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I'm not sure I want to go to vet school anymore?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by AniSci, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. AniSci

    AniSci AniSci 2+ Year Member

    May 4, 2012
    I'm a senior in undergrad (yeah, bad time to come to this conclusion), and have spent the last three years of my college career killing myself with working toward getting a BS (...literally) in animal science and simultaneously fulfilling the pre-reqs for vet school (lots and lots of chemistry, a bunch of other crap classes).

    Last semester was bad. I was hoping this semester wasn't going to be as bad. It's not. But it's bad in its own way.

    Anyway. I've always been a straight-A student, and grades have come relatively easy if I worked for them. But last year seemed to have started this chain-reaction of "I spend hours and hours and hours working through homework and studying and reviewing and preparing--only to do either mediocre or poorly on the exam". It's just like the entire universe is working against me to prevent me from doing the one thing I'll ever be happy doing. I won't be happy working with animals in any other situation than acting as a veterinarian.

    I am in organic chemistry right now. I took 1 last spring and I'm in 2 right now.

    But recently I just...haven't been interested in the animal science/pre-vet adventure as I had been. The classes are boring, and just something I've begun to see as a pain in my side rather than an opportunity to learn and challenge myself with new ways of thinking and piecing together all my prior knowledge to arrive at a solution to a problem.
    I'm tried, I'm frustrated, I'm losing confidence in myself/my abilities like a jet dropping from the sky. What if I can't get it in the first place? What if I fail out because I can't handle it? What if I do graduate (by some miracle) and am still a terrible vet?

    Not only do I not see how I'll possibly make the grades I need to finish the LAST EFFING YEAR of school (seriously...I went through three years just to fail against my will in the last one?!), I just don't see how I'd make a good veterinarian. Even if I am smart and have a passion for it.

    I've tried talking to my parents about my worries, but they just ignore me and tell me I can do it--like they themselves are unwilling to accept any alternative future.I don't know what else I would do or what else would make me as happy as veterinary medicine, but I honestly don't see it happening any more.

    I either won't get accepted, or I will and won't be able to pull through vet school itself.

    I've been so depressed and angry and confused; I'm worried and I don't know what to do.

    I also come from a line of successful siblings--one is a filthy-rich dentist, the other is a crazy-smart registered dietician, and the other is into architecture. I’ve got extended family members who are doctors, engineers, nurses, pharmacists, organic chemists. So success and intelligence runs in the family. Except for it seems to have skipped me.

    I don’t want to be the one failure.
    I started the first semester of my college career as an English major because I love(d) creative writing, but the classes and the aspect of "writing" just weren't challenging enough for me. I was bored in a different sense, and yearned for the challenge of learning about the animals I had always had a passion for caring for. But right now...I'd almost welcome the relief of mind-numbingly easy course material. It sounds nice not to have to think or study or work hard or spend hours and hours doing all of the above only to still come out of an exam with a score of 60-70 (organic chemistry).
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
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  3. dyachei

    dyachei vet robot pirate zombie Administrator Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2007
    It's not failure if it isn't what you want to be doing with your life. If it is what you want to do, then remember your goal and keep working.
    Cephal0pod, nyanko and Hotfillyky like this.
  4. allieh8607

    allieh8607 RUSVM c/o 2017 5+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Is organic chemistry the only class you're struggling with and getting mediocre grades in? It's the only one you mentioned so I wasn't sure...but a large percentage of people don't like ochem at all and you definitely aren't alone. That class made me want to run as far away from science and medicine as possible but I stuck with it. Schooling is only temporary and you just have to make it through to the best of your ability. If you've gotten A's throughout undergrad and this is one of the few classes you're struggling with, it's totally acceptable. If you've been doing everything else like getting experience, getting a good GRE score etc, one mediocre grade isn't going to totally foil your application. I, too, really hated undergrad and thought the classes were boring and irrelevant but now that I'm here and learning the good stuff, it's like day and night comparison how my grades reflect my interest in the classes. Don't get me wrong, if you're looking for those "mind-numbing easy courses" you aren't going to find many in vet school. But at least you're learning about your passion.
  5. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow Skipping the light fandango Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    Plymouth, MN, USA
    This probably sounds rude. If so, sorry. But I'm with Dyachei: It's time to quit worrying about what your parents want, what your siblings did, what your second-cousin-twice-removed did ....

