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Congratulations Doogie! :) (If that joke went over your head you now know how old I am!) Congratulations on your accomplishment and your own unique story. I hope you'll find a lot of joy pursuing the field!
Haha, thank you! My family actually make that reference a lot since they watched the show. Best of luck to you in your pursuits as well!
 
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itseunsss

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So exciting to see a non-traditional applicants thread! I began my prereqs and “collecting” my hours when I was 28 and began vet school at age 30. Although this year had been unusual with the pandemic, I am so glad I made this career switch.

I wish you guys the best and please feel free to DM me if you have any specific questions about re-taking classes (I had taken some of the gen bio and gen chem classes before, but I retook everything once I made the decision to go to vet school), where to get your pre-req’s done (especially those on the west coast), or really anything!
 
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Apr 15, 2020
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Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster here... So delighted to see this as a new dedicated thread! I think I have read every section of every thread written about non trad applicants in the last ten years or so :)
Saw a quick pop up from @LetItSnow there early. Sir, I have read a LOT of your posts lol... that sounds very stalker-ish. It was really that you were one of the non trads that came from an unrelated career, similar in age, and your posts were so helpful, so thank you.

So, I currently work in finance/tax... for like 16 years, and I just turned 41. I have a very successful career by 'normal' measures.. but I've been dreaming about pursuing a second career in vet med for many years now (and like many, it was my growing up career choice). A good friend who originally went to med school in the Caribbean was pushing me to properly look into it over drinks about 3/4 years ago..as I confessed what I spent my spare time looking into in secret... her words 'just do it, dude', you'll be done before you know it. And now look, in theory I actually could be nearly done-ish! I say that flippantly, not nearly that simple of course I understand... pre-reqs, experience, actually getting in etc etc etc. And for me, honestly, a healthy dose of 'I couldn't possibly do anything as mental as that' FEAR. ie. giving up a lucrative career, to not earn anything for four years at least (in fact the opposite), to start again in a brand new career that will never ever pay me the same. Pls don't get me wrong, I'm not all about the salary, at all, by any means, I'd happily give it up to be a vet...but I do find comfort as a single person in knowing I can save to support myself growing old...and it's a scary thought to risk that. But is it scarier to just keep plodding on, tolerating my working life, wondering, what if?

So I decided when I turned 40 last year, that reading about this would not solve anything.. and early this year, in 2020, I applied to Uni, and I just finished my first Bio class, whilst still working my FT finance job. I was hoping to get some vet shadowing experience over the past summer, but I felt stuck with Covid. So this year, as I continue taking classes, I'll bite the bullet and look for shadowing. Anyone feel a bit embarrassed asking to shadow at this age? I guess I'm just afraid of the reaction I might get...of people thinking I'm a crazy lady...
Maybe I don't get there with this, maybe I reconsider after some proper shadowing (because I do understand I that I can't really know I want this for sure until I do plenty of shadowing), maybe I discover another passion along the way as I learn new things... the evolution / genetics has been pretty cool.. (I did bio / chem in high school a billion years ago, but these are my first uni level courses) ...we will see, I see no waste in any education regardless.

But one thing I will offer after reading this full thread... re people worrying about losing time to not finding relationships, settling down, having kids etc.. let me just say.... I'm not discounting the time and focus that vet med takes, but remember there are really no guarantees in life. If you don't go for what you want, life will still pass, and you may not meet that person, or have kids, in that planned timeframe. Sorry, that sounds awful, but I mean it in the nicest way and without any bitterness I swear! :) . I don't think I ever considered that I wouldn't be settled with someone, maybe married, maybe with a kid, by the time I was 40. But things just didn't work out that way...and I feel differently about having kids now, and thats ok. Its all good, I've been having fantastic adventures and travels etc over the past few years, I have had relationships, I have amazing friends and family, and I guess the above mentioned (not really loved) career, and I consider myself very very lucky. So go ahead, the rest will figure itself out and the right person will come along, if thats what you would like, when its supposed to! ..
Anyhow, if I figure all this out.. and take another two years to finish pre-reqs, I could be starting at 43/44... will I be brave enough to stay the course down this road?! We shall see. I'm excited for everyone on this journey anyway, and wish everyone the best, Ill be cheering along!

Also, this is ridiculously long... thank you to anyone who reads this far. Fair play to you :)
 
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Lupin21

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Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster here... So delighted to see this as a new dedicated thread! I think I have read every section of every thread written about non trad applicants in the last ten years or so :)
Saw a quick pop up from @LetItSnow there early. Sir, I have read a LOT of your posts lol... that sounds very stalker-ish. It was really that you were one of the non trads that came from an unrelated career, similar in age, and your posts were so helpful, so thank you.

So, I currently work in finance/tax... for like 16 years, and I just turned 41. I have a very successful career by 'normal' measures.. but I've been dreaming about pursuing a second career in vet med for many years now (and like many, it was my growing up career choice). A good friend who originally went to med school in the Caribbean was pushing me to properly look into it over drinks about 3/4 years ago..as I confessed what I spent my spare time looking into in secret... her words 'just do it, dude', you'll be done before you know it. And now look, in theory I actually could be nearly done-ish! I say that flippantly, not nearly that simple of course I understand... pre-reqs, experience, actually getting in etc etc etc. And for me, honestly, a healthy dose of 'I couldn't possibly do anything as mental as that' FEAR. ie. giving up a lucrative career, to not earn anything for four years at least (in fact the opposite), to start again in a brand new career that will never ever pay me the same. Pls don't get me wrong, I'm not all about the salary, at all, by any means, I'd happily give it up to be a vet...but I do find comfort as a single person in knowing I can save to support myself growing old...and it's a scary thought to risk that. But is it scarier to just keep plodding on, tolerating my working life, wondering, what if?

So I decided when I turned 40 last year, that reading about this would not solve anything.. and early this year, in 2020, I applied to Uni, and I just finished my first Bio class, whilst still working my FT finance job. I was hoping to get some vet shadowing experience over the past summer, but I felt stuck with Covid. So this year, as I continue taking classes, I'll bite the bullet and look for shadowing. Anyone feel a bit embarrassed asking to shadow at this age? I guess I'm just afraid of the reaction I might get...of people thinking I'm a crazy lady...
Maybe I don't get there with this, maybe I reconsider after some proper shadowing (because I do understand I that I can't really know I want this for sure until I do plenty of shadowing), maybe I discover another passion along the way as I learn new things... the evolution / genetics has been pretty cool.. (I did bio / chem in high school a billion years ago, but these are my first uni level courses) ...we will see, I see no waste in any education regardless.

But one thing I will offer after reading this full thread... re people worrying about losing time to not finding relationships, settling down, having kids etc.. let me just say.... I'm not discounting the time and focus that vet med takes, but remember there are really no guarantees in life. If you don't go for what you want, life will still pass, and you may not meet that person, or have kids, in that planned timeframe. Sorry, that sounds awful, but I mean it in the nicest way and without any bitterness I swear! :) . I don't think I ever considered that I wouldn't be settled with someone, maybe married, maybe with a kid, by the time I was 40. But things just didn't work out that way...and I feel differently about having kids now, and thats ok. Its all good, I've been having fantastic adventures and travels etc over the past few years, I have had relationships, I have amazing friends and family, and I guess the above mentioned (not really loved) career, and I consider myself very very lucky. So go ahead, the rest will figure itself out and the right person will come along, if thats what you would like, when its supposed to! ..
Anyhow, if I figure all this out.. and take another two years to finish pre-reqs, I could be starting at 43/44... will I be brave enough to stay the course down this road?! We shall see. I'm excited for everyone on this journey anyway, and wish everyone the best, Ill be cheering along!

