mmm032

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Hello everyone!
Does anyone have any experiences and tips they’d like to share regarding having long distance relationships while in vet school? I am in the process of applying now, and my in state school is still 4.5 hours away from where I live with my long time boyfriend. He has a really great job and as of right now we don’t plan for him to move with me when I go. We are hoping to alternate weekends on visiting, but how practical is this?

On another note, does anyone have experience doing the same thing but with kids? I know there are many women who have children while in vet school, so I was wondering if this is a situation people have encountered before and how they dealt with it?
 

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There's a great thread with some posts on this topic here:

here's one of my posts from that thread on the topic, advice is still the same
Did long distance for all of undergrad and for the first year of vet school. It definitely is difficult but if you are both willing to put in the effort it can work :) we had a weekly Skype date night (we'd watch movies or tv together or whatever) and just made sure we took time to check in with each other every day too, usually through text. I went home over breaks anyway so it worked out that's where he was, and outside of that he visited me when he could.

It can be difficult to set aside the time because you're so busy with school but you just have to be committed.
 
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CoffeeQuestionMark

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Hello everyone!
Does anyone have any experiences and tips they’d like to share regarding having long distance relationships while in vet school? I am in the process of applying now, and my in state school is still 4.5 hours away from where I live with my long time boyfriend. He has a really great job and as of right now we don’t plan for him to move with me when I go. We are hoping to alternate weekends on visiting, but how practical is this?

On another note, does anyone have experience doing the same thing but with kids? I know there are many women who have children while in vet school, so I was wondering if this is a situation people have encountered before and how they dealt with it?
Plenty of my classmates are in LDR. No way can you drive home every other week, that's not practical.

My school is also 4.5 hours away from where I used to live. I go home only on long weekends or breaks, although not even all long weekends. You're in school from 8-5 some days and exhausted when you get home, so weekends are best reserved for studying/relaxing.

I know only two people that tried vet school with children long distance.

One on this forum though not sure she is still around and can't event find her username (wasn't it ArizonaSkye?). It did not go well at all for her and she dropped out, but she was in another country.

One of my original classmates had his wife 4.5 hours away with a newborn. He came to orientation and was in class with us for a week before deferring.
 
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mmm032

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Plenty of my classmates are in LDR. No way can you drive home every other week, that's not practical.

My school is also 4.5 hours away from where I used to live. I go home only on long weekends or breaks, although not even all long weekends. You're in school from 8-5 some days and exhausted when you get home, so weekends are best reserved for studying/relaxing.

I know only two people that tried vet school with children long distance.

One on this forum though not sure she is still around and can't event find her username (wasn't it ArizonaSkye?). It did not go well at all for her and she dropped out, but she was in another country.

One of my original classmates had his wife 4.5 hours away with a newborn. He came to orientation and was in class with us for a week before deferring.

Thank you! I imagine it does somewhat depend on what school you attend as well. I am mostly applying to schools that I know record their lectures and my in state school usually has classes ending at noon on Fridays.
 

CoffeeQuestionMark

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Thank you! I imagine it does somewhat depend on what school you attend as well. I am mostly applying to schools that I know record their lectures and my in state school usually has classes ending at noon on Fridays.
Are you in WA? Lol
 
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EngrSC

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My husband is career military and we’ve been through a few deployments in our 10 married years together! He’s currently been overseas since December. He’ll be back this December and will be stationed 5 hours from my school. I haven’t done vet school + long distance specifically but lots of the long distance part. Basically make your relationship a priority. My husband and I talk daily (though usually through Facebook messenger) and we try to FaceTime once weekly. I love my husband to pieces but he can be a little sensitive if he doesn’t feel “in the loop” so I make an extra effort to keep him abreast of what’s going on at home and send him lots of pictures of our animals (he misses them like crazy when he’s gone). I am very intentional most days to make sure he still feels like he’s part of my life :)

I do not plan on visiting him regularly when I’m in vet school because time and would have to get a petsitter. But he jokingly says he’s going to be my “weekend husband” and come clean and cook for me every weekend. In reality I’m hoping he’ll visit every other weekend ... way too much driving every week!
 
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I was in long distance for most of vet school. It is doable. He was in Florida and I was in Oregon. We made it work, but we were already committed because we had been long distance for 2 years prior. We have made it through to the other side. Communication and a solid foundation of trust are key. Lots of texts, calls, skyping, and seeing each other on breaks.
 