    If you want to be a veterinarian, you need to suck it up and push through the current doldrums and recognize that not every class/semester will be easy. But I think the first question you need to ask if whether you really want to pursue vet med, and your answer needs to be independent of what the rest of your family wants for you. Maybe it's a good time to check out some other professions and step back and ask yourself what you really want to do. If you look around a bit and say "Yup. I want to do vet med" then you'll have renewed confidence and eagerness. If not, then you've saved yourself a lot of pain down the road.

  6. WulfpackChica

    WulfpackChica 2+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2012
    North Carolina
    Take some time off and figure it out. It is not the end of the world to take a break. I did the wishy washy thing and took some time off, at first I was worried about being one of older student but I think that it is to my advantage. I worked several jobs that led me back ti vet school.

    Best Of luck with your decision!
    AniSci likes this.
  7. AniSci

    AniSci AniSci 2+ Year Member

    May 4, 2012
    Thank you all for your advice so far! Even though the answers have varied from "suck it up, quit complaining" to "maybe you should just take some time to really think about if this is what you want", I really appreciate all the input.

    It's one thing to hear the "you can do it!" from your family and friends who neither understand nor know exactly what it is you're getting yourself into when it comes to wanting to go into any medical field. They don't have to search for schools, apply, try to balance a million difficult courses, and constantly worry that--if that balance is thrown off even just barely--it could have a massive impact on whether or not you get accepted into a good school, if at all. You truly don't understand what it's like unless you've lived it--and if you've lived it, and had the option to go back and redo your life, you prolly wouldn't do it over again.

    But it's an entirely different world when you hear people who have been (or are) in your place. It's very encouraging and inspiring, regardless of whether or not the advice is unanimous. ;)
  8. Conflagration

    Conflagration Avatar from MeluuArts of dA. 5+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    hSDN Alumni
    If it makes you feel any better, I understand how it is to throw yourself at Organic Chemistry just to get by through the skin of your teeth and a hair on your ass. In Organic I, I got a C (and I was curved up to it!). I'm taking Organic II next semester. It'll be okay. :)

    Is this Organic Chemistry II? If it is, I have two links that just might be able to help you.

    For some review and recorded lectures about a lot of important topics:

    A general look at Organic II, and some study notes:


    Channel your inner Chemistry Cat, and good luck!
  9. AniSci

    AniSci AniSci 2+ Year Member

    May 4, 2012
    I took 1 in the spring, and then I'm taking 2 right now. I thought having a summer between the two was going to be a NIGHTMARE, but it's really not so bad. Even though I'm still--for some frustrating reason--not doing well, I like 2 better so far and am more able to catch onto it. I'm not sure if it's because of the professor or not; the difference between my professors for Organic 1 and Organic 2 is basically night & day. Entirely different teaching styles, but also (in a way) entirely different topics of organic are being covered.

    I just don't like that I can spend two straight weeks studying for an exam and ignoring all my other classes, and still end up with a 70 on the exam, while others can walk out of it with grades landing somewhere in the 90s. -_- It's not fair. Especially after most of the people that I help and explain stuff to (people that seem like they know NOTHING and are going to completely bomb the exam) make better grades than I do!

    Ugh. I can't deal with this right now. (*stalks off*)
  10. SocialStigma

    SocialStigma OVC c/o 2015 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2009
    Midwest, US
    Don't let orgo discourage you from being a vet! I've always been a straight A student as well and I received a C+ in organic chem I. My lowest grade other than that in all of undergrad was an A-. It sucked to spend so much time studying for it and know that I likely couldn't do any better than that if I retook the course because I just don't GET organic chem. How you do in organic chem is not a reflection of how you will do in vet school this day, organic chem is still the hardest course I've ever taken in undergrad or vet school.
  11. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2009
    The Dragon School
    1. Life isn't "fair", get used to it.
    2. Quit comparing yourself to others, it doesn't do you any good. And only makes you feel like crap.
    3. Seek help from the professor. If you are studying as hard as you say and just barely passing ask the professor for tips. Go to office hours.
    4. Many people hate orgo and many people get a C in it, it isn't the end of the world.
    5. Figure out NOW if you want to go to vet school. You are currently second guessing your decision, figure out why. Is it just orgo? Are you not interested in vet med anymore? Are you not interested in science? Is it just the amount of work? Figure out what it is and if there is anything you can do about it. If it is just orgo, it only lasts for a semester, get help and move on with life. If there are other reasons, then investigate them and decide what is best for YOU. Not your family, friends, etc. This isn't intended to be mean, but it is imperative that you settle your second guessing now before you get to the point where you are applying or even in vet school and decide then you don't want to continue on this path.
  12. LyraGardenia

    LyraGardenia Kansas State c/o 2020 2+ Year Member

    Dec 9, 2013
    The Little Apple
    I definitely get what you mean about it not being helpful to be told "You can do it!" by people who have no idea about the process of getting into vet school. They're trying to be encouraging, but it's hard for people to understand that you're not just being tough on yourself; it really is that competitive to get in.