Also, this is ridiculously long... thank you to anyone who reads this far. Fair play to you :)
Hello!! Welcome to the active SDN crew! You'll find that much like the majority of vet folks here, we are a welcoming sort. This includes in real life, so don't be afraid to apply to shadow with having some life under your belt. There are many non trads in this modern world pursuing this career, and I've always found clinics welcome all. If you listen and learn, age will never be a factor. :welcome:
 
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deleted1068313

Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster here... So delighted to see this as a new dedicated thread! I think I have read every section of every thread written about non trad applicants in the last ten years or so :)
Saw a quick pop up from @LetItSnow there early. Sir, I have read a LOT of your posts lol... that sounds very stalker-ish. It was really that you were one of the non trads that came from an unrelated career, similar in age, and your posts were so helpful, so thank you.

So, I currently work in finance/tax... for like 16 years, and I just turned 41. I have a very successful career by 'normal' measures.. but I've been dreaming about pursuing a second career in vet med for many years now (and like many, it was my growing up career choice). A good friend who originally went to med school in the Caribbean was pushing me to properly look into it over drinks about 3/4 years ago..as I confessed what I spent my spare time looking into in secret... her words 'just do it, dude', you'll be done before you know it. And now look, in theory I actually could be nearly done-ish! I say that flippantly, not nearly that simple of course I understand... pre-reqs, experience, actually getting in etc etc etc. And for me, honestly, a healthy dose of 'I couldn't possibly do anything as mental as that' FEAR. ie. giving up a lucrative career, to not earn anything for four years at least (in fact the opposite), to start again in a brand new career that will never ever pay me the same. Pls don't get me wrong, I'm not all about the salary, at all, by any means, I'd happily give it up to be a vet...but I do find comfort as a single person in knowing I can save to support myself growing old...and it's a scary thought to risk that. But is it scarier to just keep plodding on, tolerating my working life, wondering, what if?

So I decided when I turned 40 last year, that reading about this would not solve anything.. and early this year, in 2020, I applied to Uni, and I just finished my first Bio class, whilst still working my FT finance job. I was hoping to get some vet shadowing experience over the past summer, but I felt stuck with Covid. So this year, as I continue taking classes, I'll bite the bullet and look for shadowing. Anyone feel a bit embarrassed asking to shadow at this age? I guess I'm just afraid of the reaction I might get...of people thinking I'm a crazy lady...
Maybe I don't get there with this, maybe I reconsider after some proper shadowing (because I do understand I that I can't really know I want this for sure until I do plenty of shadowing), maybe I discover another passion along the way as I learn new things... the evolution / genetics has been pretty cool.. (I did bio / chem in high school a billion years ago, but these are my first uni level courses) ...we will see, I see no waste in any education regardless.

But one thing I will offer after reading this full thread... re people worrying about losing time to not finding relationships, settling down, having kids etc.. let me just say.... I'm not discounting the time and focus that vet med takes, but remember there are really no guarantees in life. If you don't go for what you want, life will still pass, and you may not meet that person, or have kids, in that planned timeframe. Sorry, that sounds awful, but I mean it in the nicest way and without any bitterness I swear! :) . I don't think I ever considered that I wouldn't be settled with someone, maybe married, maybe with a kid, by the time I was 40. But things just didn't work out that way...and I feel differently about having kids now, and thats ok. Its all good, I've been having fantastic adventures and travels etc over the past few years, I have had relationships, I have amazing friends and family, and I guess the above mentioned (not really loved) career, and I consider myself very very lucky. So go ahead, the rest will figure itself out and the right person will come along, if thats what you would like, when its supposed to! ..
Anyhow, if I figure all this out.. and take another two years to finish pre-reqs, I could be starting at 43/44... will I be brave enough to stay the course down this road?! We shall see. I'm excited for everyone on this journey anyway, and wish everyone the best, Ill be cheering along!

Also, this is ridiculously long... thank you to anyone who reads this far. Fair play to you :)
Hi! I'm 37, and I'll be 41 when I finish vet school (if I get accepted this cycle). Reading your post made me think of "Mindshift" by Barbara Oakley. It highlights the experiences of very successful people who were afraid to change career paths. I will try to keep this short. About four years ago, I chose to pursue vet med instead of pursuing a career in aviation. I have had my pilot's license since I was 19. I love flying, but medicine has always been my passion. I have a farm, and taking care of my livestock revived my interest in becoming a doctor. At first, I thought I was too old to go to college, but my husband encouraged me to pursue my dream. As he says, I have been his cheerleader and support system throughout his dream career (he is an EMS helicopter pilot, hence the influence in aviation, Lol), and it is his turn now. We are fortunate to have a lot of freedom because we chose not to have children. Anyway, I'll be graduating in May with a B.S (VHS), which is exciting. This academic career hasn't been easy, and I know the hardest is yet to come, but I haven't looked back, and I know it'll be worth it! cheering along for you too!
 
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Oct 21, 2020
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Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster here... So delighted to see this as a new dedicated thread! I think I have read every section of every thread written about non trad applicants in the last ten years or so :)
Saw a quick pop up from @LetItSnow there early. Sir, I have read a LOT of your posts lol... that sounds very stalker-ish. It was really that you were one of the non trads that came from an unrelated career, similar in age, and your posts were so helpful, so thank you.

So, I currently work in finance/tax... for like 16 years, and I just turned 41. I have a very successful career by 'normal' measures.. but I've been dreaming about pursuing a second career in vet med for many years now (and like many, it was my growing up career choice). A good friend who originally went to med school in the Caribbean was pushing me to properly look into it over drinks about 3/4 years ago..as I confessed what I spent my spare time looking into in secret... her words 'just do it, dude', you'll be done before you know it. And now look, in theory I actually could be nearly done-ish! I say that flippantly, not nearly that simple of course I understand... pre-reqs, experience, actually getting in etc etc etc. And for me, honestly, a healthy dose of 'I couldn't possibly do anything as mental as that' FEAR. ie. giving up a lucrative career, to not earn anything for four years at least (in fact the opposite), to start again in a brand new career that will never ever pay me the same. Pls don't get me wrong, I'm not all about the salary, at all, by any means, I'd happily give it up to be a vet...but I do find comfort as a single person in knowing I can save to support myself growing old...and it's a scary thought to risk that. But is it scarier to just keep plodding on, tolerating my working life, wondering, what if?

So I decided when I turned 40 last year, that reading about this would not solve anything.. and early this year, in 2020, I applied to Uni, and I just finished my first Bio class, whilst still working my FT finance job. I was hoping to get some vet shadowing experience over the past summer, but I felt stuck with Covid. So this year, as I continue taking classes, I'll bite the bullet and look for shadowing. Anyone feel a bit embarrassed asking to shadow at this age? I guess I'm just afraid of the reaction I might get...of people thinking I'm a crazy lady...
Maybe I don't get there with this, maybe I reconsider after some proper shadowing (because I do understand I that I can't really know I want this for sure until I do plenty of shadowing), maybe I discover another passion along the way as I learn new things... the evolution / genetics has been pretty cool.. (I did bio / chem in high school a billion years ago, but these are my first uni level courses) ...we will see, I see no waste in any education regardless.

But one thing I will offer after reading this full thread... re people worrying about losing time to not finding relationships, settling down, having kids etc.. let me just say.... I'm not discounting the time and focus that vet med takes, but remember there are really no guarantees in life. If you don't go for what you want, life will still pass, and you may not meet that person, or have kids, in that planned timeframe. Sorry, that sounds awful, but I mean it in the nicest way and without any bitterness I swear! :) . I don't think I ever considered that I wouldn't be settled with someone, maybe married, maybe with a kid, by the time I was 40. But things just didn't work out that way...and I feel differently about having kids now, and thats ok. Its all good, I've been having fantastic adventures and travels etc over the past few years, I have had relationships, I have amazing friends and family, and I guess the above mentioned (not really loved) career, and I consider myself very very lucky. So go ahead, the rest will figure itself out and the right person will come along, if thats what you would like, when its supposed to! ..
Anyhow, if I figure all this out.. and take another two years to finish pre-reqs, I could be starting at 43/44... will I be brave enough to stay the course down this road?! We shall see. I'm excited for everyone on this journey anyway, and wish everyone the best, Ill be cheering along!

