For a senior vet, the median salary after one or two decades of practice is £45-50,000. A driver on the London Underground earns the same amount. The suicide rate among veterinary surgeons, meanwhile, is well documented; at four times the national average, it is twice that of doctors.
Someone I know once insinuated that as a veterinary student, my life is be cushy and fun with my future laid out in a straightforward path. I walked away feeling slightly hurt. As with the pursuit of any other calling in life this one has been, and will continue to be, filled with challenges every step of the way.
So I missed out posting during exam season this year.
Now i’m home. Back in my room, surrounded by the people who brought me up, sliding right back into the routine i left behind 9 months ago as if it were just yesterday. I can’t wait to tread on home soil proper tomorrow.
The physiology oral went pretty well! I can’t believe how stressy the few days leading up to it had been. I’m glad I got Neil and wasn’t tripping over my words.
So right now, i’m enjoying the long rein and am off for my month of EMS down south before heading back to Glasgow for the final 4 week dash to the finals.
2nd year curriculum is over. Vet school has officially equipped me with all the preclinical knowledge I need to know. Time flies and it is a little bit scary. It feels like just yesterday that I touched down in Glasgow for the very first time.
This week I’ve made mistakes, did things I could have done a little better and felt bad for something that wasn’t actually any fault of mine. Each one left me feeling a bit like I should just crawl into a hole and die. Now is probably the time to drill that I can’t control what is past and that what matters is how I deal with it.
This is definitely not the first time i’m having this particular eureka moment and i think i’m getting better at letting go.
It’s not easy to live a christian life in a place that is so secularised and worldly. It’s been a journey of constant prayer and reminders that i’m still in his presence and now, slowly but surely i’m becoming more aware of the free gifts we have to grow closer to Him.
Studying at this stage is a grave obligation and i’m still learning how to sanctify my work and interior life.
I don’t know if you can see The changes that have come over me In these last few days I’ve been afraid That I might drift away So I’ve been telling old stories, singing songs That make me think about where I came from And that’s the reason why I seem So far away today
Being away from home for so long made me realise that life is changing. The days that made me who i am today are all in the past and life has been and still is continuously shaping me into a new person.
It’s a part of growing up that i knew deep inside that would probably come sooner or later. It’s a very different culture. I’ve been here one year and only recently have thought about how much i’ve had to adapt in order to, as i once put it, “build a new life” here with the friends i’ve made, the responsibilities i’ve shouldered.
Now why am I writing this? Well, it’s another of those milestone moments of transition which happen naturally and today i’m taking the effort to rationalise it and more than anything to make sense of it for myself. I see the days where i’d be able to come home and see my family, my dog and loved ones at the drop of a hat all in the past. And i’m marvelling at the power of time to change anything and everything about the life i know both at home and within myself.
This 5 years at vet school will change my life forever. Both as a professional and also as a person. Being away from home in a foreign land has played a big part in that. A land which has slowly and surely grown dear to me.
But 5 years will pass by in the blink of an eye. The story will continue and where God takes me then will again shape what becomes of me at the end of the day when it’s time to return to Him in our true home.
Two weeks in and just under a quarter of candlemas term is down. That happened way too fast.
Seven more weeks of formal lessons and we’ll be done with the pre-clinical phase. It feels like it’s a mad rush to learn EVERYTHING about the body which we have not yet learned since first year which includes reproductive anatomy and physiology. (which is quite a handful to understand with all the cross species estrus cycles!)
As always, there’s always a lot to learn about myself through all this aside from all the studies. Lately i’ve been reminding myself that it won’t be long till I start speaking to clients for real and to brush up on those essential communication skills.
I’m also waiting for the results from my december exams. Hoping they turned out alright! Can they be any slower at releasing the results??
Christmas is coming in less than a week. The carollers at home are spreading the love and light of christmas. I realise that every time we have visited a home over the last 7 years carolling, especially during the christmas prayer and blessing, that we are in fact bringing light to the lives of everyone that heard us.
It’s not the singing and the music and the people that i miss that’s making me feel empty right now. It’s that sense of purpose that we go out carolling with.
Almost a week late, but yes the december exams are over. I know for a fact that my attitude towards school has changed this year and i’m generally much happier and less stressed up. Even though the content is much more interesting, there’s no denying that it is more demanding than last year.
So i guess some things went better and of course some things can be worked on. Right now, i’m just enjoying the long rein, stretching my muscles and allowing my mind to rest during this short christmas break.
This is becoming an all too common post title every few months or so. It is indeed exam time again and it feels like just yesterday that i was sweating bullets over the first exam in years. In fact, it was this very time last year on the first sunday night of december which was the night before the first vet school paper. It was also the first time in my life i’d seen snow!
