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I've never worked for anything, so I need help.

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by Kanashimi, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Kanashimi

    Kanashimi Freak of Nature
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    Yep. There. I said it. I've never really worked for anything in my life. I don't know how to work hard for something. It's not because I'm a spoiled brat, but people hate me nonetheless, because I'm one of those people who has the intelligence to do pretty much anything she wants... and yet, does nothing with it. In school, I never studied, and still got to the top of my class. My graduation speech, although heralded as spectacular, was actually something I typed up about 20 minutes before leaving that morning.
    Now, I'm not a genius. I'm intelligent, but I'm certainly not a genius. I am completely unfamiliar with how to study, or finish things on time. All those "study habits" that are taught in classes seem superfluous to me.

    Anyways, why am I saying all this? Certainly not so I can be called a whiny brat who needs to buckle down. This may be perfectly true. However, I don't know how to go about working towards veterinary school. I am a freshman in college at UAH who is trying to get all of her core classes out of the way. I don't have many volunteer hours, and those that I do have are in tutoring children and teaching them karate. I run my own rescue for sugar gliders, and have experience rehabilitating several animals, both domestic and wild, however, this is not something I know how to put on an application. I mean, people want me to say that I spent all this time working for such-and-such... but it seems like running a home rescue can't be put as volunteer, since I'm not really working for someone else in some established organization, like the humane society, even though I keep track of everything myself.

    What I mean to say is, what should I do now? When I say that I don't know how to work hard, I mean that in regards to grades. I've never had to work for them. I keep track of an entire household pretty much by myself, since both of my parents work. I run the rescue, buy the food, pay for vet bills, clean, etc. But I still have a lot of free time, because in regards to the other things, I'm a diligent worker, and I get things done. What needs to be done in order to get into vet school? Where and how much should I volunteer? Vet's office or humane society? And in the vet's office, would ANY job suffice, or does it need to be a more interactive job? What kind of grades do vet schools expect to see? What else do they need to see? I'll most likely be applying to Auburn, because I can't stand the weather up north, and even within the South, I'm not sure I can go too far because I've got to keep running my rescue.

    Wow... that was long-winded. Apologies.
     
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  3. sofficat

    sofficat AU CVM c/o 11
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    Hello and welcome! So... I'm not really sure how to go about answering your questions and remarks, so I'll just start typing...

    First of all, as far as getting good grades to get into vet school- it doesn't seem like you will have a problem with that based on your history. What is important is getting experience at a vet clinic. Start with whatever job you can get... it'll probably be working in a kennel, but it's a start. Hopefully, if you have good vets, within just a few months they'll be teaching you vet tech things.
    Your rehab definitely counts as animal experience (not vet, but animal- there's a place for both of them on the application form). I raised squirrels my whole life and it counted for a lot when I applied- even the schools I didn't get into liked the fact that I had that unique experience. If you really can't find a job at a clinic, then volunteer wherever you can. You are a freshman so you still have time to rack up thousands of hours before you apply. As far as Auburn, if you have any specific questions I'd be glad to answer them (I'm a soph at AU).
    Good luck! (ok- back to studying... 3 finals in 3 days!)
     
  4. tnpfan

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    Hmmm. Not sure if this is a troll, but here goes:
    At least your modest! :laugh: I'm not sure what the issue here is. Learn what you need to learn, get the grades you need to get. If that's easy for you, more power to you.

    Running your own sugar glider rescue is a great thing to put on a resume. I see no reason why you shouldn't include it. Just try to keep track of all the hours you've put into it.

    I think don't think you're approaching this correctly. Work somewhere that interests you, not just somewhere you think will look good on a resume. Having said that, adcomms do like to see a variety of experiences so try a few different jobs between now and your senior year and see what you're truly passionate about. As far as grades go, just look at Auburn's accepted student statistics. That'll give you a tangible number to aim for.
     
