Taking Time for Yourself - Wellness & Lifestyle

November 2017


Hello everyone! It’s been another month, believe it or not, and it’s now time for my November blog post. Time continues to fly by, and I am certainly enjoying my fourth year of veterinary school.

Over the last month, I have taken Swine Production Management and Consulting, as well as Microbiology/Diagnostic Lab. I am now taking a course in Small Ruminant Medicine. I enjoyed the swine course, as it involved a lot of record analysis and discussion on swine production which I found interesting. The Microbiology and Diagnostic Lab rotation was interesting as well. The mornings were devoted to microbiology, where we isolated and identified bacteria from cases submitted to the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL). The afternoons were then spent evaluating tissues and samples submitted to the VDL by veterinarians. This was a great experience, as it involved critically evaluating the submissions and making decisions regarding the best way to identify the pathogen causing disease. I am now on Small Ruminant Medicine, where we are learning about caring for goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, and whitetail deer. I would have to say that these have been three of my favorite rotations so far!

As I discussed previously, having a life outside of vet school is incredibly important (albeit difficult at times). Last month I wrote about attending conferences and conventions, and now I’ll discuss the importance of finding ways to unwind and enjoy your time in school.

Wellness is a growing point of interest in veterinary school, and will likely be discussed more in the future. This topic is pretty timely for me, as hunting season has opened up for deer and pheasants, and the importance of spending time on activities outside of vet school reaches its yearly peak.

Exercise is another great hobby that many people in veterinary school enjoy. During my first three years of vet school, it was not uncommon to have weeks with >90 hours spent in class or studying. It’s pretty easy for healthy lifestyle choices to get put on the back burner. I’d love to tell you all that I have been a consistent gym attendee the last four years, but I think “streaky” would better describe my attendance, although I have been pretty diligent the last year. I set a goal this spring to run a triathlon or two this summer (which I achieved), and that helped me stay on the straight and narrow.

Playing intramural sports is a popular activity for veterinary students as well. I don’t want to brag, but I may have been part of a back-to-back intramural softball championship team. We also won the intramural dodgeball tournament last winter. Being 3-7 years older than most of the people we played certainly served as a reminder of our previous physical prowess, but this wasn’t our first rodeo and the seasoned veterans came through with the championship. These activities are a great way to take your mind off vet school, as well as get physical exercise which has plenty of additional benefits.

Although I don’t do much for crafting, I have several friends with hobbies such as leather working, painting, and wood working. It doesn’t really matter what your hobby is, so long as you enjoy it. Not only do you benefit from having a hobby, but having a hobby helps prevent us from plopping on the couch and binge-watching Netflix or Hulu.

Spending time with friends is also a great way to relax. As a voice of experience, spending time with classmates is certainly more enjoyable if you resist the urge to discuss class or exams. Nothing kills the mood like asking what someone thought of the last exam.

Once again, I have gone on longer than I anticipated. I hate to leave the topic, as there is certainly more to be discussed, but I’ll call it quits for the month. Have a great day, and go have some fun.

Brent