What should I do to prepare as a freshman?

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Mar 9, 2021
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Hi, I’m currently a senior in high school, and I already decided to study animal science major for undergraduate and pursue a DVM. English is my second language. What should I do to be better prepared for going to a vet school? Are there any suggested books I should read or things I should do in university. If I haven’t learn anything about animal science, how can I get veterinary experience? I’m thinking about going to University of Florida for animal science major, any suggestions? I have a lot of questions and confusions about what I should do to be prepared. Please feel free to give suggestions! Thank you.

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Focus on your schoolwork and do as good as you can in the prerequisite coursework. Find a vet (or two or three) to either work for part time or shadow to get experience in the field. Find some fun extracurricular activities to do...they can be related to animals or just something fun you like to do. Get as many scholarships as you can for undergrad to minimize your student debt. Have fun being a college student.
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Don’t feel like you have to work or shadow all the time during school though at the expense of your grades. One Saturday a month or just over school breaks is perfectly fine and you’ll still get a lot of hours by the time you are applying. If you need extra study or fun time during the school semesters and need to do less vet stuff, that’s perfectly fine. I only shadowed during my summers off and didn’t do much during the school year so I had more time for school. Obviously I would have had far more hours had I done some during the school year, but my grades and mental health didn’t suffer from me overworking myself. If you’re able to do stuff during the school year, that’s great. More power to you. I personally wasn’t and that’s fine too.
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I’m thinking about going to University of Florida for animal science major, any suggestions?
Also, major in whatever you want to major in. It doesn’t have to be animal science or even science related. People have majored in history, music, anything. Pick one that interests you and you would want as a back up life plan in case you decide vet school isn’t for you, either before you start vet school or if you leave partway through. No one really wants to think about leaving vet school ever, but some people do and it’s good to have a major that you can use as a backup plan if you do.
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I would suggest looking into a few different vet schools you think you might be interested in to get an idea of their prerequisite classes, for the most part they're all pretty similar but some do have extra requirements, and you might need to take certain classes in undergrad to even be able to take those prerequisites. Grades are super important, but schools also like to see that you're capable of functioning as a human being so find some different organizations that you think you would enjoy being involved with. However, don't feel like you have to do absolutely everything to the point that you spread yourself too thin. Burnout is REAL and you have to take care of yourself.
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Do what you think is fun. My best college experiences had nothing to do with vet med and I don't regret them at all. I exclusively talked about residence life and my for fun art classes during interviews. It helps give you breathing room from all the science and can make you stand out.
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Honestly ,
Enjoy your undergrad , and make sure you get good grades in general. Especially your core pre-req classes (gen chem, Orgo etc).

Shadow a couple of veterinarians, diverse yourself with different experiences ( large animal , small, exotics).

Something that was questioned a lot during my interviews was leadership positions and extracurricular activities that weren’t related to vet med. So join clubs that interest you!

Try to stay debt free in undergrad and safe money.

But overall, enjoy your time in undergrad , don’t rush it!
-Maintain a good competitive GPA
-Get diverse veterinarian experience
-Develop strong relationships with veterinarian and professors for letters of recommendations
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