So you got in! One thing you need to prepare for is vet school life. Being a student will be simultaneously one of the best and hardest experiences you will have. One of the best things is the sense of community within the vet school - you will be spending 9-5 most days for 5 years with the same people. Be prepared to work hard but also play hard, there is plenty of time to pursue your hobbies and it is actively encouraged. You will find that vets are normally some of the most socially active people on any campus, we get everywhere! Below are some personal accounts of an average week and life as a student.
There are so many extra-curricular opportunities at University, it is really important to get involved and make the most of them! Trying out new skills and sports is empowering and challenging, and using societies to make new friends can be a really great way to immerse yourself in university life.
"As a sporty person at school, I was really keen to continue this at uni so I joined the lacrosse club but also the CoppaFeel society and the Halls Student Committee. These 3 societies gave me lots of very varied experiences and I picked up a lot of very useful skills from them."
"I cannot advocate joining a sports team enough, as not only does it look great on your CV, but you make fantastic friends (my housemates are 2 people I met playing lacrosse), you have a great stress release outlet after a full day in lectures and it opens opportunities to further yourself as a player and a person; such as sitting on the club’s committee, captaining a team, playing for your region or country. These skills are invaluable for life. I realised after 3 years of playing lacrosse I can now strike up conversation with any person I meet, conduct and contribute to a committee meeting, speak better publicly, perform in an under pressure trials situation and lead a team."
Being part of the student halls committee in first year is also a great opportunity to learn how a team of people can organise events and activities, whilst being under the gentle guidance of a senior member of staff. Doing something like this is so rewarding when an event pulls off!
Vet school is very busy but fitting in playing a sport and being part of an organisational society is certainly very manageable and will make you a better person because of it. The time constraints due to training or meetings pushes you to make your academic work time more efficient and more valuable, whilst your university experience will be so much richer!
[Image from Laura Ingram playing Polo for the Liverpool University team]
Most vet schools have societies within their vet school e.g. Liverpool have a farm animal group, an equine group, an anatomy group and much more. They can provide really great opportunities to do vet-related activities that aren't part of the course that you are studying at that moment e.g. talks from guest speakers, farm walks and tours and even bone painting practicals.
[The Vets/Medics rugby team as part of Sefton RUFC]
"There are so many societies at university that you won't actually know how many to try and join! My advise is to choose one that you think you will love and be good at, perhaps a sport or a music themed group that you've done before, and then one that is a bit different that you would never have the opportunity to try otherwise. Doing something outside of the course can give you a break which is really important late in the semester if you are feeling run down - it also gives you the opportunity to make friends with interesting people on other courses. A change in conversation can be a very positive thing and you will be amazed at the amount of things that you will find in common with people!"
Check out "May Vet Student" on YouTube for some great videos about life as vet student at the University of Cambridge, as well as her experience and advice for getting into vet school!