Time Management in Vet School

January 2017

Here begins my final traditional “classroom” semester of veterinary school, and with a new year comes new resolutions, so I want to write on time management in vet school. However, I’m going to briefly mention some dry material first so you can get the idea of day-to-day life– just stick with me. My core courses this semester include: cytology, toxicology, large animal medicine, infectious disease and preventative medicine, veterinary law, ophthalmology (my love), and one of the more feared courses – radiology. The elective courses I have taken this year include: advanced junior surgery laboratory (continuation from fall semester), advanced clinical cardiology, bovine palpation and reproductive evaluation laboratory, and veterinary dentistry. This first week of classes was for sure one of the slowest, but I’ll just blame that on the Veterinary Educational Assessment (VEA) examination we are required to take. It is honestly a painfully inconvenient yet important exam that assesses your veterinary knowledge thus far and foreshadows areas you need to brush up on for the NAVLE (veterinary licensing exam) in November. Since I can’t necessarily comment on the courses I am taking yet, I will write about making time for a life (yes, a real life) outside of vet-med.

Moving from Connecticut to Iowa was quite a change of pace (literally, people walk more slowly here). Additionally, I can’t do many of the activities here I normally did in the Northeast due to, well, a lack of elevation or any substantial body of water. However, I digress. The time I delegate as “me time” is very important, and is a concept I had to grasp since coming to vet school.  Luckily, my friends helped me find new hobbies in the wild Midwest such as disc golf, disc golf, and more disc golf. In actuality I spend most of my down time working out, playing music, and hanging out with friends. In comparison to my undergraduate career, this aspect of my life hasn’t substantially changed despite my change of location. What has changed is that I have to create time for self-health and a mental break, because free time doesn’t just grow on trees anymore, sadly. Considering the stressors of academic performance, unfortunately high self-standards, and changes in your life outside of the seemingly large but frighteningly small “vet-med universe” – it is really necessary to take these times to just decompress. It’s a difficult juggling act, but everyone learns eventually.