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mmm032

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I was in long distance for most of vet school. It is doable. He was in Florida and I was in Oregon. We made it work, but we were already committed because we had been long distance for 2 years prior. We have made it through to the other side. Communication and a solid foundation of trust are key. Lots of texts, calls, skyping, and seeing each other on breaks.

Thanks! We’ve been together for almost 4 years, but haven’t done the long distance thing before as I commuted for undergrad, and recently moved in together.
 
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britzen

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Are you headed to VMCVM? A fair number of my classmates go home every other weekend.

One of the perks of having an integrated curriculum is that we only have one test every two weeks, so some people take advantage of the "off" weekend to do go home or do something not school related.

Sent from my SM-G892U using SDN mobile
 
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BigCats

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Not in vet school yet, but I’m currently in a LDR with my boyfriend who is 4.5 hours away and in professional school. I’m just in undergrad, but even so am only able to see my boyfriend every month or so (usually corresponding with breaks or long weekends), with me making the drive more often than he does since my academic rigor is lower. Not sure how viable that length of a drive would be for you to do every other week- not only is that a longggg time to be in the car, but also that’s a lot of time that will be taken away from literally anything else. I had early classes on Friday, but I usually wouldn’t even go on a regular-length weekend because you really only net just over a day with them before you have to make the drive back, and it just wasn’t worth suffering through the drive, missing out on a *lot* of time to study or do extracurriculars, and then not even get to see my boyfriend for very long. YMMV but seeing each other every single week is probably optimistic!
 
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mmm032

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Are you headed to VMCVM? A fair number of my classmates go home every other weekend.

One of the perks of having an integrated curriculum is that we only have one test every two weeks, so some people take advantage of the "off" weekend to do go home or do something not school related.

Sent from my SM-G892U using SDN mobile

I’m on the waitlist for this year and working on reapplying so I’m ready if I don’t get off the list! That’s good info to know!
 
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My now-husband and I were long distance throughout my four years of vet school (he stayed in Maryland and I was in Prince Edward Island ~1200 miles away.) We would see each other over breaks - Christmas, "spring break" in February and then over the summer. Solid communication with your significant other is the number one most important thing for long distance. Discuss your expectations and your goals, including planning visits ahead of time so you have something to look forward to.

Real talk: the majority of my classmates' long distance relationships (even one marriage) did not survive the distance. It is TOUGH. But it can work with the right mindset. Like others have mentioned, it may not be feasible to alternate weekends. Especially at first, it's important to not only establish your study habits/routine, but to start forming relationships with your classmates. It will be tempting to run back home or have him come up for that sense of security, but it's worth it to invest time with your classmates too. These are the people who will "get it" and be your shoulder to lean on during the years of vet school and beyond.
 
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mmm032

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Not in vet school yet, but I’m currently in a LDR with my boyfriend who is 4.5 hours away and in professional school. I’m just in undergrad, but even so am only able to see my boyfriend every month or so (usually corresponding with breaks or long weekends), with me making the drive more often than he does since my academic rigor is lower. Not sure how viable that length of a drive would be for you to do every other week- not only is that a longggg time to be in the car, but also that’s a lot of time that will be taken away from literally anything else. I had early classes on Friday, but I usually wouldn’t even go on a regular-length weekend because you really only net just over a day with them before you have to make the drive back, and it just wasn’t worth suffering through the drive, missing out on a *lot* of time to study or do extracurriculars, and then not even get to see my boyfriend for very long. YMMV but seeing each other every single week is probably optimistic!

I can understand that! My boyfriend is not in school, and his work schedule allows him to have off Friday-Sunday whenever he wants if he works a few extra hours earlier in the week (he’s been doing this consistently for the past few weeks now). I do worry about the lack of study time, so thanks for mentioning that!
 

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No experience doing it with kids, but my now-fiance and I have been long distance for all but the first 6 months of our relationship, and we've been together 7.5 years. During vet school we were about 2 hours apart, then 8.5 hours and a US-Canada border apart during my residency, and now we're 5.5 hours apart. It was tough during vet school because he was doing his MSc then, so we were both busy. We saw each other probably once a month for a weekend, and during school breaks. In some ways it helped that we couldn't see each other more often because it allowed both of us to focus on school. Visiting every weekend is probably too much with a 4.5 hour drive. That being said, I have made the 8.5 hour drive to visit my boyfriend for just a weekend to surprise him for his birthday. I've only done that once or twice for special occasions and it was brutal, so wouldn't recommend it on a routine basis. Also that was during my residency, where I didn't have weekly tests/assignments etc to study for.
 
