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Should I bother?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by xNoLongerFallingx, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. xNoLongerFallingx


    Sep 20, 2014
    I know there are always so many threads about this thing, but I would really like replies (no sugar coating) specific to my situation. I am in high school and I really am trying to decide what I want to do with my life. My passion lies in animals, and I really do not think I would be happy in a career that did not involve them. I really enjoy biology, but honors chem last year nearly killed me. I like math though, and physics so far isn't completely horrible. And I'm kind poor. Like, I really stress about how in the world we are going to afford my undergrad. While I wanted to go away, I have decided that the best financial decision for my family and I is for me to stay home for school, then save money for vet school (if I decide to go through with it) or grad school. I'm already quite stingy with my money currently, so living like that does not particularly bother me. My real motivation is this one cat we rescued less than a year ago. We pulled him off the streets, and the vet said if we didn't take him at the time we did, he would have died like that, miserable (he had FIV and so many scars from fighting that he almost looked burned alive). Unfortunately he recently passed away because he developed more problems and the vet decided it would be best to let him go. The point is, it really makes we want to be able to save lives like that, even if it is for a short period of time. I'm kind of interested in zoological medicine and shelter medicine, the ones that make nothing. Of course, I would work in private practice if need be, but I'm just hearing that the field is getting really saturated, especially with the addition of new schools in the future (although zoo medicine is also extremely competitive...). There was a brief period of time where I wanted to be an oncologist, but I realized it was too much schooling and training for something I am not necessarily passionate about. Plus, I prefer learning the anatomy and physiology of animals much more than people. I may be broke, but happiness and passion in a career are really important to me, because time is the most valuable thing to me. I think I'm mostly freaked out about paying my way through vet school (rent, food, and I am definitely a dog person so rescuing a dog is really important to me when I leave home, regardless of career) and then if I'll be able to live a normal life afterwards. I don't want kids, and I know I may be young to decide that, but I kind of don't even like them. I prefer fur babies. So I don't know if that's helpful at all. I don't want some lavish lifestyle, but at least a house with a yard that at some point later on I could possibly buy. Oh, and I have like the least supportive parents ever, they just want me to go where the money is. Not that they wouldn't help (however they could) financially, but mentally I'd be on my own. I also worry I'm not smart enough, because chem really sucked any of the self confidence I had away. So should I bother? Or should I just have tons of pets? I know only I can decide this, but what would you do?

    Sorry for the really long post. I just figured this forum would be the best place to receive advice.
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  3. that redhead

    that redhead Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Welcome to SDN :) Good for you for being proactive and investigating your interests now.

    The best way to start is to decide if you even enjoy veterinary medicine, and the best way to figure that out is to shadow some vets. If you're interested in zoo or shelter med, contact local organizations (local zoo or aquarium, county shelter) and see if you would be able to shadow their vet for a day. Once you've had some first hand experience, then see if you're still interested. If you're still interested, keep your high school grades up, get into a good school (CC or local university) and do well in your prerequisite courses. These courses are less about innate intelligence and more about working hard.

    Saving up for vet school is an admirable goal, but nearly all students take out loans to pay for tuition. If you can save enough to support your costs of living, that's a big step toward helping keep your debt low.
  4. ResoluteMike

    ResoluteMike Iowa State c/o 2021 Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Check out military service. It is a great way to, pay for vet school. It also should give you the chance to get some undergrad knocked out first. The break from high school and college is also a really good opportunity to grow and figure yourself out.
  5. xNoLongerFallingx


    Sep 20, 2014
    I'm not sure if the vets around here allow high schoolers to shadow, but I'll be sure to try and find out.

    And that's what I meant by saving :) I would like to try to be able to pay for some rent and regular expenses like groceries and pet necessities. I know I wouldn't be able to make any sort of actual dent in the money for my education with some money saved, but anything for other expenses should help with stress!
  6. xNoLongerFallingx


    Sep 20, 2014
    I was actually looking into that before. I'm not sure if it's for me, but I'm going to do some more research on it.
  7. Cyndia

    Cyndia c/o 2018 Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2013
    I have to second trh's advice, go and shadow a veterinarian and see if it still looks like something you may be interested in. Even though you're a bit young, if you dress professionally, go in person, and present yourself as a potential pre-veterinary student who just wants to shadow for a day or two, you'll probably be able to find somewhere that will let you come in. You might get turned down at a couple places, but just keep trying. If you shadow and you still think this is the right career for you, then definitely try your hardest to do well in your classes and prereqs. Because of the variety of prereqs we have the take, there are certainly some classes you'll struggle with more than others, so don't worry too much about chem. I struggled a lot with chemistry and physics myself, but made up for it with good grades in my other classes, and also tried to improve by seeking help from my professors office hours and from a tutor. I'd suggest evaluating why you're struggling - is there something about your study habits for that particular class you should change? Are there any free tutoring opportunities you can try to take advantage of? Does your teacher offer any after school help? Building good study habits early on will benefit you in the long run, since I can promise that chem probably won't be the only class you'll find a struggle.

    By the way, I also have some advice about wanting to rescue a dog when you leave home. A more cost conscious opportunity you should consider is fostering. I also really wanted to adopt a cat or dog of my own, but the fact that I'm living completely off of loans left me feeling too nervous about getting an animal - I tend to like the older and unhealthy animals that are less likely to be adopted, and I didn't want to risk ending up in a situation where I couldn't afford to pay for a medication or operation my pet might need. So instead, I signed up to foster through a rescue organisation in my area, and the one I'm working with provides me with all the supplies I need for the animals I take in and pays for their vet care, and then I just have to bring them to adoption events every weekend. Fostering frees up extra spaces in shelters giving more pets a chance to find families, and gives you the opportunity to help out a lot of different animals. It's also great since I'm going to school pretty far out of state, and so I don't have to worry about arranging care for my pets when I'm out of town or trying to fly them home with me on holidays - I can just opt not to foster for a certain time period.
    that redhead likes this.
  8. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow Skipping the light fandango Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    Plymouth, MN, USA
    I think given where you're at that you should consider just keep on keepin' on. There's not really a huge hurry to make a decision and lock yourself into anything - you're only in high school. It's great that you're thinking ahead; not saying you shouldn't do that.

    Try and find some opportunities, especially over summers, to get some veterinary experience. See what you think of it. Keep working on keeping your grades up and kicking butt in college. Don't kill yourself over the occasional B, or even a C here or there. If you get to college, get a bit of veterinary experience, and still want to do it; then you're well-positioned - and more confident in your decision.

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