The first few weeks of my first year of vet school have passed by in a whirlwind. I moved on August 12th; one week later, I was at orientation with 137 colleagues, another week, and we were deep in the throes of anatomy, histology and immunology.
One of the neatest things in the past few weeks was the orientation at Pingree Park, where we quickly got comfortable with each other with team building exercises that included shoving each other through spider webs, and building a mouse trap by consensus. Day two, the CEO of the American Animal Hospital Association spoke to us about Professionalism, and we talked about Feelings. I had my first glimpse of the caliber of my colleagues.
Another favorite event leading up to our first week of lecture was the coating ceremony, where we received our lab coats for Anatomy. During the ceremony, they read a short biography about each student. It was certainly humbling – one person already has their PhD, another worked to rehabilitate Michael Vick’s dogs, another gathered squirrel feces for the NIH, and yet another was the reigning 200 meter dog paddle champion at his local pool! It seems that I am in pretty great company.
The first week of lecture was no filler – we jumped right into hind limb anatomy, the histology of the integumentary system, and the innate immune system. At the end of this second week, we were asked to fill out a form that asked what we were most surprised about after the first week of class. For me, it was the amount that we had learned already, and the enthusiasm of our professors, the staff, and every single vet student I’d met. I’ve spent my off time making sure that Cao’s getting enough enrichment, going to wet labs – I got to practice artificial insemination of mares and physical exams on camelids and a goat – and climbing up Colorado’s rocks.
Now, after a month of classes, we’re three exams in (including a three hour Anatomy exam). I was elected SCAVMA rep for our class, and if I wanted to, I could be going to a different club activity almost every night of the week. I love vet school even more than I imagined I would. The unifying theme for our class has to be everyone’s gratitude – we are all so excited to be here. Well that, and we all love goats.