  5. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    It's great that you've been able to make it through high school and lower division classes without needing to learn to study - sounds pretty familiar. However, I would recommend challenging yourself a lot while you're in undergrad - take upper division and grad level classes as much as you can. You need to gauge how well you will do in those classes with your current level of study skills. If it's no good, go from there. You may get IN to vet school with awful study habits while still getting good grades in your prereqs, but a lot of vet students here will attest to the difficulty once you're actually in, as well.

    So challenge yourself and see where your limits are, and work to improve them as you need to. I guess that's my advice.
     
  6. GellaBella

    GellaBella Penn Vet V'14
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    why are you worried about what types of grades vet schools want to see if you don't need to study and get to the top of your class all the time?

    I think you said you're a freshman in college, in which case I wouldn't worry too much about whether or not you needed to study in high school. I have a feeling a lot of people didn't need to study in high school (i know I didn't-and i was in the top 5 in my class, out of 400 and something students) but that changes when you're taking advanced chemistry (orgo and pchem anyone?!) and biology classes.

    So if I were you I would suggest you work on learning some of these time management/studying techniques, you will need them at some point in college, as well as to study for the GRE, and during vet school.

    My point is this, high school and college are two very different situations with very different committment requirements to do well. What worked for you in high school may or may not work when you've got 3 exams within 2 days of each other, a lab report, and a 20 page paper due.

    Other than that the sugar glider resue is a great animal experience to put on your application. In terms of other experiences it will be good if you can volunteer somewhere, I would say preferably at a veterinary office so you can get a recommendation from a veterinarian.
    Good luck
     
  7. Kanashimi

    Kanashimi Freak of Nature
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    Thanks so much for the quick replies! To be honest, I have been goofing off this semester, thinking that I could just glide on by like I always did. However, I'm finding that college classes are different. Before, if I listened to a lecture, it was basically an automatic A. Now, where the material comes from SEVERAL sources, and isn't always covered in class, I'm being forced to study, and I'm not quite sure how to do it efficiently. I've read all sorts of study tips, time management tips, etc., but I can't seem to get into that groove. Also, I've never had homework to turn in online, and I kept forgetting to get it in by the deadline time. I'd usually finish it online, then save it and wait for the last lecture so I could check my answers. Then I'd forget to turn it in.
    When I talked to my advisor, she didn't seem surprised at all. She said that the ones who come in with the best grades are usually those who have always skated by, and they're the ones with the worst starting GPAs. So, I guess there's an opportunity to bring my grades back up if I apply myself. I'm just now getting over a 3 year depressive slump with the help of medication. I've gone through spells where I just completely blew off essays or projects and the like. Hopefully, it's all over now and I'll be able to get things done.

    I appreciate the responses! I'm going to call around at some vet offices tomorrow and see what's open. I just volunteered myself to helping care for the cats at the Petsmart adoption center, and I'm also going to check with some other organizations.
     
  8. tnpfan

    2+ Year Member

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    I also had to change my study habits between highschool (which were non-existant; my highschool was ridiculously easy) and college. I'm a sophomore and I still haven't quite gotten there, but I think I'm getting better. Except, y'know, being on here instead of studying for my chem exam tomorrow! :rolleyes:

    As far as keeping track of deadlines, I invested in one of those enormous desk calandars this semester. It's really helpful, I write down when every assignment is due and when all my exams and quizzes are.
     
  9. Groominator

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    I recently got one for $1 at Target. They really do help!

    I also know where you're coming from. I never had to put in an effort in high school. i mean.. okay i did try hard on the AP Euro exam but the rest came easily. I thought college would be a breeze. Hah i was so wrong its sad. I mean the liberal arts stuff is no problem for me but the sciences are killer. I'm a senior now (staying one more year though, to complete a double major) and I'm still trying to figure out good study habits.
     