Also, this is ridiculously long... thank you to anyone who reads this far. Fair play to you :)
Your word is law. Your self worth depends on it. 98% of the population will drift through life doing what they're "supposed to." Unfulfilled, dissatisfied. What people think of your goals or dreams is their business. What brings you joy and a sense of purpose is yours. There are plenty of hospitals and clinics that will be delighted to have a mature, willing learner under their roof. Try your hand at all kinds--they can be wildly different. A solo practice, a mobile vet, a 5 doctor hospital, an emergency or specialty facility, a wildlife center..there are so many things to try and it's a lot of fun finding out what suits you best. You're going to get older whether you pursue the dream or not. I'm 37 and hope to graduate at 42..I'm right there with you :) GO FOR IT.
 
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Apr 15, 2020
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Thank you all so much for your kind words and support! Means a lot to wake up to those messages on Christmas eve...so happy holidays all

@angelrose315 that book sounds like a great read, thanks... I just checked it out and the blurb speaks of dealing with Imposters Syndrome, and advancing age... ha, check annnnd check.
Congratulations on your impending graduation, thats fantastic, very exciting times ahead for you.

@Lupin21 and @Cassafrass thank you for your feedback also... definitely helps. There's a few clinics I know quite well just from being a client with my bulldog, so Ill get that list going and look further afield as well...I've been stalking a wildlife centre also... so time to stop the incessant lurking, and start asking!
Got another Bio course starting Jan as well... so study head back on. It was actually a lot of fun going back, and I got over the feeling old there too, albeit it was online...I still had group projects and small labs. Don't think my group mates have two twigs what age I was, I had the benefit of being able to whip us up PPT's in work hours no prob.
:thumbup:
 
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Oct 21, 2020
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Thank you all so much for your kind words and support! Means a lot to wake up to those messages on Christmas eve...so happy holidays all

@angelrose315 that book sounds like a great read, thanks... I just checked it out and the blurb speaks of dealing with Imposters Syndrome, and advancing age... ha, check annnnd check.
Congratulations on your impending graduation, thats fantastic, very exciting times ahead for you.

@Lupin21 and @Cassafrass thank you for your feedback also... definitely helps. There's a few clinics I know quite well just from being a client with my bulldog, so Ill get that list going and look further afield as well...I've been stalking a wildlife centre also... so time to stop the incessant lurking, and start asking!
Got another Bio course starting Jan as well... so study head back on. It was actually a lot of fun going back, and I got over the feeling old there too, albeit it was online...I still had group projects and small labs. Don't think my group mates have two twigs what age I was, I had the benefit of being able to whip us up PPT's in work hours no prob.
:thumbup:
I'm in a post-bacc pre-med program with student generally in their mid-late twenties..they think I am the same age. I do not correct them lol :) We're only as old as we feel :) I'm glad you're enjoying your studies so far--it certainly is rejuvenating to me!
 
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max_wildlife

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So, I currently work in finance/tax... for like 16 years, and I just turned 41. I have a very successful career by 'normal' measures.. but I've been dreaming about pursuing a second career in vet med for many years now (and like many, it was my growing up career choice). A good friend who originally went to med school in the Caribbean was pushing me to properly look into it over drinks about 3/4 years ago..as I confessed what I spent my spare time looking into in secret... her words 'just do it, dude', you'll be done before you know it. And now look, in theory I actually could be nearly done-ish! I say that flippantly, not nearly that simple of course I understand... pre-reqs, experience, actually getting in etc etc etc. And for me, honestly, a healthy dose of 'I couldn't possibly do anything as mental as that' FEAR. ie. giving up a lucrative career, to not earn anything for four years at least (in fact the opposite), to start again in a brand new career that will never ever pay me the same. Pls don't get me wrong, I'm not all about the salary, at all, by any means, I'd happily give it up to be a vet...but I do find comfort as a single person in knowing I can save to support myself growing old...and it's a scary thought to risk that. But is it scarier to just keep plodding on, tolerating my working life, wondering, what if?

So I decided when I turned 40 last year, that reading about this would not solve anything.. and early this year, in 2020, I applied to Uni, and I just finished my first Bio class, whilst still working my FT finance job. I was hoping to get some vet shadowing experience over the past summer, but I felt stuck with Covid. So this year, as I continue taking classes, I'll bite the bullet and look for shadowing. Anyone feel a bit embarrassed asking to shadow at this age? I guess I'm just afraid of the reaction I might get...of people thinking I'm a crazy lady...
Maybe I don't get there with this, maybe I reconsider after some proper shadowing (because I do understand I that I can't really know I want this for sure until I do plenty of shadowing), maybe I discover another passion along the way as I learn new things... the evolution / genetics has been pretty cool.. (I did bio / chem in high school a billion years ago, but these are my first uni level courses) ...we will see, I see no waste in any education regardless.

But one thing I will offer after reading this full thread... re people worrying about losing time to not finding relationships, settling down, having kids etc.. let me just say.... I'm not discounting the time and focus that vet med takes, but remember there are really no guarantees in life. If you don't go for what you want, life will still pass, and you may not meet that person, or have kids, in that planned timeframe. Sorry, that sounds awful, but I mean it in the nicest way and without any bitterness I swear! :) . I don't think I ever considered that I wouldn't be settled with someone, maybe married, maybe with a kid, by the time I was 40. But things just didn't work out that way...and I feel differently about having kids now, and thats ok. Its all good, I've been having fantastic adventures and travels etc over the past few years, I have had relationships, I have amazing friends and family, and I guess the above mentioned (not really loved) career, and I consider myself very very lucky. So go ahead, the rest will figure itself out and the right person will come along, if thats what you would like, when its supposed to! ..
Anyhow, if I figure all this out.. and take another two years to finish pre-reqs, I could be starting at 43/44... will I be brave enough to stay the course down this road?! We shall see. I'm excited for everyone on this journey anyway, and wish everyone the best, Ill be cheering along!

Also, this is ridiculously long... thank you to anyone who reads this far. Fair play to you :)

hey, i just wanted to say your words are so important. i'm a younger non-trad (28) but i do find it motivating to hear that people are still choosing to go back at all walks of life. just wanted to share a story of my mom when it comes to the weirdness of shadowing; when she immigrated to the u.s., her first degrees from her home country didn't transfer over properly. she had to go back in her mid-30s. and then, after the recession, elected to go back to become an art teacher. at this point she was in her 50s, and while a completely different field she found part of her curriculum was being a student teacher. and i think that must've been challenging for her, shadowing people sometimes half her age. but she learned a lot. and she said yeah it was weird sometimes, but she wasn't the only older person in her classes like she feared she might be - and she really did excel in it. i don't think anyone ever thought she was crazy or even that it was awkward. mostly people wanted to help. except for some cliquey teachers at one school in particular, but that's another story for another day -- and tbh i figure that's just part of the 'high school never ends' thing that happens sometimes in most fields (especially, i imagine, if you're teaching in a high school)

also you're so right. life doesn't go according to plan. planning is a rather new idea to me and i already hate it lol. i'm more of a 'take the risk or lose the chance' kind of person. i guess it's still weird to feel that pressure from people around you, but lately i've been trying to tell myself 'who cares about pressure from other people? they're literally not you'.
 
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Bravo to your mum, thats awesome! I love that, so inspiring, and I hope she's enjoying the new career :)
Yes, ageism will still exist in some forms... whether its thinking an older person is somehow slower or not with it, or the flip-side, that someone youthful looking is lacking experience and expertise. Thats their issue and loss. Ultimately, I believe in the good of people and most I think are supportive of anyone putting themselves out there.

