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    Hello Everyone

    It has always been an aspiration of mine to become an Equine Vet as I have such an adoration for animals (especially horses!) and I love the science behind diseases. Holding the power to conduct surgery that can completely change and thus better the life of an animal is totally revolutionary to me...

    However, I do not believe I have got the grades this year to get into Vet school first time... surely there must be other people out there that are in the same position as me? I have looked into becoming a Vet Nurse, but I believe that I will constantly be looking to develop my knowledge and do the things that only vets would be allowed to do.

    I have posted this because, I believe due to some anxiety I suffered from this year, I am hoping for a minimum of CCCC this year for my AS Levels.

    GRADUATES/CURRENT STUDENTS: Do you think a person with my intense determination but not so incredible grades would be able to undergo a Veterinary Medicine course?

    ASPIRING VETS: Are any of you guys in my position?

    I was planning to do one of the following:

    1. Enter Vet School in Australia
    2. Do a BSc degree in Biology and then enter Vet school in Australia (I have enquired about this, and it is definitely acceptable)
    3. Do a Pre-Veterinary year/Gateway programme

    Thank you for reading! )
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    (Original post by soulcalli)
    Hello Everyone

    It has always been an aspiration of mine to become an Equine Vet as I have such an adoration for animals (especially horses!) and I love the science behind diseases. Holding the power to conduct surgery that can completely change and thus better the life of an animal is totally revolutionary to me...

    However, I do not believe I have got the grades this year to get into Vet school first time... surely there must be other people out there that are in the same position as me? I have looked into becoming a Vet Nurse, but I believe that I will constantly be looking to develop my knowledge and do the things that only vets would be allowed to do.

    I have posted this because, I believe due to some anxiety I suffered from this year, I am hoping for a minimum of CCCC this year for my AS Levels.

    GRADUATES/CURRENT STUDENTS: Do you think a person with my intense determination but not so incredible grades would be able to undergo a Veterinary Medicine course?

    ASPIRING VETS: Are any of you guys in my position?

    I was planning to do one of the following:

    1. Enter Vet School in Australia
    2. Do a BSc degree in Biology and then enter Vet school in Australia (I have enquired about this, and it is definitely acceptable)
    3. Do a Pre-Veterinary year/Gateway programme

    Thank you for reading! )
    Hi there,

    If you have had a genuine and documented medical reason (you mention anxiety) which has caused you problems with your AS levels, the unis you apply to may be able to reduce the grades you get - email them to enquire. BUT the grades are there for a reason - vet school is hard, especially in terms of the volume of information we have to learn. So if you didn't fulfil you potential then Universities may make some allowances for you BUT if you feel you would struggle to get above a C in all your subject without your anxiety then you may indeed struggle with vet school. Or you might consider re-sitting a year (this is what I did and the unis were understanding). Determination will NOT replace your lower grades, at least not in the UK (not sure about Australia).

    I would also mention that you must be physically and mentally fit (or as close to fit as possible) before going into vet school or else you may struggle through the course. I personally had some physical problems and needed surgery in my first year which ended up being a bit of a set back for me and, two years on, I still have some catching up to do in terms of basic practical skills I missed out on in first year! I am sure having unresolved anxiety problems would be even more challenging.

    Good luck!
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    Hello,
    I am a 2013 graduate from the **** Vet (Edinburgh), from Canada and currently practicing there.

    I agree with SIlverstar. I would love to say 'where there is a will there is a way', and to some extent I believe this, but yes, grades to play part of it. So I agree, the grades are set not only to ensure a high quality of admitted applicants, but because that is the standard you are expected to perform at once in, and the basis of the level of knowledge you need to START the course. It only gets harder from here (academically). So, what do you think held you back, can you document it medically, and what do you realistically (an be honest with yourself) expect to have changed if you were to try again in vet school?

    And speaking of trying again, one option you don't mention is repeating your A levels. Why not?

