noellebell

2+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2018
11
3
Louisiana
Status
Pre-Veterinary
So, I recently (as in last semester), decided that I wanted to give pre-vet a second shot. I was originally pre-med, then pre-vet, then gave up both and just decided to graduate as quickly as possible because of the circumstances at the time (I was working 3 jobs to help my family, and suffering mental illness, blablabla...).
I realized that I still had a desire to go to vet school when my advisor asked me what my plans were after graduation.

Anyways, here I am, sitting with a 3.25 cum GPA, 2.9 science GPA, trying to get into vet school once more. Since I have minimal vet experience and a terrible GPA, I have been working my butt off to improve my stats. I have an awful course load of 16 hours, involving physics, chem lab, small animal anatomy, and 3 courses required for my ecology major. Sounds fine except this means I have 3-hour labs on MWF, and a FIVE-HOUR lab on Thursday. I also work on MTuWF, and all-weekend every other weekend. On the weekends I am not working, I am volunteering at animal rescues. Every other Monday and Thursday, I have club meetings in the evenings.

Needless to say, I am feeling so exhausted. My grades aren't too bad so far, but I've been getting a good 4-5 hours of sleep every night. I have almost no time to myself, or basically do anything except school and work. I keep telling myself if I can't survive this semester, then I can't survive vet school. Am I being too hard on myself? Is there some kind of trick to balancing all this? Am I doing too much? Too little?
 
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EngrSC

VMCVM c/o 2024!
7+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2012
2,120
1,812
Right Coast
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Veterinary Student
Opinions may differ on this but I don’t think burning the candle at both ends is an effective strategy to raise your GPA. If you aren’t getting As then you’re doing too much. Bs at this point will just further solidify your GPA.

I think us pre-vets have a tendency to take on the world but it’s so important to have some sort of life away from work/school/vettie things. Personally I’ve found I’m a better student/spouse/employee when I make time for me. It varies from person-to-person but for me that looks like 8 hours of sleep most nights, healthy eating, and regular exercise. I’m able to fit that stuff in and I work 30 hours/week, shadow/volunteer, and am taking 15 credits this semester (the key though is that my grades aren’t suffering). What your limits are is a highly individual thing but per what you said above I think getting As in your classes should dictate how much other stuff you’re doing. My 2 cents :)
 

supershorty

Minnesota c/o 2020ish
7+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2013
873
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Veterinary Student
Okay, real talk for a second.

If you want to get into vet school some day, you need to not run yourself into the ground now. You absolutely are not going to improve your grades if you're exhausted and so overloaded that you're not really able to focus on any one subject that you might be struggling with. In my experience, taking a heavy courseload in undergrad in no way prepares you for the vet school pace & amount of information, so don't hold that over your head - they're 2 different animals and you approach them completely differently anyway.

Figure out what works best for you and how you're going to be able to get great grades and stay mentally and physically healthy, and DO THAT. What you're doing right now is unsustainable and it's going to be really bad for your mental health. There is no rush to get the prereqs all done at the same time. Take your time and do them well, rather than trying to cram them all in now.
 
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The owner (vet) from a place that I worked at told me a story of how he got into vet school way back when...

He had a similar GPA, maybe even worse (definitely below 3.0 overall), but he worked his butt off getting experiences, contacting the Dean of the vet school, getting to know the director of admissions etc. to the point where he said they were probably annoyed with him, but could tell he really wanted to get in. It was a while back as he is much older now, but he said it was even harder back then to get in.

I certainly think you have a shot, especially doing well in your current courses. Like everyone will say, don’t over-work yourself... but schools do take note of you having to work so much to provide for your family. I would do research on vet schools that may not put as high an emphasis on grades and see if you can get in touch with admissions and talk with them about your situation. Schools will care less about your GPA if your last 30/45 semester hours GPA is high. They want to see that trend(even if you started off bad). So overall, I’d say focus as much as you can on getting your GPA up on your remaining classes and work/volunteer as little as you need. For vet school experiences you can always take a gap year
 

Elkhart

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Mar 7, 2015
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I agree with what everyone else has posted thus far.

Trust me personally, if you're feeling burnt out now, during the final stage of your undergraduate education, you will in all likelihood really burn out during veterinary school and your grades and mental health will both probably suffer as a consequence. I spent four years in undergrad taking 18-22 hours of science every semester, doing research, working, volunteering, and shadowing; I thought that that would prepare me for the massive amount of information and the extreme pace at which it is thrown at you in veterinary school. Needless to say, it did not. If anything, it likely made my situation in veterinary school worse as someone who was already dealing with mental illness and was already very tired of schooling. Upon reflection of my short stint in veterinary school, I think that this may have played a part in why I had such a difficult time while I was still there.