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battie

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My fiance and I have been LDR for most of my vet school career, about 1000 miles separated. We talk through facebook messenger throughout the day, call a time or two a week, and then have videogame date night once a week. During the school year, we saw each other during breaks, and then a week he would take off work to see me. As everyone has said, communication is the most important thing.

During undergrad, I lived 5 hours from home and drove home about every other weekend to see my then boyfriend (of five years) and friends/family. That would not have been doable for me in vet school. Between leaving at noon on fridays and being back by 10 pm on sunday night, I spent 10 hours in the car (assuming good weather and traffic) for spending 24-30 hours with everyone (assuming getting full nights of sleep too). My vet school program only has tests every 4 weeks, so if you slack off, it's pretty easy to get behind and start drowning. Theres no way I could have foregone studying for two weekends a month.

The advantage of LDRs like mine is that I could do the extra curriculars of vet school much more easily because physically spending time with my SO wasnt a priority, and texting is a more flexible form of communication. I could be on call for the wildlife clinic or equine emergency team and up and leave my house guilt free. If he lived with me, I would have been less inclined to do those activities because that's the time we would have to spend together between my school and his work.
 
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lioness2408

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Disclaimer: we do not have any children and had an hour drive between us, but I think you've gotten a lot of replies saying that your plan is not feasible and I just wanted to chime in and offer a slightly different opinion. My SO and I were semi-long distance during the first 4 years of our relationship, 3 of which I was in vet school. Throughout this time I was able to drive out and spend basically every weekend with him, and he would drive to me every Tuesday - although some of this was definitely due to the fact that the distance between us was reasonably driveable, it also had a large part to do with how I handled my workload. My school offers lecture recordings and has once-weekly exams, so the way I would do it would be to essentially focus only on whatever class was having an exam that week and divide the lectures that would be covered into 4-5 full days' worth of studying while disregarding lectures for all other classes. I would then take the exam on Friday morning and be able to head straight out to my SO's. I think this way of studying is somewhat controversial (some devoted class-goers seemed offended by the fact that I didn't care about being present for lecture, and there seems to be some kind of assumption that only studying for the test at hand somehow diminishes your understanding or retention) but I was very successful in both classes and clinics and found that this system freed up a lot of time to do rejuvenating real-human things like maintain my relationship and some hobbies.

Of course this is a YMMV situation, and your ability to pull it off is going to depend a lot on how much time you find you actually need to devote to studying in order to do as well as you'd like, whether you are someone who can study at home or are someone who needs to attend class to stay motivated, and just how draining doing a 9-hour round-trip drive is for you. But in my experience it was certainly possible to step away from vet school for the whole weekend every week, without it affecting performance or being overly exhausting (in fact, it was awesome for my mental health). So there is hope, and if you want any more information about how we did things you can feel free to shoot me a message!
 
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mmm032

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Disclaimer: we do not have any children and had an hour drive between us, but I think you've gotten a lot of replies saying that your plan is not feasible and I just wanted to chime in and offer a slightly different opinion. My SO and I were semi-long distance during the first 4 years of our relationship, 3 of which I was in vet school. Throughout this time I was able to drive out and spend basically every weekend with him, and he would drive to me every Tuesday - although some of this was definitely due to the fact that the distance between us was reasonably driveable, it also had a large part to do with how I handled my workload. My school offers lecture recordings and has once-weekly exams, so the way I would do it would be to essentially focus only on whatever class was having an exam that week and divide the lectures that would be covered into 4-5 full days' worth of studying while disregarding lectures for all other classes. I would then take the exam on Friday morning and be able to head straight out to my SO's. I think this way of studying is somewhat controversial (some devoted class-goers seemed offended by the fact that I didn't care about being present for lecture, and there seems to be some kind of assumption that only studying for the test at hand somehow diminishes your understanding or retention) but I was very successful in both classes and clinics and found that this system freed up a lot of time to do rejuvenating real-human things like maintain my relationship and some hobbies.

