So, you have been anxiously refreshing your email waiting for your vet school offer letter to appear in your inbox. You finally gather the courage to read the email only to see another letter of rejection. As you think about the number of places available to vet students in university and the number of other students eager to receive a place, you wonder if it is even worth continuing to apply.
If this is you, I want you to know that this was my story as well.
For those of you who may not know me, I run the @sunny_vetgram account on Instagram and I am a third-year vet student studying in Australia. I am currently thoroughly enjoying my studies. However, my journey into vet school wasn’t so easy.
Like some other students, I did not receive a place directly after high school. This left me with the choice of having to decide between choosing a course that I wouldn’t mind pursuing a future career in (in the event of not receiving a place in veterinary science) or studying animal science with the goal of receiving a place in veterinary medicine.
Although, this decision wasn’t so easy to make either. At times I felt the familial pressure to study a course that was more widely accepted within a South Asian community. Of course, these courses were: medicine, dentistry, or law.
My reluctant “interest” in dentistry led me to sit the UMAT exam which was a prerequisite for the course entrance. However, I slowly realised how passionate some people genuinely were about studying dentistry. A passion that I did not possess for that course. This realisation along with the guilt I felt of possibly taking another student’s place (in a course that I did not have a true passion for), led me to study a double major in animal science and animal health.
The initial plan was to receive a place in veterinary medicine after my first year of studies in animal science. However, this proved to be difficult as there were much fewer spots than the number of students that applied each year. Another year of rejection left me having to work even harder to volunteer to gain animal experience in my own time, whilst trying to achieve high grades and also undertake farm placements (being an animal science course requirement).
Regardless of my effort, I was faced with another letter of rejection after my second year of animal science. At this point, this was my third rejection letter from the university of my choice. I was left highly demotivated and wondering if vet school was even meant for me. After being in a rut at the start of my third year, I decided to pull up my socks and give vet school one last chance. However, this time I decided to make more effort to apply to interstate veterinary courses. To my surprise, the end of my third year left me with an interstate interview offer.
At this point in time, I had no idea how to get through a vet school interview. The university that I had been applying to since high school had not required an interview for entrance. Although I had a vague idea of how a general panel interview was conducted, I had never even heard of an MMI interview. However, after practising with friends and spending several weeks watching MMI interview tips on youtube, it was finally time to fly interstate.
Although I thought my vet school interview went badly, I received an interstate vet school offer by the time of my animal science degree graduation. I was absolutely elated, but I was also hit with a wave of sadness about leaving home. As I sat through my graduation, I reflected on the amount of hard work, tears, and motivation that was required to finally receive an offer for vet school. Even though it was not the initial university of my choice, I decided that I would most definitely be accepting my offer.
Since accepting my offer, I have been much happier as I am finally enjoying what I am learning. Although life sometimes gets in the way and studying away from home is not always easy, I would never change or regret the decision I made.
Some things you could possibly learn from my journey:
- Life does not always go according to plan.
- Apply to every vet school possible.
- Do not be scared to move away from home to study.
- Start gaining animal experience from day one (e.g. at vet clinics, animal shelters, boarding facilities, farms, wildlife parks etc).
- Build your vet school application slowly overtime.
- You will never know, unless you try.
The journey isn’t an easy one, but it is most definitely a rewarding one. Good luck!
If you’d like to learn more of their journey or get in touch with them, go to their Instagram page @sunny_vetgram.