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VetHopeful94

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Hello all,

I am a 21 year old traditional student at Western Kentucky University (Go Tops), and i have a serious issue. I am a transfer from Louisville, and I had a very bad experience there. I had family issues, and in general life got in the way of my grades. I currently have a 2.4 GPA and I am roughly about 60 hours into my undergrad. It is gonna take me a couple years to finish up all my pre-vet coursework.
I wasn't a very good student in high school maybe a 2.5 overall. I was ranked in the middle of my class, and family has always brought me down. I brought a lot of it on myself not wanting to do the work, and not really knowing how to study.
I want to know if I learned how to study, got all my pre reqs done in 5 years, and had a somewhat descent GPA if i even have a chance?
This is the hardest thing I have ever done. I dream about being a veterinarian every singly day of my life. I want this in a way that only other pre vet or vet school students understand. I have hours of large, small, and exotic animal experience. I have worked with some of the greatest veterinarians that one can even imagine, I know I can kill a interview, but learning how to college is something I just dont know, or if I will ever really figure out. The thought of not being a vet depresses me.
In short I need words of wisdom, something that can help me get through my 3 year rough patch. I hope that you all can share your experiences, and give me the best advice possible.
 

wildlifer

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I'm not a vet student yet myself, just fyi. I am going to apply next cycle (that's the plan anyways) But I know the feeling. I graduated my first undergrad with a 2.96. I had some rough semesters and it just ovewhelmed me knowing my chances of vet school were slim to none (at least, so I thought). 3 years post graduation, I enrolled in a second degree program and cranked out a 3.72. Time and life experience definitely made me more motivated than when I was at your age, 20-21. Now, I'm getting ready to start finishing my pre-reqs in January so that I can apply next cycle in 2016. I wouldn't let your low gpa stop you. I would just recommend doing what you can to raise your gpa over time (which you have plenty of!) and gain more unique experiences! There are people out there who have made it with rocky starts. Read through the "successful applicant" threads and you will see that there are some of them out there that exist!

Also, use your school resources. If your school has a study skills type tutor or time management, I would most definitely talk to them! Sometimes just getting that different perspective can make all the difference in the world.

Wish you the best of luck!
 
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hazelmoo

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If you think undergrad is one of the hardest things you've had to do, you may want to reevaluate if vet school is the best choice for you. Vet school is going to be much harder than undergrad... One of my professors described it as trying to drink from a fire hydrant. Lots of information coming at you at an extremely fast pace. If vet school is what you really want, you need to start learning how to study now. If you don't, you won't make it. You need to put in the hard work now so that it comes a little easier later. It's hard, and it's not fun, but it's what you have to do if you have any hope of getting in. There are going to be lots of people with 3.7-3.9 GPA's with a ton of experience that will nail the interview. Unless you can show an extreme upwards positive trend with your grades, I don't think that admissions is going to take you seriously. It's not impossible, but you are going to have to buckle down and start working harder. You can do it!!
 
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LetItSnow

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I guess I'd recommend you actually study harder. There is no magical "make studying easy" recipe. It takes commitment. 90% of the time when people tell me they're having trouble studying, it's mostly just a matter of not actually doing it. I helped some people out in my undergrad days as a tutor - they'd say "Really! I'm trying! I'm spending HOURS at my desk studying!" And then I'd go study with them and find out that those hours were actually 90% devoted to texting, listening to music, sending email, checking Facebook, etc. But they called it 'studying'. They convinced themselves that because they're sitting at their desk it counts as study time. And then they'd be out with friends Friday night, sleeping in Saturday, and going out again Saturday night. And when you'd call them out on that they'd get defensive and point out "but dude, I have to spend time with my friends!" Yeah. Ok. Priorities, I guess.

There are more effective and less effective ways to study, but at the end of the day 90% of it is just plain investing the time to actually do it (which is different than investing the time to pretend that you're doing it).

Studying is a time investment problem. Your school undoubtedly has resources to help you learn how to study efficiently, and you should use them. You're paying for them, after all. Technique does matter, and finding ways that work for you are something your school could help you with - whether it's reading more, making notes, verbalizing what you're studying, studying with other people vs studying alone, making use of professor office hours, studying in a library vs a coffee shop vs a quiet room vs a room with music .... sometimes you just need to shake things up and try a different approach to find the one that works well. And the study technique that works for one class may not work for another.

Sorry. I know that seems blunt and cruel, but it's also true - you just need to buckle down and actually study and nobody can make you do it but you. If you really want to do vet med as badly as you say you do .... let that be your motivation. Because you won't do it unless you study more.

Single best thing you could do is 1) make use of your school resources, and 2) take an OBJECTIVE look at how much time you're actually studying. If you can't be objective .... find someone who can and invite them to come observe your studying and offer feedback.
 
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deleted676737

I'm going to be brutally honest.

A 2.4 is going to make it extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible, to get accepted to veterinary school. With 60 hours, you are about halfway through your bachelors, yes? You still have some time to bring up your GPA if you can absolutely nail the rest of your pre-requisites and upper-division sciences, but it isn't going to be easy. Only you can decide whether or not you are willing to make that sacrifice. I can tell you from personal experience, as well, that it will almost certainly necessitate some major life changes.

I, too, barely made it through high school. That poor performance transferred into my first year-and-a-half or so of undergrad. I was majoring in a field I hated because I believed myself too stupid to actually become a veterinarian. Lo and behold, I switched my major to biology about two years in and my grades began improving. I actually managed to bring my GPA from a 1.6ish to just below a 3.3. It is to this day the hardest thing I have had to do, but I had no option if I wanted to make vet school work out. I was about as far into my degree as you are. I am also applying for vet school right now. I constantly flip-flop about how I feel about my chances, too, as my science and last 45 hours GPAs are pretty darn respectable, but my cumulative is still... not too spectacular by pre-vet standards.