    I struggled with organic chem too (like, really struggled), and I had the same fears of bombing my senior year and ruining my path to vet school, but I pushed through, didn't give up, survived organic, and graduated. It's totally normal to have those fears of "what if I'm not cut out for this?" "what if I won't make a good vet?", but even the best vet students and vets have those moments of questioning themselves. If you never question your abilities, then you're probably pretty cocky and won't make a good vet for that reason. However, you can't let those moments of doubting yourself get you down. I agree with others that comparing yourself to those around you is never helpful. There's a saying that you only see everyone else's highlight reel, while you see your own behind the scenes footage.

    As others said, it's time to do some soul-searching and consider if you're just discouraged due to organic chem, in which case just push through it and think of the larger picture, or if you're really reconsidering vet med. If that requires some time off from school to consider other careers, so be it. Like Dyachei said, choosing a different path isn't the same thing as failing.
    rushy likes this.
  13. Conflagration

    Conflagration Avatar from MeluuArts of dA. 5+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    hSDN Alumni
    That makes me feel so much better, actually.

    OP, I let Orgo I scare me off of science. It terrified me; and I realized very quickly that I am not a fan of lab reports.

    But I'm going to try it again if my shadowing goes well.
  14. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012 Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Sep 11, 2007
    Question - Are you spending any time at a vet clinic, or participating in any aspect of veterinary medicine? It seems that you're basing your wanting/not wanting to be a vet from undergrad science classes. Going through undergrad science classes and actually being a vet are two very different things. Yes, I know the classes are necessary but being a vet is not similar to being in O-chem. You're throwing the baby out with the bathwater if you're thinking of stopping because o-chem is hard.

    If it cheers you up, I've used o-chem little to never outside of undergrad. It had minimal to no bearing on my understanding material in vet school. You should probably know what a polar molecule is and some acid base stuff - that's really all I found useful.

    But this isn't going to cheer you up: it sounds like you want to stop because it's hard. I see you say "grades have come relatively easy if I worked for them". So it sounds like you've had pretty smooth sailing until now. So this is the part where you decide if the water is too rough - or you keep going.

    It's nice when hard work is directly correlated with good grades. But sometimes no matter how hard you work, some things are just elusive. I've had that happen to me too. Lots of hours studying, disappointing grades. It's normal to feel frustrated. Most of us have undergrad classes we did struggled in. I got some low grades in physics and biochem but I still got in (and out).

    It would annoy me to no end when I would get friends and family saying "you can do it, you'll be a great vet!" when they had no idea what was involved. Friends and family mean well. They just may not identify with or understand the unique challenges. It's a long, hard, tiring process which only a fellow student can appreciate.

    In short, o-chem isn't a thing to base your love of vet med on. It's just one of those things we all suffer through. You could look into getting a tutor, attending special help sessions, or additional office hours. I did that with classes I struggled in, it can help.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
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  15. that redhead

    that redhead Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    You've always been a straight A student, and now you're struggling and feeling depressed. That is an exact situation that plays out each year in professional schools across the country. People who are used to always doing well with a certain level of work find themselves unable to produce the same results and then feel as though it makes them a failure because they no longer have that glistening 4.0.

    The truth of the matter is, anything less than straight As is not failure. You may feel that it is because you're used to those straight As, or because your siblings have had successes in their lives and you are (presumably) the youngest and therefore feel compelled to measure your life against theirs. But struggling is part of what will prepare you for vet school. Vet school is not easy and everyone will struggle and do worse on an exam than they expected and feel like all of their peers have it figured out while they're left to flounder. Comparing yourself to your peers will only weigh you down further.