Of course this is a YMMV situation, and your ability to pull it off is going to depend a lot on how much time you find you actually need to devote to studying in order to do as well as you'd like, whether you are someone who can study at home or are someone who needs to attend class to stay motivated, and just how draining doing a 9-hour round-trip drive is for you. But in my experience it was certainly possible to step away from vet school for the whole weekend every week, without it affecting performance or being overly exhausting (in fact, it was awesome for my mental health). So there is hope, and if you want any more information about how we did things you can feel free to shoot me a message!
Thank you! I actually much prefer online classes, so watching lectures on my own time is definitely preferable. Where did you attend?
 

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Thank you! I actually much prefer online classes, so watching lectures on my own time is definitely preferable. Where did you attend?
I went to Tufts. If you know you do well with online classes I really can't recommend watching lectures at home on your own time highly enough! I had always been someone who went to every lecture in undergrad, but I went to a small college where absences would be noticed and if you didn't go to class you would have to ask someone for the notes. The way lectures were presented in vet school (at least at Tufts) made taking handwritten notes impossible, and without doing that I couldn't pay attention at all. Luckily all of the powerpoints and lectures are posted online basically the same day so there really wasn't any reason to force myself to go sit in lecture all day when I knew I was just going to zone out the whole time anyway.

Staying home enabled me to wake up whenever I wanted (and I am NOT a morning person, so waking up at like 10 and not having to deal with the 7:30 AM fuzzy-brain helped my concentration immensely), set my own study hours AND study way more effectively, and hang out with my dog all day. Plus, since I could listen to lectures at double speed I ended up with enough time left in each day to be able to still have some limited social life, and have the time and energy to do things like cook or read for fun. It really did make a world of difference for me and looking back I only wish that I had started doing vet school this way right from the start rather than spending my whole first year believing that going to class for 8 hours and then coming home and studying for another 5 was in any way productive or preferable.
 
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mmm032

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I went to Tufts. If you know you do well with online classes I really can't recommend watching lectures at home on your own time highly enough! I had always been someone who went to every lecture in undergrad, but I went to a small college where absences would be noticed and if you didn't go to class you would have to ask someone for the notes. The way lectures were presented in vet school (at least at Tufts) made taking handwritten notes impossible, and without doing that I couldn't pay attention at all. Luckily all of the powerpoints and lectures are posted online basically the same day so there really wasn't any reason to force myself to go sit in lecture all day when I knew I was just going to zone out the whole time anyway.

Staying home enabled me to wake up whenever I wanted (and I am NOT a morning person, so waking up at like 10 and not having to deal with the 7:30 AM fuzzy-brain helped my concentration immensely), set my own study hours AND study way more effectively, and hang out with my dog all day. Plus, since I could listen to lectures at double speed I ended up with enough time left in each day to be able to still have some limited social life, and have the time and energy to do things like cook or read for fun. It really did make a world of difference for me and looking back I only wish that I had started doing vet school this way right from the start rather than spending my whole first year believing that going to class for 8 hours and then coming home and studying for another 5 was in any way productive or preferable.
Thank you! I wasn’t aware that Tufts allowed that! For some reason I thought they didn’t. They are definitely in my top 3 so that’s great to know.
 

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I’m an incoming first year with a 4 month old and personally, I could never imagine being away from my child for any length of time (but let’s face it, I’m still a nervous wreck when I leave him with a family member other than my husband).

On another note, my husband and I were in a LDR throughout undergrad and were approximately 4 hours away. We were lucky to see each other once a month just because we were so busy so I can imagine vet school will be much more time consuming. Not only do you lose so much time commuting, but it’s hard to focus on spending quality time with your significant other when you have the stress of class work, exams, etc. on your mind (at least for me). But as others have said, you can definitely make it work and if done with the right mindset, can really strengthen your relationship.
 
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One on this forum though not sure she is still around and can't event find her username (wasn't it ArizonaSkye?). It did not go well at all for her and she dropped out, but she was in another country.
You have the username right, it looks like she deleted her profile but her post about the situation is still up here: To those who changed their mind about and/or left the profession: Where are you now and how are you doing?
I think a big factor there was that she was separated from her son as well as her husband.

I had two classmates that started vet school with young kids, two who gave birth around the end of third year, and three who were pregnant during 4th year and just gave birth last month. I don't know the details of their situations, but all of them made it work! I think both of the women who started with kids had a lot of help from parents taking care of them during school, one of them her husband is in the military so he was gone a lot.

