Every student has felt it – the looming promise of summer after a long, dark winter of cramming new and re-learning old information, and a persistent and progressive exhaustion that leaves you brain dead at ten in the morning. Add eight weeks on the end of a normal school year, and the feeling that although we are not being as optimally productive as we should be, we are racing to learn everything we could ever need to know before be thrown into an exam room with living patients and real, concerned pet parents, and you’ve got a recipe for stressed out, freaked out, burned out vet students.
The weather in Missouri is warming up, and our last round of finals before summer is rapidly approaching. It is becoming increasingly difficult to resist the pull of the sun, the cool relief of the pool, and the light breeze that blows off the cliffs of the park down the street where a friend and I found the perfect hammocking spot. Immunology exam? I know what antibodies are, what else is there to learn? Pathology? Pssh, I can study that the night before the exam, I’m too busy at one of the many fun events in the parks around town (seriously, as much as I love this town, it can be a huge distractor!) Trips to the zoo, movies in the park, and farmer’s markets may be good for my vitamin D deficiency, but not so good for my studying habits. One the other hand, feeding the non-vet student part of me with art and festivals and good food while letting the vet student take a day off every once in a while (or every weekend, who am I kidding?) makes it easier to spend my summer weekdays in a windowless auditorium, taking notes on lectures for hours on end.