Congrats to you, no regrets eh! I was fairly passive with my direction, but I did take some opportunities, like worked abroad in Asia in the past, moved country six years ago to build a new team (same company tho lol). Don't regret any of it, and you know what.. the last 16/18 years was actually a really really long time span... I started from the bottom. And I have another 20/25+ years of working life ahead, thats a hella long time! haha. which is a good thing :)
 
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Hi All! I’m so excited that I found this thread. I’m about to turn 37 in a few days.
I went back to college to get my prerequisites starting in spring 2019. In 2006 I had graduated with a bachelors of commerce (major marketing) back in Montreal Canada. I currently live in Idaho, but was born and raised in Quebec Canada. Moved here in 2011 after meeting my now husband on a horseback riding trip out this way. I had always dreamed of veterinary medicine, though my fear of blood held me back. My family owned a successful business so I found myself being pushed towards business school to eventually take it over. After moving to Idaho I spent years regretting not following vet med, but also thinking that my fear of blood was still an issue. October 2018 I was at my vet clinic assisting my vet (now boss and mentor) with my husband’s fearful dog. We discovered she had kidney disease during the pre-surgery blood work. Anyways... long story short by the next week I was shadowing at my clinic, soon realizing my fear of blood was no longer an issue.
I decided to apply to WSU and Midwestern this cycle. I received interviews at both schools, and was recently accepted at Midwestern. My interview for WSU isn’t until January 22nd. I’m really hoping to get one of the 11 seats for Idaho residents at WSU. We all know how expensive veterinary school is, and this will allow me to get in-state tuition.
In addition to working 25-40 hours as a vet tech, I own a polymer clay figurine business. I make polymer clay figurines of peoples pets! Specializing in horses, dogs, cats and cows.
Anyways.. That’s a little bit about me! So glad I’m not the only almost 40 years old starting this journey! We can do it 🥰
 
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Hi All! I’m so excited that I found this thread. I’m about to turn 37 in a few days.
I went back to college to get my prerequisites starting in spring 2019. In 2006 I had graduated with a bachelors of commerce (major marketing) back in Montreal Canada. I currently live in Idaho, but was born and raised in Quebec Canada. Moved here in 2011 after meeting my now husband on a horseback riding trip out this way. I had always dreamed of veterinary medicine, though my fear of blood held me back. My family owned a successful business so I found myself being pushed towards business school to eventually take it over. After moving to Idaho I spent years regretting not following vet med, but also thinking that my fear of blood was still an issue. October 2018 I was at my vet clinic assisting my vet (now boss and mentor) with my husband’s fearful dog. We discovered she had kidney disease during the pre-surgery blood work. Anyways... long story short by the next week I was shadowing at my clinic, soon realizing my fear of blood was no longer an issue.
I decided to apply to WSU and Midwestern this cycle. I received interviews at both schools, and was recently accepted at Midwestern. My interview for WSU isn’t until January 22nd. I’m really hoping to get one of the 11 seats for Idaho residents at WSU. We all know how expensive veterinary school is, and this will allow me to get in-state tuition.
In addition to working 25-40 hours as a vet tech, I own a polymer clay figurine business. I make polymer clay figurines of peoples pets! Specializing in horses, dogs, cats and cows.
Anyways.. That’s a little bit about me! So glad I’m not the only almost 40 years old starting this journey! We can do it 🥰
Welcome and congratulations!! I'm so glad you're following your dreams, I'll be 38 in February and we're going to get older whether we follow the dream or not..one precious human life...important to make it count!!
 
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In addition to working 25-40 hours as a vet tech, I own a polymer clay figurine business. I make polymer clay figurines of peoples pets!
That is so cool! Do you have a business page or social media we can follow to support? I also was accepted to Midwestern last year but ultimately withdrew my seat due to the high cost of tuition. Good luck with your interview next month! In-state tuition is the way to go for sure.
 
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I was hoping to get some vet shadowing experience over the past summer, but I felt stuck with Covid. So this year, as I continue taking classes, I'll bite the bullet and look for shadowing. Anyone feel a bit embarrassed asking to shadow at this age?

A bit, but my personal experience was this: So long as you're interested, personable, and willing to do the grunt work, people - on average - take you seriously. And sometimes it makes it easier to get opportunities because people assume you're more 'serious' than they might someone younger (that isn't fair to the younger person, but ... it is what it is). If you give off a vibe that you think you deserve to advance more quickly just because you're older, that probably won't fly.

It is a little awkward feeling, especially later in vet school during things like rotations when you're older than the interns or residents or even staff who are teaching and grading you, but if you use body language and whatnot to communicate that you respect their expertise and want to learn from them, people get over it quick.

At the end of the day, similar interests and excitement to learn bring people together more than age drives people apart.

It can be a bit lonely in vet school as someone significantly older. I'm not talking about most people who call themselves 'non-traditional' who are 26 or 28 or something like that. There are so many of those it's normal. But doing vet school in your late 30s or 40s puts you as one of the oldest couple students in your class. People will certainly work with you, study with you, etc., but part of vet school is social circles - just like jr high, high school, and college - and when it comes to that you just won't fit in as well. Not in a bad way, like people shun you or anything. Just .... you don't naturally cycle into many of the social groups that form.

One bonus to being older - when you get out into practice, people (clients) automatically assume you have more experience. ;) One of my first GDV surgeries, I offered referral to our surgeon vs having me cut it (at the time there was a significant cost difference, so some people went one way, some went another). The couple looked at me and said "well, I'm sure you know what you're doing" with a clear gosh-you-look-old-and-experienced connotation. I wasn't about say "nope, not one bit, only done this a few times." :)
 
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A bit, but my personal experience was this: So long as you're interested, personable, and willing to do the grunt work, people - on average - take you seriously. And sometimes it makes it easier to get opportunities because people assume you're more 'serious' than they might someone younger (that isn't fair to the younger person, but ... it is what it is). If you give off a vibe that you think you deserve to advance more quickly just because you're older, that probably won't fly.

It is a little awkward feeling, especially later in vet school during things like rotations when you're older than the interns or residents or even staff who are teaching and grading you, but if you use body language and whatnot to communicate that you respect their expertise and want to learn from them, people get over it quick.

At the end of the day, similar interests and excitement to learn bring people together more than age drives people apart.

It can be a bit lonely in vet school as someone significantly older. I'm not talking about most people who call themselves 'non-traditional' who are 26 or 28 or something like that. There are so many of those it's normal. But doing vet school in your late 30s or 40s puts you as one of the oldest couple students in your class. People will certainly work with you, study with you, etc., but part of vet school is social circles - just like jr high, high school, and college - and when it comes to that you just won't fit in as well. Not in a bad way, like people shun you or anything. Just .... you don't naturally cycle into many of the social groups that form.

One bonus to being older - when you get out into practice, people (clients) automatically assume you have more experience. ;) One of my first GDV surgeries, I offered referral to our surgeon vs having me cut it (at the time there was a significant cost difference, so some people went one way, some went another). The couple looked at me and said "well, I'm sure you know what you're doing" with a clear gosh-you-look-old-and-experienced connotation. I wasn't about say "nope, not one bit, only done this a few times." :)
I still have to convince people I'm in my late 30's, if they see me. One of the nicer things in my opinion for myself about telephone/curbside is my looks are taken out of the equation.
 
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I still have to convince people I'm in my late 30's, if they see me. One of the nicer things in my opinion for myself about telephone/curbside is my looks are taken out of the equation.
I always thought this must be so difficult for grads in med or vet med.. I mean, I felt a little intimidated in my early working years by our clients and some of my peers..everyone just seemed so 'adult' to me. But that was just business stuff... it must be a million times harder with the stress, emotions and stakes involved with medicine!

It can be a bit lonely in vet school as someone significantly older. I'm not talking about most people who call themselves 'non-traditional' who are 26 or 28 or something like that. There are so many of those it's normal. But doing vet school in your late 30s or 40s puts you as one of the oldest couple students in your class. People will certainly work with you, study with you, etc., but part of vet school is social circles - just like jr high, high school, and college - and when it comes to that you just won't fit in as well. Not in a bad way, like people shun you or anything. Just .... you don't naturally cycle into many of the social groups that form.
Thanks, yes I would imagine so. I don't think this would bother me at all...we're in such a different stage of life, and thats ok, but I suppose in the intensity and over a four year course, one might miss some of the camaraderie maybe. But for sure, exams and study are a great equalizer!
So far so good with younger TA's and I think my recent professor was about my age...they have the expertise, and I am absolutely happy to take their feedback and hopefully that comes across. Its quite nice actually to be on the other end of questions for a change lol..
 