    Another option you don't mention is applying in the UK as a graduate student, though you mention this as an option in Australia. Why not? Is it a lot cheaper in Australia? Are you from there? Or what is your reasoning? Similarly, if you have the funds to, and are considering going, abroad; what about North America? Also, as someone whom did the graduate entry course, this is not an 'easy way in'. I still had similar academic and work experience requirements, PLUS the course moved much faster, as since I already had a previous degree it was expected I know how to learn, how to study, and also know some of the material. Anatomy was covered in 5 WEEKS. Haven't done anatomy before? Well, s*cks to be you then, better do some extra studying. That sort of thing. Don't get me wrong help was available to those that asked for it, but you weren't hand-held or babied, either. There is a LOT of independent study and learning on any vet degree, school leaver or graduate entry.

    If you can document a medical condition or learning "challenge" or similar, my experience is the university is willing to work with you-at least to a point- with regards to exams (give extra time, provide a scribe if a physical disability, etc.). However, anywhere from 90-100% of my passing grade for each year was examination-based, often on information from the whole year, or at least the whole module. That means if you don't pass the exam, you DO NOT PASS THE YEAR. So be honest with yourself about that. Were you lazy about A levels and your determination would keep you from being lazy with vet school? Ok then yes, determination might make the difference. But that doesn't sound like what you are saying. So how do you think you can make up the academic difference between A levels and vet? Have you now got your anxiety under control and your more recent grades reflect that? Well then I think you have a decent chance.

    Are you prepared for the huge financial burden of doing a degree abroad and/or doing an undergraduate degree then a graduate degree, in the UK or abroad? Are you prepared to take on that much debt that you could easily be spending 25 years paying it off? Do you know what you are potentially getting yourself into? Sounds like you have done some research, and I'm not sure anyone really is prepared til they face it for 25 years , but do you really know costs and length of terms of repayment?

    Also, what sort of work experience do you have?

    There are lots of people that don't make the grades. Unfortunately, vet school is competitive and it is also a highly skilled and fast-paced field. It would be great if everyone who wanted to could be a vet, just like it would be great if everyone who wanted to be a good singer could be, or to be a good actor could be, or....but that isn't realistic. If someone just doesn't have the prerequisite criteria, be it a good voice, good acting skills, or academic skills, is it kinder to let them try, then be honest and have them move on with their life, or to let them keep trying because 'they really want it', they get out of school head out on broadway and get panned and can't earn a living? I would say being honest early on, while heartbreaking, is kinder in the long run.

    I don't mean to be discouraging, just honest. I was NOT top of my application pool grades-wise applying to vet I expect. I did a MSc in Canada to improve my grades/academic portfolio (and also because I was truly interested in the field-animal behaviour and welfare) and worked in the field for 2 years to gain more experience. A former classmate of mine failed first year vet school, then found out she was dyslexic. Since then I'm not going to say it has been easy, but she graduated this year and I think she'll be a great vet. Lots of people fail first sitting on some exam or another during vet school. But what do you really/honestly plan on doing to improve? Is it a realistic plan? If it were a plan for a loan, and you took it to the bank, does it look reasonable/backable? Is there substance to it?

    Anyways, just my 2 cents and if you still want to go ahead, best of luck.
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    Hiya, I'm going to RVC in September to do a BSc in veterinary nursing I was in your position about 2 years ago.

    I originally wanted to be a vet but was unsure about getting the grades, I did well at GCSE but found college much harder. I too suffer from anxiety and consequently, I realised I was putting far too much pressure on myself to get the grades. :rolleyes: I decided to try my best at college and see what happened on results day, I didn't apply for uni and took a gap year instead!

    Taking a gap year was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Before results day, I managed to squeeze in plenty of veterinary experience and had second thoughts about being a vet, the role of the vet nurse seemed much more well suited to me. I got my grades and then applied for uni, before getting an unconditional offer this year. Knowing that I had the grades for my course before I applied was a massive weight off my shoulders, and made the whole applying to uni experience so much easier.

    As mentioned previously, a veterinary degree is extremely demanding and very long! Perhaps a gap year with plenty of experience and research into the degree (and alternatives) would help you ensure you're making the right choice. Good luck! X
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    (Original post by SilverstarDJ)
    Hi there,

    If you have had a genuine and documented medical reason (you mention anxiety) which has caused you problems with your AS levels, the unis you apply to may be able to reduce the grades you get - email them to enquire. BUT the grades are there for a reason - vet school is hard, especially in terms of the volume of information we have to learn. So if you didn't fulfil you potential then Universities may make some allowances for you BUT if you feel you would struggle to get above a C in all your subject without your anxiety then you may indeed struggle with vet school. Or you might consider re-sitting a year (this is what I did and the unis were understanding). Determination will NOT replace your lower grades, at least not in the UK (not sure about Australia).