This is especially important because your grades, from what you've posted here, aren't great. It would be one thing if you were taking this all on and doing well, but I think that you have bitten off more than you can chew; it's completely okay to admit that. If anything, I commend that introspection. The fact of the matter is that veterinary school is going to overwhelm you at first, anyway, should you get in. And that's regardless of how much you've done in your undergraduate education.

You need some time for yourself during the day. You need to get closer to 8 hours of sleep per night. What you are doing right now is not healthy. Because you have to work to help your family and you need to shadow/volunteer for veterinary and animal experience, I think that the natural place to cut back is in your courseload. Whether that means simply taking a less intense full-time load, going part-time for a little bit, or even taking a gap year. Doing so might help your GPA, anyway; yes, it may mean that you take a year or two longer to finish your pre-requisities, but you already have so much on your plate as it is and it is obvious that your brain and body both need some time to rest. Moreover, this isn't a race and, as things are, I think your current pace is unsustainable.

That all said, I do not think that it is impossible for you to get into veterinary school with the GPAs that you posted, especially in light of the circumstances (the Explanation Statement on VMCAS would be a great place to explain some of this), but it might be tough and you will probably have to be strategic in choosing where to apply.

But either way, you need to take care of yourself first and foremost right now.
 
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noellebell

2+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2018
11
3
Louisiana
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Thank y'all for responding! I just saw everyone's replies (a lot has been going on these past two weeks, so I hadn't had time to log in), and I am officially dropping physics. Whew! My workload is going to decrease a ton!

Also, I am going to finish my degree in ecology, and then, once I have taken a breather and gotten my situation more under-control, I will go back to finish up my pre-reqs and apply to vet school.
 
Oct 6, 2018
140
94
Status
Pre-Veterinary
So, I recently (as in last semester), decided that I wanted to give pre-vet a second shot. I was originally pre-med, then pre-vet, then gave up both and just decided to graduate as quickly as possible because of the circumstances at the time (I was working 3 jobs to help my family, and suffering mental illness, blablabla...).
I realized that I still had a desire to go to vet school when my advisor asked me what my plans were after graduation.

Anyways, here I am, sitting with a 3.25 cum GPA, 2.9 science GPA, trying to get into vet school once more. Since I have minimal vet experience and a terrible GPA, I have been working my butt off to improve my stats. I have an awful course load of 16 hours, involving physics, chem lab, small animal anatomy, and 3 courses required for my ecology major. Sounds fine except this means I have 3-hour labs on MWF, and a FIVE-HOUR lab on Thursday. I also work on MTuWF, and all-weekend every other weekend. On the weekends I am not working, I am volunteering at animal rescues. Every other Monday and Thursday, I have club meetings in the evenings.

Needless to say, I am feeling so exhausted. My grades aren't too bad so far, but I've been getting a good 4-5 hours of sleep every night. I have almost no time to myself, or basically do anything except school and work. I keep telling myself if I can't survive this semester, then I can't survive vet school. Am I being too hard on myself? Is there some kind of trick to balancing all this? Am I doing too much? Too little?
Don’t be that hard on yourself. I have a low undergrad GPA. I graduated from TAMU in 2016, took a year off, and started grad school to work on an MBA(I plan to own my own hospital someday) & it gave me time to really make sure that I wanted to go to vet school. Having a rough undergraduate career can be very discouraging.

I say, start researching and calling schools. Speaking with Directors of Admissions to get a realistic feel on their admissions process. Because their web site may say one thing, but there may be loops that you won’t know about unless you reach out. Email them after and continue to ask questions. One of the biggest things I found out was that most schools have their own GPA calculation formulas that may actually help you! By reaching out, that shows them that you really want it! That way they don’t only have a GPA to assess your ambition. I applied to 6 schools and I have a good relationship with 4 of the 6 schools’ admissions directors.

Also, don’t limit yourself to certain schools. Look into Caribbean schools. I applied to St. George’s and Ross. Though they are far, if this is what you really want that may be a temporary sacrifice that has to be made.

Apply to schools that have more holistic review processes verusus schools that weigh GPAs more than experience, passion, diversity, etc.

Also, retake science classes you didn’t do as well in...

Don’t give up & good luck in your future endeavors!
 
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