  10. sofficat

    sofficat AU CVM c/o 11
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    studying habits is kind of like medicine... dog A and dog B are both diagnosed with the same disease, but can you treat them the same way? Maybe, maybe not.
    Person A and person B are both in school.... can they (should they) study the same way?

    ok- really dorky comparison, but it's true. I don't like when people say 'this study habit works great and should be done always' Like flash cards... I hate flash cards (with a passion) and I love charts... but do you know how long it took me to figure that out?!? 'Flash cards are amazing and they work great for everyone and everything' THAT is a false statement, people. They sure do work great for some people, but not me.
    Just an example of what you need to learn about yourself.
     
  11. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013
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    I also second the planner. You sound very familiar to my younger years...(geeze, saying that makes me feel old!). I tried a lot of things - electronic calendars, etc. - but what really helped me out was purchasing the following:

    1. Planner (I chose one that had monthly/weekly format with enough room in each day to write down a LOT of stuff).
    2. Highlighters in many colors.
    3. Markers

    At the start of each semester, I go through and highlight the hours for each class (on the weekly portion, my planner has hours in half-hour slots) with a different color for each class.

    Then, I write everything from the syllabus in. EVERYTHING. Homework, quizzes, tests, etc. Usually I do this in pencil, since sometimes professors change things, I do this in the hour spot for each class.

    If there's a weekly due date for anything, I then go through and write a reminder to study for it the night before.

    As I get assignments, readings, and things that need doing, I write those down in the evening section (during time blocked off for 'studying'). I write down their due date, and also the day I want to complete it/hand it in. If it's a big project, I break it up into smaller chunks. I obsessively highlight things with the corresponding color from each class.

    Every day, I go through and mark of stuff as it gets done. If it doesn't get done, I write it in the next day as a new task. Lather, rinse, repeat until it's finished.

    OK, so that's my system - which sounds...incredibly OCD, I realize. But I used to have SUCH a hard time remembering to get everything in, and I had a really hard time keeping a planner - so I turned mine into a project in and of itself. I've kept up this method for the past three semesters (started it when going back for prereqs), and now I feel weird if I don't write something down in it.

    The trick was to make the planner something I enjoyed, which got me looking at it every day, which got me remembering to do things on time.

    Do I follow my detailed plans for project completely? HA! Hardly. Not there yet. But you can bet that since becoming obsessive about it, I haven't missed a deadline. Spending that much quality time with the thing means I see stuff over and over and over...and over.
     
  12. LucyLoo

    LucyLoo LucyLoo
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    That sounds a lot like what I do ( except I only highlight exams and quizzes) and has worked for me for the past 2 years. I also use the weekend squares to write down in order of importance the things I need to work on. I also use it for my work and personal schedule to help keep things coordinated.
     
  13. Kanashimi

    Kanashimi Freak of Nature
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    I've gotten planners before... and usually after a few days I toss them out because I keep forgetting to use them. I'm an extremely forgetful person, and if I don't write it down I forget it... but I usually forget to write it down in the first place! I'm also a HUGE procrastinator. The funny thing is, I'm also OCD, or CDO... for those of us who are fond of alphabetical order. I clean and organize obsessively, and I can't do work unless everything is perfect, which it never is. If my room is spotless, I clean glider cages. If those are spotless (for the moment, anyways), I give the dogs a bath. If they're clean, I vacuum. Then mop. Sweep. Scrub. Shine. Rake. Pick up the backyard. Vacuum again because I tracked in a few leaves. Clean the saltwater tanks that my dad wanted but doesn't know how to take care of. Vacuum again because the dogs shedded all over the bathroom. Vacuuming is definitely my favorite, although it gets me in a lot of trouble with the folks, because Dad's either watching TV or trying to sleep. Last night he actually got out of bed, took the vacuum out of my hands, took it into his room, and locked the door. That made me mad.... Anyways, if the vacuum is unavailable, I clean and defrag my computer every day, rearrange the icons, erase any unncessessary items, history, files, cookies, favorites... geez... I think I may have a problem. :/
    Me needs help...

    *sigh* I'm about to go organize my closet... brb.
     