    I would also mention that you must be physically and mentally fit (or as close to fit as possible) before going into vet school or else you may struggle through the course. I personally had some physical problems and needed surgery in my first year which ended up being a bit of a set back for me and, two years on, I still have some catching up to do in terms of basic practical skills I missed out on in first year! I am sure having unresolved anxiety problems would be even more challenging.

    Good luck!
    Thank you so much for your reply! To be a little more specific, at the beginning of the academic year I was unsure of why I was so nervous, tired and panicked in class & even just in school. It built up and built up until I completely broke down and mentioned it to my parents. They both suffered from anxiety also, so they managed to find me someone to talk to that would help me get the weight off my shoulders, and put me back on the right track.

    Unfortunately, we could not afford to continue this for a long. As a consequence, I think I was essentially dropped into the middle of a maze - confused, lost and having no idea where to turn next. And this state of mind subconsciously continued throughout the year and has only completely come to realisation once the stress has been released post exams.

    I understand that the grande boundaries are there for a reason, and that's why I am respecting them by asking whether my grades would mark me as "unable to cope". I achieved really good grades at GCSE, but my anxiety only came into play this year. I hope to boost my grades in A2 and I am taking this summer period to do some mind clearing and hopefully find someone to talk to again.

    My grades started to increase as the year went on, and I was mainly achieving B grades, but they were still wavering and were not very constant. I am not very fond of resitting a year... it's not really been something that I want to do, but I will look into it further once I have got my results back

    Regarding physical fitness, I suffered from a dislocated patella from a horse riding accident back in August 2013. I'm not able to lean on this leg at the moment, and I am still getting some medical treatment to help with that - although, the future is somewhat unknown... I guess I will just have to wait!

    Again, thank you for your message - It's awesome to have an "insider" to talk to as you can truly get the information that matters!
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    (Original post by Tarnia)
    Hello,
    I am a 2013 graduate from the **** Vet (Edinburgh), from Canada and currently practicing there.

    I agree with SIlverstar. I would love to say 'where there is a will there is a way', and to some extent I believe this, but yes, grades to play part of it. So I agree, the grades are set not only to ensure a high quality of admitted applicants, but because that is the standard you are expected to perform at once in, and the basis of the level of knowledge you need to START the course. It only gets harder from here (academically). So, what do you think held you back, can you document it medically, and what do you realistically (an be honest with yourself) expect to have changed if you were to try again in vet school?

    And speaking of trying again, one option you don't mention is repeating your A levels. Why not?

    Another option you don't mention is applying in the UK as a graduate student, though you mention this as an option in Australia. Why not? Is it a lot cheaper in Australia? Are you from there? Or what is your reasoning? Similarly, if you have the funds to, and are considering going, abroad; what about North America? Also, as someone whom did the graduate entry course, this is not an 'easy way in'. I still had similar academic and work experience requirements, PLUS the course moved much faster, as since I already had a previous degree it was expected I know how to learn, how to study, and also know some of the material. Anatomy was covered in 5 WEEKS. Haven't done anatomy before? Well, s*cks to be you then, better do some extra studying. That sort of thing. Don't get me wrong help was available to those that asked for it, but you weren't hand-held or babied, either. There is a LOT of independent study and learning on any vet degree, school leaver or graduate entry.

    If you can document a medical condition or learning "challenge" or similar, my experience is the university is willing to work with you-at least to a point- with regards to exams (give extra time, provide a scribe if a physical disability, etc.). However, anywhere from 90-100% of my passing grade for each year was examination-based, often on information from the whole year, or at least the whole module. That means if you don't pass the exam, you DO NOT PASS THE YEAR. So be honest with yourself about that. Were you lazy about A levels and your determination would keep you from being lazy with vet school? Ok then yes, determination might make the difference. But that doesn't sound like what you are saying. So how do you think you can make up the academic difference between A levels and vet? Have you now got your anxiety under control and your more recent grades reflect that? Well then I think you have a decent chance.

