until I started seeing a therapist for ADHD, and now it consumes my life. I bought a PDA type phone and it has so many items on its to-do list that it's getting a little bit ridiculous and I think it uses far too much program memory every time I open it! Still, I'd get nothing done if not for these lists reminding me constantly to stay on task.

    Like a lot of you I have a person to call when I'm too stressed. It's the vet who I used to work with. She's my rock. :)

    I also play more video games than is healthy, though I have a tendency to get about halfway through one and then start another one. I've got 9 games in the queue right now. ;)
  15. bunnyslippers

    bunnyslippers Purdue SVM Class of 2013 2+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I think I'm a hopeless freaker-outer! My main problem is wasting time worrying about things even when I know I'd worry sooo much less if I actually got to work (studying for the GRE, start writing down my personal statement, look for places to get more experience)! Accomplishing stressful tasks is really the only way I know how to deal with being overwhelmed. It's just so hard to force myself to force myself to confront it all when HGTV shows are calling my name!

    I think when I move back home this summer I'm going to start exercising more along with attempting to make stressful activities less painful by doing them while laying out in the sun and getting my tan on.

    Just curious, what do you mean when you talk about getting enough experience to qualify? Do some schools have minimum hours requirement (AHHHHHH!!!) or do you just mean just getting enough to be a strong applicant?
  16. Tiger1

    Tiger1 UIUC-VMSP (DVM/PhD) Y2 2+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    To reduce the current state of stress/panic, DON'T think you must get a DVM in your immediate future or it will be the end of the world. Without restraints, think of the best case scenario for your life- degree(s)/career/personal life. Think of the worst scenario that you most want to avoid/don't want. With the two ends of the spectrum, list the options in-between that come to mind.

    Do something (one thing) proactive that would tend you towards your best case and immediately reward yourself for it. It could be as small as studying/review one chapter of one subject or as big as studying for X amount of months and taking the GRE.

    Formula: Imagine best/worst case...Do something proactive (one at a time)..REWARD. However long it takes for you to position yourself to achieve your ultimate dream is the BEST way to proceed. Good Luck!!!

    - Tiger1
  17. veggirl


    Feb 25, 2008
    Is it a requirement to be a list-maker freak in order to be a vet or something?? I LOVE lists too! I am going to tell my husband right now that I am NOT a weirdo....or atleast if I am, I am in good company :p
  18. Moonpaw

    Moonpaw 2+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    I might as well join reason for making lists in life is to cross stuff off. Maybe it's just a part of modern life, all this "get stuff done" mentality and feeling good about finishing stuff rather than being in the process of doing them. Or it's just a thing that everyone likes in general? My mom loves making lists too, and I remember one time she told me to write down something we'd already taken care just because "it feels good to cross it off."
  19. veggirl


    Feb 25, 2008
    And to answer the question... I love to be outdoors. I leave my cell phone behind, and computer, and I go for a hike or a walk with my dog. I find a peaceful spot and I just sit and enjoy it. It may be corny, but the sound of the birds and crickets chirping in some tranquil setting is the best medicine for my freak-outs! Its something about nature that just makes me feel so small in this big big world, and all of a sudden everything doesn't seem that impossible or stressed.

    I also love to get into a good movie too. Especially old movies or animated ones for kids. A few movies, some popcorn, my pajamas, cuddling with my husband on the couch with my favorite blanket.....yeah, that does the trick too. :)
  20. wi girl

    wi girl Wisconsin SVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    I must admit, I've made to do lists for exams, etc and they seemed kinda impossible, so I added a few things I've already accomplished (and properly crossed off) to make it seem less daunting.

    I don't know if its a requirement, or our culture, but I would argue that to get through college, and get good grades requires a pretty motivated personality, and it doesn't surprise me that a lot of us motivate ourselves the same way. That being said, I would not be surprised that a lot of us stress out and then procrastinate the same way too ....
  21. NoleDevil

    NoleDevil Iowa State CVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    lol! I'm also a list-maker and a major "freak out to mom"-er! It may sound cliche or hard to do when you're upset (b/c sometimes, you just want to be left alone!), but I find that surrounding myself with other people (i.e. friends, family) really helps to take my mind off stuff I'm worrying/upset about.