  14. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    hi, you sound like me!! i only remember things if i write them down, but i hate writing things down! what finally worked for me is the calendar on my laptop. i can't lose it, i can't throw it away, and i don't feel dependent on it (it stays at home on my desk -- it doesn't have to be attached to my hip every second of the day). the only habit i've gotten myself into is immediately updating my iCal every time i check emails; that way, whenever a meeting reminder email is sent out, i add it to my calendar. i still have difficulty adding things that aren't sent to me via email, but i'm getting better :).
    ok, now you sound nothing like me. if you're not exaggerating, you do need help. whether its a kick in the pants or medication, i'm not sure, but that's got to stop (the obsessiveness... occasional cleaning is still good!) if you're going to get any studying done the next 8 years.

    however, one suggestion: have you tried the library? i know it sounds cheesy, and maybe you don't want to admit you have to actually *study*, and at the *library* no less, but that's what it's there for: a study place free of distractions. ha, unless you're a social butterfly, but taht's another subject.

    try getting some stuff done at home (make sure the dogs are clean and fed, the gliders are clean and fed, etc) to appease yourself, then bite the damn bullet and get back to campus to study. a plain white room with a big table may be all you need to at least get something done for an hour or two. baby steps ;)

    or maybe study groups? like an exercise buddy! you'd never get up and run by yourself at 6:30am but if your buddy calls you and says GET YOUR LAZY BUTT DOWNSTAIRS, you'll do it. just brainstorming for you, cause i know you can't do it ;)
     
  15. Kanashimi

    Kanashimi Freak of Nature
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    I actually wasn't exaggerating. lol. I'm on a medication that treats types of depression and anxiety disorders, but I may need to talk to my doc 'bout something else. It looks worse writing it down! ;)
    A study buddy actually isn't a bad idea... maybe I'll be able to find someone in each class to study with. I'm definitely NOT a social butterfly, so that may be difficult. It's a pain to go to the library because I live off campus... and when I do go, I always end up finding an interesting looking book. I used to be a library aide, so I've learned that there are plenty of distracting things in the library. Books distract me because I, unlike most, find them interesting. lol. I probably need a padded room with a desk and nothing else. Of course, if it was padded, then I could have fun working on my boxing... ;) Who would've thought that being easily amused could be a bad thing? lmao
     
  16. Groominator

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    I tend to get severely distracted by absolutely anything when I try to study. Like while I'm in the middle of trying to figure out a difficult concept, I'll get the idea that i need to know right now how many people in this country share my last name. Or some other random crap like that.

    When I'm at the library, i find what helps me focus is sitting in a boring section. Like some sort of obscure reference section with books that have only numbers of some sort, or names of remote studies that are only relevant to some Icelandic astrophysicist. Anyway i sit near books that if i open randomly make absolutely no sense to me and I'm not compelled to look at them for long. Because I *know* that when I'm studying I'll get bored and try to go for the first book that i see, i sorta make sure that I wont understand a thing in it and it will bore me quickly.

    When I'm at home doing work on my laptop, I turn my internet off. That way if i need to check my email for the 34th time, i have to go through the hassle of turning it back on and i remind myself that its off for a reason. Obviously this one isn't that foolproof cause here i am now ;)
     
  17. Kanashimi

    Kanashimi Freak of Nature
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    hahahaha... some good ideas! Thanks, Groominator! ;) I've got this new application called Quicknotes, and whenever I think of something, I'm going to start typing it in the application, which I can open by simply scrolling over it. Hopefully, that will help me focus by putting all that stuff somewhere where I won't forget it.
     
  18. projekt

    projekt UGA c/o 2012
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    Geeky people often like the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. You might try it out.

    Studying is hard for me too. There's a book "How to Study in College" that may help. I haven't read it. :) Its notetaking ideas are a little 20th century, from what I can tell, but its other advice might be good.

    Do your best to get your depression under control, perhaps in remission. Depression usually leads to an unfocused mind that can't study.
     

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