As far as LDRs in general, my now-husband and I were long distance for my first two years of vet school. The first semester was a little tough because he was studying abroad in China, so communication was spotty between the 13-hour time difference, and he didn't have very good internet where he was so we weren't really able to talk on the phone or video chat. Once he was back in the US and only ~5 hours away from me it really wasn't that bad, definitely WAY easier than a previous LDR that I was in during undergrad. I think what helped me the most was at the end of a visit, always knowing when I was going to see him next. This usually meant waiting until the next break from school, but that was only ~2.5 months at the most, and I was so busy with school that the time went by really quickly. For me visits every other weekend would not have been feasible, but like @lioness2408 said it's going to depend on your individual study needs. I would wait at least a couple months into first year to see how you adjust.
 
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cbucks

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My fiancé and I are long distance (~5-6 hours, I'm at Tufts and he lives in Philly). We went to undergrad together so we were used to spending a looooot of time with each other, and initially were going to move to Massachusetts together but scrapped that plan for living in our own areas instead. I am very different from lioness2408 in the fact that I need to go to each lecture to pay attention or else I get too distracted in my house:p Either way, I also have not had much difficulty seeing my fiancé! With how our lecture schedule is (at least first year), we have 3 weeks in a row that have an exam and then one "off" week with no exam. On the off week I'll usually drive down to him (although I have driven down the weekend before an anatomy exam, just had to be extra prepared the week leading up to it!), and then there will be some weekends before an exam where he'll drive up and visit me. Even when we're not in person we call/FaceTime each other a lot just to catch up and keep in contact! I think that communication can be a big thing that can really make/break a long distance relationship. It might sound weird, but making a "schedule" (like FaceTime dinners on Wednesday's, etc.) can be helpful in the beginning and get you into a pattern!
 
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Not in school yet either but my bf has been in med school for the past 2 years (out of our 3 year relationship) 5 hours away and we have made it work! We facetime almost every night even if it we aren’t talking (like if he’s studying). You just need to make it a priority and make sure you’re properly communicating :)
 
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Minnerbelle

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Disclaimer: we do not have any children and had an hour drive between us, but I think you've gotten a lot of replies saying that your plan is not feasible and I just wanted to chime in and offer a slightly different opinion. My SO and I were semi-long distance during the first 4 years of our relationship, 3 of which I was in vet school. Throughout this time I was able to drive out and spend basically every weekend with him, and he would drive to me every Tuesday - although some of this was definitely due to the fact that the distance between us was reasonably driveable, it also had a large part to do with how I handled my workload. My school offers lecture recordings and has once-weekly exams, so the way I would do it would be to essentially focus only on whatever class was having an exam that week and divide the lectures that would be covered into 4-5 full days' worth of studying while disregarding lectures for all other classes. I would then take the exam on Friday morning and be able to head straight out to my SO's. I think this way of studying is somewhat controversial (some devoted class-goers seemed offended by the fact that I didn't care about being present for lecture, and there seems to be some kind of assumption that only studying for the test at hand somehow diminishes your understanding or retention) but I was very successful in both classes and clinics and found that this system freed up a lot of time to do rejuvenating real-human things like maintain my relationship and some hobbies.

Of course this is a YMMV situation, and your ability to pull it off is going to depend a lot on how much time you find you actually need to devote to studying in order to do as well as you'd like, whether you are someone who can study at home or are someone who needs to attend class to stay motivated, and just how draining doing a 9-hour round-trip drive is for you. But in my experience it was certainly possible to step away from vet school for the whole weekend every week, without it affecting performance or being overly exhausting (in fact, it was awesome for my mental health). So there is hope, and if you want any more information about how we did things you can feel free to shoot me a message!

this sounds like me. I didn’t have the 4hr commute to and from my SO who lived an hour away. But I spent the whole weekend with him practically every weekend. I also drove out 3 hrs each way once a month or so to visit my sister and her kids. I didn’t even have lecture recordings and still did similarly. Didn’t bother going to class. Learned the material a lot more efficiently at home in about 3-4 days before each exam. Graduated in the top 20 of my class and got good marks in clinics. I literally gave two ****s whatever other classmates thought of my absence from lecture. If going to class helps them, cool. Totally none of their business what I do.

perhaps it won’t work for people who are auditory learners and prefer to have professors in person to ask questions. But it truly saved me so much time to do other things.
 
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