This post is going to be a little short, because I should get back to studying. Some people think that vet students have no fun (if you’ve ever stayed up until all hours with a sick foal, you’d know how wrong you are!), and that all we do is study. This is partially perpetuated by us students; there are times when I just cannot think about things not related to the pelvic limb of the horse (that’s when I switch to the pelvic limb of the ox), and it can almost be a source of pride to be so consumed with school. However, we all have our own things that we do to stay sane.
One of my classmates is an avid birder, I enjoy writing non-academically, and many of us have dogs or horses that we have to spend time with outside. No matter how busy our lives get, it is extremely important that we stop every so often and just allow ourselves to enjoy something outside of our careers. Vet school dominates our thoughts, waking and sleeping, to the point where it is easy to forget that life exists outside of the four walls of our school, and that life continues after we graduate. We get so bogged down with exams and labs and lining up externships for the summer that we forget to notice the changing of the leaves, or to call our families to check in; we lose sight of the important things in life, and shortly thereafter we lose sight of the important things in vet school, and depression and the absence of motivation or desire to learn follows soon after.
These issues are not isolated to vet students, or to professional students; but due to the density of high-achievers and the loftiness of the goals we have set, it seems that maybe they are more prevalent in high-stress students, just as they are more prevalent in high-stress job situations. As my classmates and I look down the barrel of our greatest challenge yet – IP3 finals – I think the most important thing for all of us to do in the coming week is to take time out of our study schedules and allow ourselves to simply exist, outside of school and studying. We could watch the clouds go by or watch one episode of our favorite TV show – or we could reach out to someone else, and make a vet school friendship a life-long friendship.
If you need me this weekend, if I’m not studying, I’ll be at the park.