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I went back to college to get my prerequisites starting in spring 2019. In 2006 I had graduated with a bachelors of commerce (major marketing) back in Montreal Canada. I currently live in Idaho, but was born and raised in Quebec Canada.

Hurray!! I'm from Ireland, but I live in Canada now! ..and mad, I did bach in bus / marketing as well lol...back in the day. And I've been planning to go on a riding holiday in the US for a while, have a short list of Idaho and Montana ranches in my inbox.. too funny. Congratulations on your acceptance, and will have fingers crossed for you with WSU! It might be unrealistic, but I think my snippet of possibility would have to be to try get into in state in Ontario.
 
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Heyo! Just discovered this thread.

28yo F. Finished my bachelors in 2014 in marine biology and animal behavior intending to go into marine rehabilitation. Did a 6 month internship with terrestrial wildlife in California. Got to raise baby skunks which was easily the best part ever. Every morning was greeted by the residential mountain lion. Transitioned back to New England and did Diamondback terrapin citizen science on the Cape, released protected hatchlings. Then rescued cold-stunned sea turtles before heading to marine rehab and doing secondary rehab with the same sea turtles and seals. Took a Massachusetts wildlife rehabber certification course and realized rehab wasn’t enough I really wanted to diagnose. Then got a job at Boston University’s medical school and was an aquarist for 4.5 years which also put me through a basically free masters degree in evolution, ecology, and behavior. Finished that this summer, defended, and published my manuscript. Retook some undergrad classes for better grades and raise my gpa with my masters degree. And now here we are.

I applied last year to 9 schools. This year to only 6. One rejection so far. We will see what next week brings!🤞🤞
 
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Heyo! Just discovered this thread.

28yo F. Finished my bachelors in 2014 in marine biology and animal behavior intending to go into marine rehabilitation. Did a 6 month internship with terrestrial wildlife in California. Got to raise baby skunks which was easily the best part ever. Every morning was greeted by the residential mountain lion. Transitioned back to New England and did Diamondback terrapin citizen science on the Cape, released protected hatchlings. Then rescued cold-stunned sea turtles before heading to marine rehab and doing secondary rehab with the same sea turtles and seals. Took a Massachusetts wildlife rehabber certification course and realized rehab wasn’t enough I really wanted to diagnose. Then got a job at Boston University’s medical school and was an aquarist for 4.5 years which also put me through a basically free masters degree in evolution, ecology, and behavior. Finished that this summer, defended, and published my manuscript. Retook some undergrad classes for better grades and raise my gpa with my masters degree. And now here we are.

I applied last year to 9 schools. This year to only 6. One rejection so far. We will see what next week brings!🤞🤞
Best of luck, you have some amazing experiences on your resume!
 
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Heyo! Just discovered this thread.

28yo F. Finished my bachelors in 2014 in marine biology and animal behavior intending to go into marine rehabilitation. Did a 6 month internship with terrestrial wildlife in California. Got to raise baby skunks which was easily the best part ever. Every morning was greeted by the residential mountain lion. Transitioned back to New England and did Diamondback terrapin citizen science on the Cape, released protected hatchlings. Then rescued cold-stunned sea turtles before heading to marine rehab and doing secondary rehab with the same sea turtles and seals. Took a Massachusetts wildlife rehabber certification course and realized rehab wasn’t enough I really wanted to diagnose. Then got a job at Boston University’s medical school and was an aquarist for 4.5 years which also put me through a basically free masters degree in evolution, ecology, and behavior. Finished that this summer, defended, and published my manuscript. Retook some undergrad classes for better grades and raise my gpa with my masters degree. And now here we are.

I applied last year to 9 schools. This year to only 6. One rejection so far. We will see what next week brings!🤞🤞
you have some really amazing experiences. i'm a rehabber too, and gradually reached similar conclusions with diagnosing. i'm itching to work with sea turtles; and if i end up with another gap year the plan is to try and pursue some turtle work! I was thinking about going somewhere warm for a change but i adore new england and research - i may reach out with some questions about that at some point.

best of luck this cycle!
 
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you have some really amazing experiences. i'm a rehabber too, and gradually reached similar conclusions with diagnosing. i'm itching to work with sea turtles; and if i end up with another gap year the plan is to try and pursue some turtle work! I was thinking about going somewhere warm for a change but i adore new england and research - i may reach out with some questions about that at some point.

best of luck this cycle!
Sure thing! Happy to share info!
 
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Over the last two years I undertook the pre-requisites courses at the closest universities to my house. I also volunteered the my local zoo, and with vets in clinics. Knowing that getting into vet school is the most difficult program to gain entry into, I decided to go the "non-traditional" way of applying outside US/Canada. Plus I just wanted to get the program done as fast as possible, since I am older than everyone here... I'm now 47.

Huge congrats, and your story is so inspiring! If you don't mind, how did you go about picking your pre-req courses? For eg, I have the list from OVC, and I started doing classes at U of T, as a non degree student in Sept. But the pre-req categories are quite broad, and there's just so many different courses. Plus, there is a bit of a challenge getting a starting spot in some of the more broad foundation first year courses, so I did a Bio course, evolution and genetics, to start. OVC say that they'll check a specific list for you, but only twice. So it seems a little premature to do that.
I'm continuing with another BIO class in Jan, and after those two, I will have the pre-reqs to do some other classes, intro physiology, and/ or an animal behaviour one.. or there's an epidemiology course with Guelph online I think I can get into.
Anyhow, any tips from anyone welcome! Thanks
 
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Huge congrats, and your story is so inspiring! If you don't mind, how did you go about picking your pre-req courses? For eg, I have the list from OVC, and I started doing classes at U of T, as a non degree student in Sept. But the pre-req categories are quite broad, and there's just so many different courses. Plus, there is a bit of a challenge getting a starting spot in some of the more broad foundation first year courses, so I did a Bio course, evolution and genetics, to start. OVC say that they'll check a specific list for you, but only twice. So it seems a little premature to do that.
I'm continuing with another BIO class in Jan, and after those two, I will have the pre-reqs to do some other classes, intro physiology, and/ or an animal behaviour one.. or there's an epidemiology course with Guelph online I think I can get into.
Anyhow, any tips from anyone welcome! Thanks
No matter which school you'll apply to, two intro bios with lab, two intro chemistry with lab, two intro physics with lab, at least one orgo (some schools ask more +/- lab), biochem, genetics are basically universally required. I also did a microbiology without lab, a physiology, and have statistics from undergrad. These were good for about 8 schools I'm applying to this year. I'm also taking calculus and another biochem to satisfy the prereq of a few schools I have interviews with. It took me 2 years with part-time working schedule. Let me know if you have any questions!
 
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How do you guys get all these unique experiences. ..?? I have to keep telling myself that other people's successes are not my failures...but it's hard not to compare myself to some of you SDNers. This is supposed to be a welcoming platform and it is- but due to my own insecurities. ...I find myself feeling inadequate more often than not looking at SDN. I am struggling just getting my foot in the door to the vwt world and I am a joke compared to you all. Maybe I should just take a different career route.... or stay off of this forum
idk. Sorry to be so sulky but I feel like I have wasted my time considering vet med and my experiences are laughable.
 
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No matter which school you'll apply to, two intro bios with lab, two intro chemistry with lab, two intro physics with lab, at least one orgo (some schools ask more +/- lab), biochem, genetics are basically universally required. I also did a microbiology without lab, a physiology, and have statistics from undergrad. These were good for about 8 schools I'm applying to this year. I'm also taking calculus and another biochem to satisfy the prereq of a few schools I have interviews with. It took me 2 years with part-time working schedule. Let me know if you have any questions!

No matter which school you'll apply to, two intro bios with lab, two intro chemistry with lab, two intro physics with lab, at least one orgo (some schools ask more +/- lab), biochem, genetics are basically universally required. I also did a microbiology without lab, a physiology, and have statistics from undergrad. These were good for about 8 schools I'm applying to this year. I'm also taking calculus and another biochem to satisfy the prereq of a few schools I have interviews with. It took me 2 years with part-time working schedule. Let me know if you have any questions!
Not all vet schools require a 2 semester sequence of physics...the only one I can remember right now is Iowa but I know there are a few more.
 
