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Embracing the new normal

Embracing the new normal

Hello again everyone!

For those who don’t know me, my name is Alex and I’m now in my 4th year at the Dick Vet.

Much has changed since I wrote my last blog back in March 2020; sometimes, it almost feels like we’re living in a world turned upside down. All of us have been touched in some way by the current pandemic and have had to alter our daily routines in one way or another. As months have passed living through these “unprecedented times” (a term we have heard far too many now), I have found ways to adapt to the alterations in our society and have really come to embrace this new normal by looking at it in a positive light. Below are just some of the things I have enjoyed and discovered this semester while adapting to this new way of life.

Vet School: As many universities across the world have done, the Dick Vet has altered their format of teaching this semester to the majority of lectures/tutorials being taught online. This definitely has been an adjustment and not being able to see and socialize with my classmates on a daily basis has been difficult. However, I have come to appreciate certain changes that have resulted from this academic change. For one, I no longer have to travel to campus and back home every day. This saves me time in the morning, allowing me to sleep in or read notes before class begins, which I find has helped me focus and follow along better during lectures. Reducing my travel time has also saved me time in the evening, allowing me to experiment with my cooking and try more intricate meals, including homemade lasagna, vegetable risotto, beef manestra (a meal my Greek grandfather use to make me!), grilled vegetable sandwiches, and caramel apple cider (in an apple)! I have always enjoyed cooking, but now I have really made cooking a hobby and have loved creating (and tasting) so many wonderful foods.
Finally, a difference in format of our practical classes this semester is that we only go into campus for practicals once a week (the day depending on the year we are in), and practical groups are smaller than they would have been in a normal year. The latter I have greatly appreciated because it has allowed myself and my classmates to have more time to practice and refine our clinical skills (as resources and animals are being shared only amongst a small number of people).

Extracurricular activities: As all activities are now online (and travel time/time getting ready has significantly reduced), I find I have been more willing and have more time to participate in events and clubs. One thing I have continued to be a part of from last year has been being a student ambassador for the vet school, which includes writing these blog posts! 🙂 This year, I am also involved in the school’s CVMA (Canadian Veterinary Medical Association) as a social representative and have been busy with my fellow society members planning fun COVID-friendly social events for the year. One exciting event we planned and had online was a Canadian Thanksgiving virtual cooking event, where we baked and enjoyed some delicious maple cookies. Finally, I have always had an interest in sign language and so this semester I have joined the main university’s BSL society. It has been great fun learning some of the basics of the language and also interacting with other members of the university, form the comfort of my own home! 🙂

Social Life: “Game night” this semester has taken on a whole new meaning in light of the current pandemic. In past semesters, much of my Friday or Saturday evenings were spent hanging out with friends in person and playing board games/card games all night long. Although it has been tough for myself and my fellow vet pals to not be able to get together face to face, we have found ways to socialize and still have our weekly game nights, virtually! With some research, we have found similar board games online that we have played in person, as well as discovered new virtual games that we really enjoy playing together, which we most likely would not have found if things were as they were in previous years!


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