Perhaps you’re feeling down after the holidays? I want to tell you, you’re not alone. It’s a difficult time if you’ve just returned to vet school after a warm holiday vacation filled with loved ones. I’m in no way trying to be negative, I just want to acknowledge that this may occur for some people and it is important to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I came back from the holidays feeling rather sad. What was first the bittersweet taste of returning to a beautiful country, turned into a dreary sadness and longing for the tangible support of my family. It is hard to come back. Winter is dark and cold.
So, what must one do in this predicament? First, take time for yourself. I came back and immediately cleaned out and organized my room. I evaluated my habits and performance from last semester and created a Plan of Action to improve on or change these if need be. If you still feel distracted or are unhappy, make a plan to better your situation in terms of mental health and well-being.
Many resources are available to help you get through this challenging time:
- Talk to your Personal Tutor
- Participate in VetPals ‘Making of a Better You’ week
- Seek counseling
- Get study help
- Talk to your friends
This last one for me is still a work in progress. I came back not having the energy to interact with my classmates. It’s not a good feeling, but sometimes you just need space and time to reflect. Don’t forget that your cohort is there to support you, and most likely, there is someone else having similar feelings.
Luckily, things are improving and it’s an exciting semester ahead. Us GEP (Graduate Entry Programme) students get to learn the intricacies of animal body systems and have our first introduction to clinical cases. Lambing will be here in no time, then finals, the end of year one and another milestone achieved. I’ve recently been emailing a former professor and mentor of mine who reminded that,
“In vet school, the material you learn is what you will be using to heal and help the animals so try to be inspired by the material instead of intimidated.”
Sometimes the sheer amount of information provided to us is intimidating but we must always remember the passion we carry for veterinary medicine.