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How do you guys get all these unique experiences. ..?? I have to keep telling myself that other people's successes are not my failures...but it's hard not to compare myself to some of you SDNers. This is supposed to be a welcoming platform and it is- but due to my own insecurities. ...I find myself feeling inadequate more often than not looking at SDN. I am struggling just getting my foot in the door to the vwt world and I am a joke compared to you all. Maybe I should just take a different career route.... or stay off of this forum
idk. Sorry to be so sulky but I feel like I have wasted my time considering vet med and my experiences are laughable.

One of the most common advice I got from the vets I work with is "stay away from SDN" :rofl: It really can drive you crazy.

We're all unique in our own way and it is important to truly believe in it - how can you sell it to the admission committee if you don't see it yourself? I, for one, don't have any large animal vet experience. There's nothing I can do about it, I live in the city, I have to go to school for prereqs and I have to work to support myself. Let us know if you have any specific questions in gaining experience or studying or whatsoever...I'm pretty sure that every problem you have, someone else had it too!
 
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How do you guys get all these unique experiences. ..?? I have to keep telling myself that other people's successes are not my failures...but it's hard not to compare myself to some of you SDNers. This is supposed to be a welcoming platform and it is- but due to my own insecurities. ...I find myself feeling inadequate more often than not looking at SDN. I am struggling just getting my foot in the door to the vwt world and I am a joke compared to you all. Maybe I should just take a different career route.... or stay off of this forum
idk. Sorry to be so sulky but I feel like I have wasted my time considering vet med and my experiences are laughable.
I did see this same thing pop up on the fb page, and a lot of people really recommend staying off of SDN, because you generally are comparing yourself to the best applicants in the pool. Try to remember looking at applicants on SDN is not really a realistic portrayal of what the actual applicant pool is like. There are a lot of people in the same exact situation as you, and try to stay positive and optimistic!! It takes a lot just to get to the point of applying, and that’s a huge achievement in itself. Try not to compare, and just do your personal best :)
 
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Comparing yourself to others is something everyone has to get over. Focusing on your own journey and life is the only way to stay in good mental health. It's part of the reason vet school is hard on people; comparing yourself to your fellow students is a danger zone. If you feel it now, it would be worse in vet school, so learn how to shut it out now.
 
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How do you guys get all these unique experiences. ..?? I have to keep telling myself that other people's successes are not my failures...but it's hard not to compare myself to some of you SDNers. This is supposed to be a welcoming platform and it is- but due to my own insecurities. ...I find myself feeling inadequate more often than not looking at SDN. I am struggling just getting my foot in the door to the vwt world and I am a joke compared to you all. Maybe I should just take a different career route.... or stay off of this forum
idk. Sorry to be so sulky but I feel like I have wasted my time considering vet med and my experiences are laughable.
With regards to experiences-seek them out. Be relentless in their pursuit. If you can't find one try and create one--I'm in the process of doing that now. Try very hard to stay focused on what's in your control and let go of what's not (life hint--99% of everything is in the NOT category). There is only ONE you and that ONE YOU brings something to the table no one else here does. What is it? How can you best use it to advance the field or the human animal bond? What makes you, you? What are you proud of? Focus there. All of us have weaknesses--I have no research experience and my GPA is sort of a hodgepodge due to a bunch of factors I was unable to control. I'm not giving up hope this is going to be a successful cycle for me just because John Doe has 500 research hours and a 4.0. Maybe his bedside manner stinks. Maybe he is terrified of dogs. Maybe he's not a nice human. There are a million and one ways to be a good veterinarian and YOU will do it differently from every other person in this thread. All you need is ONE school to give you a chance. Look at yourself holistically and compare it to the programs that do the same and know that everyone feels the imposter syndrome. We're here for you, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. Don't doubt yourself. Be a first rate YOU and don't worry about being a second rate anyone else.
 
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max_wildlife

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How do you guys get all these unique experiences. ..?? I have to keep telling myself that other people's successes are not my failures...but it's hard not to compare myself to some of you SDNers. This is supposed to be a welcoming platform and it is- but due to my own insecurities. ...I find myself feeling inadequate more often than not looking at SDN. I am struggling just getting my foot in the door to the vwt world and I am a joke compared to you all. Maybe I should just take a different career route.... or stay off of this forum
idk. Sorry to be so sulky but I feel like I have wasted my time considering vet med and my experiences are laughable.

you haven't wasted your time! not to sound cliche but it's a marathon not a sprint. we're more than the pictures we paint of ourselves on the internet.
i was the kind of kid that fell asleep in class and focused more on playing sports and working in the theatre than science. when i started college i wanted freedom and adventure, or nothing - i thought i'd be in technical theatre first, then anthropology, then journalism, then ecology. i changed my major eight times and have been working on pulling up my GPA since 2016 when i started grad school. i'm trying to believe in myself -- but i agree, it's hard not to compare yourself to others. talking to people irl helps most, while keeping sdn as secondary, and i barely use facebook at all.

as for experiences, local has been a bit easier. i started volunteering with a local wildlife hospital in 2012 and worked my way up into staff before leaving for grad school and occasionally helping the supervising veterinarian with her specialty start-up (bats).
otherwise, some of my experiences came from just taking risks and exploring. i'm kind of an opportunist in this sense. i move around and take jobs with little pay (if any at all). i've lived in musty hotel rooms and tiny apartments and worked multiple jobs. wildlife slapped me in the face and i never wanted to let go, and that meant giving up dreams like the new subaru crosstrek, relationships, and the fancy flat above the local artsy street. but.. those were sacrifices i didn't even notice i was making because i was determined to find a way to make a career in wildlife work. it's humbling, but i wanted adventure more than stability and i suppose i got what i wished for. if you're interested in wildlife, i found many of these opportunities through websites like aza.org/jobs and wfscjobs.tamu.edu/job-board/
 
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I ditto all of that. When I was in undergrad, I hadn't done any volunteering. I didn't do high school programs, or pre-undergrad programs, or anything. I was an average kid living an average kid's life. I got to college and I had an average gpa. I spent too much time trying to do too many things and didn't have great grades. I didn't get in to a study abroad marine bio program because I didn't have great grades. I felt so far behind from all the kids that did summer internships every year and did amazing things. I regretted not doing things sooner.

Until I learned there was no point in regretting it all. I wouldn't have had time anyway. I wouldn't have had any means. So what did it matter. Instead, after college I applied to over 100 internships and jobs with wildlife. 4 interviewed me. 2 hired me. Neither offered pay, but 1 did offer housing. So I accepted that one. I didn't have the funds to pay for rent anywhere. So I did my 6 month internship that made me fall in love with wildlife. After that, I applied to another 50 or so jobs and internships. 1 interviewed me and hired me. And I applied to more internships after that. Again, only 1 interviewed, and they hired me. After that, I needed health insurance so I got a job that offered benefits and a salary so I could finally pay rent. Luckily they also offered tuition remission.

Not all people have the freedom I did to be able to drop everything, go across the country, and then back again, etc. Some people have the funds to do years of unpaid internships. Some don't. And that's OK!!! Your path is precisely that- It's YOUR path.

Do I have a 4.0 gpa? No. I had a 2.7 in undergrad and a 3.5 now (grad school only). I also don't have farm or zoo experiences. Am I confident that will be enough? Not at all.

Just do what you can, and be proud of your experiences. My advice? Say fork-[good place edit]-it to the rest of us and all those John Doe's.

Find YOUR way to make it happen.

