My name is Danielle, but all my friends call me Dani. I grew up in a small town on a small hobby farm. From a young age, I found myself looking for ways to spend time and join any activities involving animals. As I was often away from the farm when the vet came out for routine visits, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to shadow a vet in middle school that I discovered the profession of Veterinary Medicine. From that moment on, any other career path just couldn’t measure up. Current vets trying to persuade me to change my mind due to debt, low pay, and lots of paperwork couldn’t even get me to consider something else. This was the start of my journey in the Veterinary world. From that moment on, all I worked for and moved towards was the goal of Vet school.
Now I’m in 4th year (3rd year for American students) loving Scotland and forever grateful to be fulfilling my dream.
As great as my plans were, they didn’t quite happen how I wanted. That second year of undergrad I applied to multiple vet schools. Although I received multiple invitations to interview, I didn’t get accepted. This was disheartening, but the back up plan was to finish out my degree and apply the next year. When that time rolled around, I was again accepted for multiple interviews, but nothing more came out of it. With my back-up plan having failed, I found myself at a loss of what to do. I found myself questioning if veterinary medicine was right for me, and maybe I wasn’t’ good enough. Looking back, I am glad this happened as it taught me how to fail and how to overcome it. Obviously I pursued my dream and I am currently attending vet school. Third time must really be a charm.
So why Edinburgh?
This was a happy accident. I happened to be volunteering for my Church in Germany at the time applications were due. As I was not able to access internet regularly, my mom helped me with my applications. I wrote all the essays and sent them to her, and she entered in all my undergraduate information and sent it off for me. She happened to find Edinburgh and applied for me, even though I knew nothing about it. I received an invitation to interview, and after that Edinburgh became my first choice. The course layout, assessment scheme, and facilities available made my decision easy. Even without ever stepping foot in Scotland, I found myself wishing for this university to accept me. Once they did, I got on a plane and didn’t look back.
What is first year like?
Edinburgh has the benefit of two different and mixed programs. A four year program and a five year program. The 4 year program provides an accelerated and combined first and second year for those who have a previous degree. Then within your second/third year they combine both programs. Within the 4 year program, your first year is busy and full of learning. You go through anatomy, parasitology, virology, neurology, and so much more. I couldn’t’ believe I have finally made it to vet school!! It was just amazing to even be here that all the studying and hard work was no big deal for me.
What about now?
After a few years of living in Scotland, some people have told me I no longer sound American with my accent. I am in 4th year and while still loving it, I am ready to graduate and work. When I say ready, I mean in the sense of being ready to forget about exams and school stress. I’m not quite ready to be the Doctor with all the answers for the clients, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be fully ready for this. Sometimes you have to just dive in and learn along the way. I’m looking forward to final year as a happy medium between the two. Less responsibility as being an actual doctor, but being able to actually do all the things we have only talked about for the last few years. Putting things into practice is going
to be a serious adventure that I am so excited for. Feel free to follow along here and on my personal blog at adventurousvet.com!!