Now being in second year, I feel like things are very different. I kind of know what to expect so i’m not feeling as bewildered as last year. I’ve also had a much more enjoyable term with it’s own set of ups and downs. I also realised that 93 days away from home since the end of summer really isn’t that long a period of time and though the prospect of being back in singapore for 3 weeks over christmas and new year does sound good, I don’t think it’s really necessary especially for the price of a flight home these days.
It’ll be a week from now to the start of the first paper and i’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Time isn’t going to wait for anyone though so there’s no way but forwards with God by my side always. With or without that prize of going home to look forward to, everything will be alright :)
Yesterday and today have been tiring and busy, but good. I didn’t doze off in class despite the lack of sleep and i’m trying my best to keep the energy up.
Yesterday was Jeffcoate’s birthday. I didn’t think i’d be saying this last year but I really do like his lectures. I also like how the classes are nicely punctuated by his jokes and I also have a feeling that one day soon, when BVMS 2017 graduates, that this would be one of those days we’d all remember together.
I’ve been in Glasgow for just over two months. Now that’s really not long.. In a month’s time, we would have finished the first round of exams and half the school year would be over.
It’s going to be a considerably shorter christmas than last year. I can’t believe time is flying by so fast! It feels like just yesterday that I was in this very hallway studying away for the finals.
A lot has happened since NUS High. My mind can’t help but wander during this two hour lunch break about all the memories of army, all the exercises, the gap year, the things that i managed to accomplish, the time i spent with mum in the states and pretty much all the ups and downs. It’s really quite a remarkable amount now that i think about it. Life has been busy and often a time I get lost in my own little world, forgetting that there is probably so much else that i’m forgetting about.
Missing everyone at home. It’s going to be a pretty quiet christmas for once.
Thinking a lot about NUS High tonight. All the memories both good and bad, the people, the lessons and the life. The amazing memories of 5th and 6th year never fail to make me smile but somehow today i’m thinking of the much earlier days of year 3. Not knowing what life had in store for me and pretty much having nothing concrete to center life about except church friends and cca.
I could probably go on and on but I should really snap back to reality and move swiftly along with my anatomy revision.
The terrible storms these days have blown all the way into Glasgow. I stupidly cycled in it today and am feeling a little sick.. Praying especially for those on the coast whose lives and homes are at risk.
Another one of those days where life feels like it’s starting to roll faster and faster. So i suppose it’s time to catch hold of the wheel before it starts rolling downhill.
Plans are changing. Things in many respects aren’t turning out as i expected them to but that’s not necessarily bad. A year’s experience in uni has definitely helped me to grow and the only way to go is up.
Not making much sense today. Just letting the mind wonder before bed…
Today (this week, really) is one of those few days I feel super on fire with my school life. Maybe it’s the shift in topics, maybe it’s the sheer amount we have covered or maybe it’s just seeing pieces of the puzzle take form.
Nothing however beats the feeling of seeing a preview of what could lie at the end of the road, and all the exciting placement opportunities waiting to be grabbed.
HOYS this weekend in Birmingham and London the following weekend for what sounds like an exciting equine symposium. I can’t wait.
That fire in my heart is blazing again. That same feeling i felt in school when the eureka moment for what i wanted in life kicked in. Now, about 5 years down the road, i’m actually *in* vet school and pursuing a higher dream. The same dream, the nature of which has changed with time. The fire however, has never dwindled. And more than ever now, i’m determined to make it here to stay.
So all summer i’ve been jamming with Jervis, Gretchie and Gwen and tonight we performed at a ukulele open mike at Bugis.
I loved every rehearsal simply because these guys are so much fun. And that there’s no stress… we’re in it because we love music and we work well together and tonight, we had a great time on stage. I certainly didn’t expect that many loud rounds of applause!
It’s been another good weekend for the NEC at the BTSC show. It’s so heartening to see Winsor and Lando especially come such a long way in the dressage classes. But what really got me these two weeks is not the number of ribbons we got as a stable but rather that.. every competitor from our stable has their own story to tell. A journey that reflects all the hard work they put into the schooling and care for their horses.
Brenda and Sunshine, Judith and Winsor, Wei Chi and Mirabel, Kim and Suki.. The list goes on and on. Gossip, Honeypuff, Hecman, Eddie.. I love how every rider is like a member of this big family headed by Roy as a coach and how we are all in it not purely for the sake of mere competition but also for the love of the horses and the sport.
Even outside of competition success, the stable feels like a second home. I’ve never ever felt a sense of belonging to a stable. Everyone is pretty much on the same page and like someone once said very simply “it’s a team”. And it really is! We’re kickass fast at building and tearing down jumping courses, roadshows in busy public areas like a walk in the park and even FEI level competitions run like clockwork in the stables and arena.
