My name is Jacky Peraza. I am a first-year veterinary student at Iowa State University. I have just completed my first semester. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. My family lives minutes away from downtown Los Angeles. I am the first member of my immediate family to attend college and graduate school. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Merced, in molecular and cellular biology and a minor in psychology in 2013. After graduating from UC-Merced, I worked at the Animal Specialty and Emergency Center in West Los Angeles as a radiology technician, where I was exposed to various specialties within the veterinary profession, including oncology, radiology, cardiology, internal medicine, surgery and emergency/ICU departments.
I just had a week off for spring break and I decided to stay in Ames and recharge by catching up on sleep, hitting the gym and watching some of my favorite Netflix shows. I also took this opportunity to catch up on a new book I started reading called “Dark Matter.” It was so important for me to recharge and give my brain a mental break so that I can be ready to tackle the remaining six weeks of the semester. As a first-year veterinary student, you learn to take mental breaks and do something fun for yourself without feeling guilty about not studying every waking hour of everyday.
It is that time of the year I have been waiting for … “dead week”. And no, it isn’t the week where all zombies are let loose across campus (although that would be fairly interesting). “Dead week” is the week before the week of finals. Essentially, club activities and meetings subside during dead week, giving us students more time to focus and expend every last bit of energy we can muster to get us through our official last week of lectures and labs.
It is unbelievable how quickly the month of February has gone by. This is mainly due to the fact that exams have started taking place, and time flies when you’re too busy studying and catching up in class. In the case for VM1s, we’ve had at least one exam every week since the start of February. These exams are rolling and keeping us on our toes!
Since my last entry, midterms have been storming in non-stop this whole month of February. On average, the VM2 class has been tackling 2 exams per week this month, with quizzes and assignments sprinkled here and there.
I am back in Ames for round two of second semester. Winter break seemed to have gone so very fast, but it was very nice to spend time with my family and friends and take advantage of the food galore during the holidays. Now that I am back in Ames, things have been rolling and picking up speed.
It is that time of the year again, where I can rejoice and say “Yes! I did it! I crossed the finish line!” With the first semester of second year under my belt, I feel a sense of relief knowing that I gave it my best this semester and there are no more final exams to look forward to (or not look forward to).
It has been a chilly start to November, with mighty winds and sprinkles of rain here and there, but we vet students keep holding strong as the semester is nimbly approaching its end. The last two weeks of October have been very busy for all of us, particularly when the second round of exams occurred right before Halloween.
I hope this entry finds you well. It was been quite a while since my last blog post. I went back to Los Angeles this summer. It was a wonderful experience, filled with relaxation, family time and work.
As a current first-year veterinary student at ISU, I am completely fascinated by the plethora of clubs and organizations the college has to offer. During my first semester, I joined various clubs, including the Ophthalmology Club, Pathology Club, Veterinary Business Management Association, student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Emergency/ICU Club and the Radiology Club. I am currently one of the VM1 representatives for the Ophthalmology Club. Each club is unique and they provide so much hands-on experience and guest-speaker lunch meetings.