    You can take your struggles with orgo and learn from them. For example: are you just studying the same way you always have for other classes? Have you gone in for extra help? Have you browsed online resources like Khan Academy or bought Organic Chemistry as a Second Language II? I got a 60 in organic II and that was a B. You might end up with a C, or you might figure out a better way to study and pull an A. In the end, you'll be a better student and a stronger person for having struggled. I almost let chemistry scare me off of vet school too, but I'm glad I didn't. Maybe you don't want to be a vet - and that's really only something you can figure out - but don't let chemistry ruin it for you.
  16. Coquette22

    Coquette22 Shinigami Veterinarian Silver Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    This. O-chem never clicked with me. I couldn't find an effective study method for it. I tried models, drawing, going to office hours, tutoring, extra books... Nothing worked. I was putting in hours and hours of work and getting nothing back. I eventually skimmed through with a 63/C+ in O-Chem I which was all I needed to get into AVC luckily. Other that a little bit of how to name steroids in first year, I haven't used any of it in vet school. It hasn't affected my ability to succeed in vet school at all, I've been on the honour roll for all three years so far. Focus on the parts of science you do like to reassess if you want to be a vet, and if you still do what to go into vet med, then try to take organic chem for what it is - a thing you have to get through to get where you want to go.
    that redhead likes this.
  17. HorsesRLife

    HorsesRLife OkState c/o 2017!! 5+ Year Member

    May 24, 2012
    You could do what I did. I graduated and decided not to apply and did other things for a few years and finally came back to vet med. It was nice to get a break from school, earn some money, and reaffirm that vet med was the right path, because there are definitely going to be days, weeks, or even months while in school that will put into question that decision; so, it is better to not go and decide later to go, than to be in school with all the loans and decide its not right for you.
  18. WhtsThFrequency

    WhtsThFrequency Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2006
    If you are studying for two weeks for something and making 70s, something is wrong with your studying technique (most likely) or the professor is just a horrible teacher (less likely). Are you just mindlessly reading and highlisting or are you actively studying (i.e. engaged, making associations, drawing diagrams, etc). There is a huge difference between passive and active studying. You can read and stare at **** for 8 hours and not retain anything at the end because you are not engaged. Treat your brain like a little kid, you need to keep its attention. Time spent studying does NOT correlate directly with grades. The intensity and structure of the studying does.

    Also, don't let imposter syndrome get to you. It is something all intelligent people struggle with at some point in their lives. Hell, I still struggle with it. Thinking "when are they going to find out I'm not as smart as they think I am " etc.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
  19. WhtsThFrequency

    WhtsThFrequency Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2006

    Stop this line of thinking right now. I am dead serious. This type of attitude will offer you nothing except an ever-deepening spiral of hate, depression, and denial.

    The universe is not working against you. YOU are doing a poorly in a class for whatever reason. YOU are getting bored with classes. YOU are feeling overworked. YOU are placing too much importance on what other people think of you. YOU are the one getting dangerously close to feeling sorry for yourself and trying to find places to put blame rather than being proactive.

    Own it. And make a concerted effort to change, whether you choose to keep on this path or not. Do not sit back and wallow in your own misery. You have agency, you have the power to change - don't forget that. Whether that change is something as simple as changing your study style or more difficult such as seeking help for depression or taking time off for mental health reasons/burnout.
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  20. Okay, a couple comments here:
    1) You must decide for yourself whether vet med is for you or not. No one can decide that for you. If you need to take a step back to make that decision that is completely acceptable, but you have to make it for yourself.

    2) Is it only the grades and stress of classes that are getting to you? If so then consider this: I got into vet school 1st application round with 5 C's. Yes, you read that correctly. My GPA was a 3.3 and I had taken 75% of my classes at multiple community colleges. I basically did everything that you weren't supposed to do as far as grades, prereq's and vet school is concerned. BUT you know what I did right? I knew what I wanted 100%. I knew that my grades weren't going to get me there alone so I spend a couple of years working in practice while going to school. I have many more hours of practical experience than the majority of my classmates, and from that experience a gained a lot of supporters who were AMAZING references.

    What I'm trying to say is that if you want it, don't let anything stop you, but be sure that it is what you really want.
  21. CloudlessNights

    CloudlessNights Tufts c/o 2017! 5+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2009
    I also was accepted into three different vet schools my first round with three C+s (gen chem 1 and 2, orgo 2) and one C (genetics). I had the same mentality as you first arriving at college and struggled with my study strategies. Once I found a couple things that worked for me, I did very well my junior and senior year. Stop comparing yourself to others and CHANGE how YOU study. Don't say it's not fair if you don't even try to change.

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