I love all my relationships at the stable. Both human and animal alike. Heck, I even love the stable cats. I feel so proud to ride with that name, “from NEC”, where ever I am. And i feel even more happy knowing that i just.. belong.
Sometimes mum and dad prove that they understand me better than i think they do. The times they ask if i’m okay, the times they ask about how i’m coping and all the times they just leave matters to rest at the perfect moment because they just know i’m happier not being fussed with. Definitely hardest for mum.. but i love her for trying whether she knows it or not.
I feel well rested. The last few months at home has really been like a nice long spell.. exactly what I needed after the exams.
In just over a month I will probably feel sad to pack up and go back to Glasgow. I’m sure though that i’ll feel so much fresher than I feel now and ready to get back into school. And come to think of it, I actually do kinda miss my friends at vet school!
Look out Glasgow, because Aaron is coming back stronger and more ready than ever before.
It’s been a whirlwind these past few weeks. I think i’ve finally got the hang of what it means to be on holiday and how to survive a day without feeling too bored, too useless and still smile.
Grateful for the friendships and the little things. my mum and dad, Justin and the lakeview group, Jervis Gretchie and Gwen.. and of course the many hours spent at the NEC with every one and every animal.
Being home has been wonderful and i’ve cherished pretty much every day. I guess being able to just slide back into my life here goes to show how much i’ve missed it and how much life on the sunny island means to me.
I think i’ve been whining way too much about having nothing to do and nothing solid to focus on. And i always feel torn between feeling the need to get myself off my ass to look for something useful to do or using it as a chance to teach myself how to relax and just focus on the moment.
Having all this free time made me realise how much being at school has changed me. Yes, i still have the same personality and fundamental beliefs but being so far away and so alone has taken it’s toll on me as a person. I feel socially awkward, unable to express myself well, shy, impulsive and generally unbalanced. I no longer have a best friend to confide in regularly who can understand where i’m coming from and keep me in check.
But then i look back and think vet school has been an amazing experience thus far and i wouldn’t trade it for anything. But at the same time, i know that i can’t get through it without at least one close friend in my life.. and as of the last few months, there has been.. well, none.
All there is to do now is pray. And to keep praying i suppose. Because the one thing that will never be taken away is God’s love :)
And as far as i’m concerned, you and I surviving a weekend long competition over 4 complicated showjumping courses is in itself an achievement. Our first and last rounds were the best. You gave your best and I did too. I don’t blame you for the knocked fences because I didn’t do my best to avoid those either.
You look so much better and feel just a wee bit stronger. Muscles take a long time to develop but when I think back and remember the state you were in last month, you have indeed improved and for that i am so very happy.
All the flatwork, all the tiring jump training, all the hand walks on off days and all the times i came back for you after work has paid off.
I don’t know if I can afford to keep this up for the rest of summer.. but we’ll see where life takes us. Thank you for teaching me everything i know and all i want to do is return you the favour.
I’m happy to be home. Happy to be back with my family and Dalton more than anything, really.
Other than that, a few ups and downs here and there in life but learning is something that never stops. I’m really fighting hard to break out of this shell of immaturity. There have been loads of hard knocks along the way and i’m sure quite a few more to come. It sucks in the moment but i suppose over time, the feeling will pass.
So yeah, a little deflated amidst the excitement but tomorrow is a new day (literally, duh) and I will work through it.
here’s to a happy (in other words filled with Godly satisfaction) summer!
The 3 big written papers are over. The OSCEs are over and though i’m worried about the VPCS MCQ to determine whether or not my summer plans are ruined, i’m feeling good because i think passing everything else should not be an issue.
My mother messages me every day to check on me and I know that without her prayers every morning, I wouldn’t have had the strength to stay up till the wee hours of the morning, revisiting topics learned from the first day of vet school, I just can’t believe it. It’s just so unreal that first year might already be coming to a close.
God has been good to me. And all i want is to do Him proud..
Tomorrow is Saturday and the final gallop to the anatomy exam will finally be underway.
I’m never gonna forget that feeling when i came back from lambing and thought “Oh. Goodness…” when i made that study checklist. But somehow found it within myself to decide that the sooner I started to hack away through it, the better it would pay off because no time spent studying is wasted. And thankfully that proved true this week. Anatomy has already been studied. The hard work from 3 weeks ago will make these four days easier.
i’m not aiming to pass anymore. because i’m actually aiming to score for this one..
I feel like i’m reliving that hype from exam season over christmas. As of today, that’s 4 exams down and 4 to go.
Go The Distance is officially my exam time boost and inspiration.
The prayer offers from my mom and those dear to me are holding me strong through this period. I’m worried i might have failed VPCS, but it doesn’t matter now because what’s done is done i know i can find that extra strength to do well for the next few.
Where ever you lead me is where ever I shall go :)