    Also, a lot of times I'll just try to relax for a night. For instance, in undergrad, there were nights where I knew I should really study, but my brain just wasn't in the game. Rather than forcing myself to study and not absorbing any of the material, I'd take the night off, and I'd usually be ready to study the next night! Relaxing would include hanging out with my roommates/bf, going on the net, calling my mom, watching tv with my bf, etc.

    Same goes for the night before a test that I've studied a lot for... there will still be material that I don't feel I know well enough. Well, my brain goes into "shut down" mode and I know that if I keep trying to study stuff, I won't absorb it anyway. So, I put my books aside and let the info "sink in." I always end up surprising myself on test day when I'm much more familiar with the info than I thought I was!

    EDIT: I forgot to include that sometimes, I'll just take a short nap - it works wonders! I don't know what it is, but before the nap, my problems will seem impossible to overcome... then after the nap, I'll be like, "Man, what was the big deal?" AND, I think exercising in general has made me handle stress a LOT better. I've recently taken up mountain biking and it's just so exhilarating! I'm not one of those people who'll exercise when they're stressed-out, though.
  22. Whirr

    Whirr 2+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    I like lists too... it MUST be a pre-vet thing! :laugh:

    Although not something I actively chose to do when stressed, my work has helped me appreciate how little some of the things I worry about are in the grand scheme of things. I work at the local shelter, and there's a rhythm there and a great set of people that make me maintain perspective--the people come from many different walks of life, including other pre-vet students, and we're all just doing our best to get through. Working with animals in a professional environment also makes me realize how much I like it, reaffirming this rather rough career path we're all on. Then, when I come home, I'm always very grateful to spend some time with my four healthy, much loved cats and my husband.

    I also go on walks or go out to dinner with my better half. He always helps me maintain perspective--one more reason I intend to take him along to vet school! :D

    Oh, and I love reading (although I rarely have time for it) and video games... although I haven't loaded World of Warcraft in about two months now, that has been a good escape from reality. It's taught me some valuable lessons about leadership and teamwork, too.
  23. guppy73

    guppy73 Tufts V'13! 2+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    I love lists too--with fun little checkboxes. SO satisfying to get things done! :D

    And like Whirr in the previous post, I work in a shelter. I couldn't agree more that it helps me keep things in perspective, after dealing with some awful situations. My SO, who's an engineer during the week, works with me at the shelter one day each weekend. It's nice knowing that I can vent to him and he gets it.

    Other things that help me get by: Our cats, "The Office", Wii games, reading (when I have time!), Starbucks, and visiting any town with a seaside port.
  24. Pomona2006

    Pomona2006 UC Davis SVM c/o 2013 7+ Year Member

    May 5, 2008
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I must say it's funny that we are all list-people! Lists are a blessing and a curse, though. It's so nice to be able to cross things off, but it's so horrible when you have that one thing that's been on your list for months that you just can't seem to take care of. For me, that's most anything involving calling a person I don't know. I hate doing those things and I usually put them off forever and ever.

    Other than lists, when things get really stressful, exercise does help, as does calling my parents...but sometimes I just like to put some energizing music on and clean / organize my apartment when I'm home alone. Somehow changing things around and reorganizing can make me feel like I'm turning over a new leaf.
  25. Talkta Samson

    Talkta Samson Banned

    May 13, 2008
    Fly me to the moon like that b*tch Alice Kramden. 'Cause it's hard being black and gifted! Sometimes I wanna throw it all down and get lifted!
  26. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers no wake up time. sleepy time. Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    So in order to cope with the stresses of preparing for or attending vet school, you watch Half Baked?

    ...I've heard of worse ideas.
  27. Talkta Samson

    Talkta Samson Banned

    May 13, 2008
    Tru! Bring me some shrubbery my bizzle!
  28. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11 Moderator Emeritus Veterinarian 5+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    DC metro area
    Holy crap. That's really funny on a lot of levels.

  29. Talkta Samson

    Talkta Samson Banned

    May 13, 2008
    Would've liked to have been a comedian...

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