This is what was said to me by a wonderful boss back in 2017:

"-You are willing to devote time and effort to critical needs
-You are a visual person
-Making a difference is important
-You are passionate about life and life-forms
-There is a sense of urgency running through all of the above
Do you believe you could be a veterinarian? Your attributes suggest so much more than just a marine rehabilitator. I am just wondering if you’re shooting too low. Only you would know your academic strengths. Let me know your thoughts.
You’ll have to really search yourself and see if that is really what you want. I think that is where you are headed. Following what you are passionate about is what I always suggest because that is the way I have lived my life and surprisingly it all works out.
[my name], MS, DVM Hey …looks pretty good to me. Make it happen! Food for thought. The journey of a million miles begins with ONE step."

You've already made that step, @ElizaThornberry. And many, many others.
 
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In response to all of you and to myself, it's dreadfully hard to stay positive this time of year as we hear back from schools. I got another rejection today. How do I deal with that disappointment? By looking into LVT/CVT programs in my area. Because I think that my chances of getting in this cycle aren't great and I won't be able to afford the application cost next year.

Anybody know anyone who is a CVT/LVT in Massachusetts and where they got their training?
 
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In response to all of you and to myself, it's dreadfully hard to stay positive this time of year as we hear back from schools. I got another rejection today. How do I deal with that disappointment? By looking into LVT/CVT programs in my area. Because I think that my chances of getting in this cycle aren't great and I won't be able to afford the application cost next year.

Anybody know anyone who is a CVT/LVT in Massachusetts and where they got their training?
I'm in MA, I was grandfathered in though--I had drs I worked with sign off on my hours to take the exam...you may ask potential employers if they'd assist you. You may have some online options. I'm sorry you're feeling down, it's smart to look at what you can do to improve your chances--I'm looking at MPH programs myself.
 

max_wildlife

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In response to all of you and to myself, it's dreadfully hard to stay positive this time of year as we hear back from schools. I got another rejection today. How do I deal with that disappointment? By looking into LVT/CVT programs in my area. Because I think that my chances of getting in this cycle aren't great and I won't be able to afford the application cost next year.

Anybody know anyone who is a CVT/LVT in Massachusetts and where they got their training?
I'm so sorry 🙁
I'm in lvt school right now. I'm in ny not ma, but if you are considering an online program i do not recommend the online version of my school - i can let you know which program it is through dm and why I feel that way. But if you're looking for in-person, then it doesn't matter as much.

On the flipside tbh i kind of regret not doing Penn Foster.

I hate that applying is so expensive. It really is awful.

I don't really have a backup plan myself. Probably just complete my second bachelor's as I'm pretty close to that 😕
 
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I am also a VERY non-traditional student and I was accepted to Ross a few months ago. I'll only say that if I made it happen, SO CAN YOU. Please let me know if you want encouragement, I've been there, I know how it feels. The best acceptance is the one you get so embrace that opportunity!

Needless to say that my journey has been crazy and very unique. To be honest, I still cannot believe I was accepted! I guess impostor syndrome is real?!
 
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How do you guys get all these unique experiences. ..?? I have to keep telling myself that other people's successes are not my failures...but it's hard not to compare myself to some of you SDNers. This is supposed to be a welcoming platform and it is- but due to my own insecurities. ...I find myself feeling inadequate more often than not looking at SDN. I am struggling just getting my foot in the door to the vwt world and I am a joke compared to you all. Maybe I should just take a different career route.... or stay off of this forum
idk. Sorry to be so sulky but I feel like I have wasted my time considering vet med and my experiences are laughable.
How old are you? I'm wondering because life comes with great and not so great experiences. The longer you live the more of them you have to talk about, especially if you have an adventurous spirit. Some people start having adventures earlier in life than others. But, it's never too early or too late to live life to the fullest, regardless of what that means to each person. Be positive, just doing everything it takes to meet the requirements and apply to vet school is a fun adventure in itself!
 
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How old are you? I'm wondering because life comes with great and not so great experiences. The longer you live the more of them you have to talk about, especially if you have an adventurous spirit. Some people start having adventures earlier in life than others. But, it's never too early or too late to live life to the fullest, regardless of what that means to each person. Be positive, just doing everything it takes to meet the requirements and apply to vet school is a fun adventure in itself!
I am pretty sure this was a rhetorical question....but I am 26. It is hard not to compare myself to those super traditional people who get into vet school when they're 21/22 and knew from the second they popped out of the womb what they wanted to do. It makes me feel like I am a fraud... for lack of a better term....but not everyone is afforded the same opportunities. This is a cliche quote but I think it's relevant....I recite it in my head when I am starting to get into a self-depricating mood... "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
 
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I am pretty sure this was a rhetorical question....but I am 26. It is hard not to compare myself to those super traditional people who get into vet school when they're 21/22 and knew from the second they popped out of the womb what they wanted to do. It makes me feel like I am a fraud... for lack of a better term....but not everyone is afforded the same opportunities. This is a cliche quote but I think it's relevant....I recite it in my head when I am starting to get into a self-depricating mood... "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Mine is "Though placed in poorer soil, good seed can yet of its own nature, bear a shining crop." We all have to walk our own paths. I'm ancient compared to most folks here but I will regret the things I don't do!! :)
 
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max_wildlife

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Love inspirational quotes. Mine are oddly from Game of Thrones:

"Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you."

And, simply:
"What do we say to the god of death?"
"Not today."
 
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"Not today."
Ah, I miss GOT, even though I watched it after everyone else ... Not today!

Great advice from everyone. I can't re-live the past twenty years, nor do I want to to be honest. Just focus on picking up your own experiences best you can, your own pre-reqs, think about the qualities you bring as a person... and don't worry about everyone else. It won't help and just has you feeling rotten.
 
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max_wildlife

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Ah, I miss GOT, even though I watched it after everyone else ... Not today!

Great advice from everyone. I can't re-live the past twenty years, nor do I want to to be honest. Just focus on picking up your own experiences best you can, your own pre-reqs, think about the qualities you bring as a person... and don't worry about everyone else. It won't help and just has you feeling rotten
Yes! Exactly.

And me too!! lol if ya can't tell from my profile pic I related pretty hard to Arya. In addition to loving wolves I am also left handed and took fencing in my late teens and early 20s so that was cool 😅 But it was a great show and book series and so many interesting characters. Got me through some tough times. I could fangirl all day hahah
 
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LetItSnow

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I am pretty sure this was a rhetorical question....but I am 26. It is hard not to compare myself to those super traditional people who get into vet school when they're 21/22 and knew from the second they popped out of the womb what they wanted to do. It makes me feel like I am a fraud... for lack of a better term....but not everyone is afforded the same opportunities. This is a cliche quote but I think it's relevant....I recite it in my head when I am starting to get into a self-depricating mood... "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

You're not a fraud.

I wouldn't think less of people who happened to have other opportunities, though. It just is what it is. It's not like THEY made a decision to pop out of a particular womb with great supportive structures and family financial resources and whatnot, either. They just got lucky.

It's true that things are competitive in the sense that you obviously are evaluated based on your experiences (and grades and LORs and interview and ....). And so that naturally leads to comparing yourself to others.

But a few things:
(1) Remember that applications are multi-faceted. Being weak in one area is nerve-wracking, but you can make up for it in others. Lesser experience? Rock the hell out of the interview and dust those overachieving in-it-since-I-was-0-days-old peeps. You'd be surprised at how many of them come to the interview with a sense of entitlement like they "deserve" to be in vet school. Compare that to the real-world, in-the-trenches answers from someone who has clawed their way to get there? Those latter folks can be really dang impressive. I know, because I've listened to them give answers in interviews. Or maybe you write a hella essay. Or whatever. Be competitive at the areas you can be competitive in, and be adequate in the others.

(2) Remember that you can only do what you can do, and be at peace with that. If you've looked everywhere and tried to fit getting experience into every empty spot of your life that you can ... then you've done what you can.

(3) Get creative. People tend to get into a rut of "I've called vets looking for an assistant job or to shadow" and then shut down when it doesn't go anywhere. Start small - one day in a practice - and let it grow. Find alternative experiences (I volunteered in wildlife rehab, and I volunteered in canine rehab at our university's vet hospital). Utilize connections - I knew (and still know) nothing about horses - my sister leased a horse from someone who coincidentally is a very well-known equine vet - she connected me to him and I spent a week at their practice.