My point being, I guess, that you can absolutely still make vet school work out for you, but it will require a massive overhaul of study habits and you must be disciplined enough to actually work through it. Vet school is extremely academically intense -- you need to prove to the admissions committees that you have truly worked past whatever held you back in the past and that you can stay afloat in a professional program. If you can really rock your last two years (and by that I mean nearly straight As), then you may have a case for admission. Additionally, if you have the time/money, I would recommend retaking any vet school prerequisites you recieved a C or below in. That may help out, too.

You can still make it work if being a veterinarian is seriously what you want in life, but you must realize that you need to prove that you can hack the tough sciences and not give in. It's great that you've got some vet experience under your belt, but that unfortunately is not enough. A "low" GPA for getting into vet school is ~3.0, and indeed that is also the cutoff for most schools.

Something that may be of use to you: http://www.back2college.com/raisegpa.htm

This is a calculator that you can use to approximate how many hours of As (or any other grade, really) you will need to achieve a certain GPA. It's been supremely helpful to me, at least!

Best of luck with whatever you choose to do!
 

pinkpuppy9

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Everyone pretty much hit the nail on the head, but I just wanted to add in something. No school will actually consider a student with below a 2.75 (unless any one has changed their requirements, or there's one with lower that I'm unaware of!). You HAVE to make changes to even be considered, plain and simple.

Second point: No school will accept a student who has below a C- in any of the required courses. With a 2.4, I'm assuming you're going to end up needing to repeat some of those. You really need to ace any future courses and repeated courses in order to be competitive. It's going to be a lot of work, but it's doable. Good luck!


I guess I'd recommend you actually study harder. There is no magical "make studying easy" recipe. It takes commitment. 90% of the time when people tell me they're having trouble studying, it's mostly just a matter of not actually doing it. I helped some people out in my undergrad days as a tutor - they'd say "Really! I'm trying! I'm spending HOURS at my desk studying!" And then I'd go study with them and find out that those hours were actually 90% devoted to texting, listening to music, sending email, checking Facebook, etc. But they called it 'studying'. They convinced themselves that because they're sitting at their desk it counts as study time. And then they'd be out with friends Friday night, sleeping in Saturday, and going out again Saturday night. And when you'd call them out on that they'd get defensive and point out "but dude, I have to spend time with my friends!" Yeah. Ok. Priorities, I guess.

There are more effective and less effective ways to study, but at the end of the day 90% of it is just plain investing the time to actually do it (which is different than investing the time to pretend that you're doing it).

Studying is a time investment problem. Your school undoubtedly has resources to help you learn how to study efficiently, and you should use them. You're paying for them, after all. Technique does matter, and finding ways that work for you are something your school could help you with - whether it's reading more, making notes, verbalizing what you're studying, studying with other people vs studying alone, making use of professor office hours, studying in a library vs a coffee shop vs a quiet room vs a room with music .... sometimes you just need to shake things up and try a different approach to find the one that works well. And the study technique that works for one class may not work for another.

Sorry. I know that seems blunt and cruel, but it's also true - you just need to buckle down and actually study and nobody can make you do it but you. If you really want to do vet med as badly as you say you do .... let that be your motivation. Because you won't do it unless you study more.

Single best thing you could do is 1) make use of your school resources, and 2) take an OBJECTIVE look at how much time you're actually studying. If you can't be objective .... find someone who can and invite them to come observe your studying and offer feedback.
What is fun? Is that what other people do on weekends?
 
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that redhead

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Being a veterinarian requires a lot more knowledge than it looks like. I graduated in May and I learn multiple new things every day from those who have been out in practice for longer. Not everything can be learned from a book - some of it is experience-dependent. That being said, a lot of what you need to treat animals is learned from books, in school, slogging through innumerable hours of misery. If you cannot study effectively now, chances are that you will not be able to study effectively in vet school, which means you will not pass your classes or board exams, and you will not become a veterinarian. That's how schools look at grades - they don't want to admit someone who can't hack it in the classroom. That was a tough pill for my to swallow, being that my grades were also pretty bad, but I made the change and here I am.

Seek out resources to learn how to study effectively. Like LIS said, you won't always study the same way for every class; you need to be adaptable. Second, I'll emphasize the lifestyle change that you need to make now: replace the times that you're doing nothing (FB surfing, Netflix marathoning, going out with friends) with true studying. You can still see your friends or family, you can still go to that sporting event or practice your hobby but you need to do that stuff a lot less. It won't be impossible to get into veterinary school, but it will be a long hard road.
 

Lilly63

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All of the above advice is good. If you really want to be a vet, you can make it happen. You must have the fire and ambition in your soul to overcome obstacles and push yourself every day to make your dream a reality. You really have to reflect on yourself to see exactly what things you can change. There will be sacrifices made from your current lifestyles (hanging out with friends every weekend, watching TV, surfing on the internet, cutting back the hours you work, etc). You must prioritize school work and studying. I look at tests and school work as if I can't do well on this then I can't handle vet school school. It will be a long and tough road ahead, but all the hard work will pay off one day. Veterinary school is tough to get into and the curriculum is fast paced and difficult. You must perfect your studying skills and build an excellent foundation to learn veterinary medicine from. I made the mistake of working full-time or close to full-time while I was an undergrad, it lowered my GPA significantly to the point where I became a B average student. Veterinary schools are not looking for average, they want above average students in most respects. You have to make yourself stand out from thousands of applicants. Currently I am a 3rd time applicant to my IS vet school and also applied to a few other veterinary schools for the first time. Each year I try my best to improve my application as much as possible in hopes of finally being admitted to veterinary school.
 
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