(4) Make time for recuperation and recreation. People love the term 'self care' nowadays. I personally hate the term itself, but it's a super valid point - you have to take care of yourself. Making time for yourself isn't wasted - it keeps you mentally healthy so you can more effectively tackle the other challenges.

(5) @Lupin21 is right about it never ending. In vet school you compare yourself to someone else's grades or how far along to their goals they are or how many cases they have on your IM rotation together or how many spays you've done compared to them or blah blah blah. And then out in practice you compare your ACT to the other vets in your practice. Or how many cases you can see a day or an hour. Or you're a non-HQHVSN vet judging your spay time by the standards of a 10-year HQHVSN vet. Or whatever. You can't go down that route, it will destroy your confidence. Be good at what you do, and let other people be good at what they do.

I love that quote about the fish! That's awesome. And funny. One of the common frustrations for an ER doc (my field) in a referral setting is the constant dickishness of (some) specialists. Surgeons are always judging us by our surgical ability - even though I'm not a residency-trained surgeon. IM docs are always judging us by our internal medicine chops - even though I'm not a residency-trained IM doc. Etc. So it cuts the other way too --- don't judge YOURSELF by unfair standards, but give other people the same grace --- don't judge them by unfair standards. I work with lots of specialists, and two in particular are simply amazing coworkers. Our oncologist has NEVER given me an ounce of grief even when I transfer her disasters. I transferred her a GI-perf free gas lymphoma cat a week ago. Normally that is an automatic surgery case with a GI perf; it's very weird to txfr it to an oncologist (doesn't matter why I did; it made sense in the overall context of things), but she cheerfully dealt with it and didn't give me a bit of grief. We have a dentist who is like that, too. You transfer her cases, and she just scoops them up and rolls with it and never judges you by the standards of her expertise/ability. LOVE them. So much better than ... well, most surgeons, for instance. I'm still waiting to work with a surgeon who is genuinely easy to work with, cheerfully takes transfers, doesn't give you crap when they aren't 100% perfect with every t crossed and i dotted and... etc. So, be the dentist or oncologist, not the surgeons of the world. :)

You'll get there. 26 is young. You have time. From where I'm sitting, 26 is exactly the same as 21/22. I know it doesn't feel that way to you, because it's all perspective, but you really do have time, and you really can keep chugging along toward vet school if that's what you want. :)
 
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Love inspirational quotes. Mine are oddly from Game of Thrones:

"Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you."

And, simply:
"What do we say to the god of death?"
"Not today."
Be a dragon.
 
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Hi, I'm yet another non-traditional 'lurker' in this thread who's inspired to post to say hi after reading everyone's stories here. Each of you - the 18 year old non traditional to the 40 year old non traditional - is an inspiration. Congrats to all of us, on being here, in this step :)

I'm a nontraditional applicant in every way that you want to slice and dice it! I'm 38, had previous life spent in corporate business management and marketing, undergrad in business AND an expensive MBA to go along with it. I've had 'pocket pets' since I was a tiny child, started actually considering vet school in my early 20s, during which I concluded that since I was already on a business career path and was going to get married/start a family it was too late for me to try (HA), so I suffered through a phase of of total depression before moving on. Then the bug surfaced again in my mid 20s, when I didn't end up getting married (HAHA), and spent a few weeks trying to figure out how to reconfigure life and logistics to make vet school happen, but then I got a big unexpected promotion at work and was convinced by mentors (and myself really) that it was way too late to completely change careers (HAHAHA) and that I should get an MBA instead. Fast forward a few years later, I was armed with an Ivy League MBA (in hindsight, probably just to please my parents), a high paying career with clear upward mobility, and a husband. A vet visit with my dog who swallowed a tennis ball (yup) spurred the ache in me once more. I talked to a few contacts in the veterinary field, and planned out a way to make it happen this time around.... and then I found out I was pregnant. At this point, I looked back at my 20s self, shaking my head for naively believing that 20s was too late to 'start' over, and decided that now, in my early 30s, it really was too late.

:)

Then one day, I met a vet who told me she quit her advertising career, in her 40s, and went for it and never turned back. It made me think back on each phase of my life when I, truly, believed that it was too late for me, and I realized: I'm not going to let it happen again. So in my mid 30s, I took my first science class since high school, and got a part-time job with a kind hearted (but probably skeptical) clinic owner assisting techs but really just cleaning a lot of cages and making a million surgical packs. But of course, last year life decided to yet again make it fun for me: I got pregnant. With twins (2 humans. At the same time). But you know what? I think it's because by now I've had enough life twists under my belt to know that even this is not as prohibitive of an obstacle as my brain tries to scare me into thinking. Sure, it complicates things, but it's not insurmountable. So, I'm now 38, with one small kid and 2 tiny kids, with an entire business career under my belt, 50+ completed pre-req credits, a submitted application, and luckily just got an interview invite from my IS (Davis). Who knows what's next - I guess the rest will work out how ever it will.

Life is weird, guys. My lesson learned is this: if you know, right now, that you want something, GO FOR IT. Stop muddying the path you want to choose with hypotheticals, future uncertainties, and made up what ifs.

Happy holidays to you, new friends along with me on this journey :)

BIG congratulations on the interview invite to Davis!!! Rooting for you :)
 
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I don't have much of value to add, but definitely don't compare yourself to other people. I might have "great experiences" but have a poor GPA and have zero research experience. None of this bothers me though because I know my weaknesses and must have "great experiences" to offset my weaknesses. You might not have the experiences of some other applicants but you might have the gift of a stellar GPA. Play to that! Apply to schools that base admissions heavily off of GPA, schools like the AVC because those schools won't even look at my application because of my GPA.... They will just say "thanks for the 80 dollars!" And swipe left 😂
 
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I don't have much of value to add, but definitely don't compare yourself to other people. I might have "great experiences" but have a poor GPA and have zero research experience. None of this bothers me though because I know my weaknesses and must have "great experiences" to offset my weaknesses. You might not have the experiences of some other applicants but you might have the gift of a stellar GPA. Play to that! Apply to schools that base admissions heavily off of GPA, schools like the AVC because those schools won't even look at my application because of my GPA.... They will just say "thanks for the 80 dollars!" And swipe left 😂
My GPA isn't fabulous--I had a rough go at some classes after undergrad but before my post-bacc program (science gpa under 3.0 cough--though this semester should have fixed that) and I interviewed with AVC..don't sell yourself short!
 
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My GPA isn't fabulous--I had a rough go at some classes after undergrad but before my post-bacc program (science gpa under 3.0 cough--though this semester should have fixed that) and I interviewed with AVC..don't sell yourself short!
I can show you my rejection letter from the AVC 😂 I appreciate the support I was fortunate to get an interview with the RVC so not all is lost! And I'm holding out hope for CSU also
 
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I can show you my rejection letter from the AVC 😂 I appreciate the support I was fortunate to get an interview with the RVC so not all is lost! And I'm holding out hope for CSU also
fingers and toes crossed you get the school you desire :) I was kinda shocked to interview with AVC. My undergrad GPA was fine enough--3.6, but because of those bad classes I had an overall of like 3.29 or something and a science of like 2.97..it was mortifying when I saw how VMCAS calculated it. I wound up writing a letter to every school I applied to explaining what happened, what my current trend was and why I felt those gpas were not indicative of the student I am today..so far that seems to have been a successful tactic lol
 
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fingers and toes crossed you get the school you desire :) I was kinda shocked to interview with AVC. My undergrad GPA was fine enough--3.6, but because of those bad classes I had an overall of like 3.29 or something and a science of like 2.97..it was mortifying when I saw how VMCAS calculated it. I wound up writing a letter to every school I applied to explaining what happened, what my current trend was and why I felt those gpas were not indicative of the student I am today..so far that seems to have been a successful tactic lol
I wrote about my poor undergrad gpa and my current trend in my application statement. I had such a bad gpa (2.73) in undergrad when you average my masters and post bacc with it I don’t make the cut. I’m depending on schools to ignore that score and see that I’m much better at balancing time now.
 
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