    Are you prepared for the huge financial burden of doing a degree abroad and/or doing an undergraduate degree then a graduate degree, in the UK or abroad? Are you prepared to take on that much debt that you could easily be spending 25 years paying it off? Do you know what you are potentially getting yourself into? Sounds like you have done some research, and I'm not sure anyone really is prepared til they face it for 25 years , but do you really know costs and length of terms of repayment?

    Also, what sort of work experience do you have?

    There are lots of people that don't make the grades. Unfortunately, vet school is competitive and it is also a highly skilled and fast-paced field. It would be great if everyone who wanted to could be a vet, just like it would be great if everyone who wanted to be a good singer could be, or to be a good actor could be, or....but that isn't realistic. If someone just doesn't have the prerequisite criteria, be it a good voice, good acting skills, or academic skills, is it kinder to let them try, then be honest and have them move on with their life, or to let them keep trying because 'they really want it', they get out of school head out on broadway and get panned and can't earn a living? I would say being honest early on, while heartbreaking, is kinder in the long run.

    I don't mean to be discouraging, just honest. I was NOT top of my application pool grades-wise applying to vet I expect. I did a MSc in Canada to improve my grades/academic portfolio (and also because I was truly interested in the field-animal behaviour and welfare) and worked in the field for 2 years to gain more experience. A former classmate of mine failed first year vet school, then found out she was dyslexic. Since then I'm not going to say it has been easy, but she graduated this year and I think she'll be a great vet. Lots of people fail first sitting on some exam or another during vet school. But what do you really/honestly plan on doing to improve? Is it a realistic plan? If it were a plan for a loan, and you took it to the bank, does it look reasonable/backable? Is there substance to it?

    Anyways, just my 2 cents and if you still want to go ahead, best of luck.


    Thank you so much for your reply! To be a little more specific, at the beginning of the academic year I was unsure of why I was so nervous, tired and panicked in class & even just in school. It built up and built up until I completely broke down and mentioned it to my parents. They both suffered from anxiety also, so they managed to find me someone to talk to that would help me get the weight off my shoulders, and put me back on the right track.


    Unfortunately, we could not afford to continue this for a long. As a consequence, I think I was essentially dropped into the middle of a maze - confused, lost and having no idea where to turn next. And this state of mind subconsciously continued throughout the year and has only completely come to realisation once the stress has been released post exams.


    I acknowledge what I would need to do again, or for the next academic year approaching, to improve my grades and independent study outside of school. I think the social pressure of school just got a little overwhelming where it got to the stage where I was so tired all the time, so even if I found the energy to study I wouldn’t remember it anyway!


    Resitting my first year of A Levels has never been something I have really thought of seriously as it has never really appealed to me. Once I receive my grades from this year, I’ll research and possibly consider it a little more. I understand it would give me a second chance - which is amazing to be able to have - so it’s something I will need to consider.


    I could apply as a graduate in the UK. However, it is cheaper in Australia and as my Dad is from there, my family are now looking to move over there to search for a better quality of life. Once I have done a 3 year degree, they would be ready to move off so it would make sense for me to go with them I suppose as I ultimately would like to end up there anyway. I am not considering going abroad in general, it’s merely because Australia had that added convenience


    I was unsure of what a graduate entry course would entail, so this has clarified a lot for me - thank you! If I did a BSc in Biology for example (I know the prerequisites of what units this must include), would I not be able to apply for the Undergraduate course? Or can I not because I am a graduate?


    The aspect of independent study is something I would need to observe and analyse during work experience, as I would then understand some things I would need to learn I suppose. Obviously, it is one of the most challenging courses, and by including aspects of independent study into the mix it ultimately does make it more challenging - something I need to consider.


    I don’t believe I was lazy regarding A Levels, just a little lost. Although, I think teachers are a little confused about me. During school I believe I get some sort of an adrenaline rush because I find the situation so scary. So in class I am usually finishing questions with ease and understanding concepts. The problem occurs during lunch time or when I’m walking home, and the rush ceases, leaving me tired and confused about what I really did learn in class… and what I did to cover up my uncomfortableness. The whole way through the year I have been told by teachers that I have great potential “if I put my mind to it”, and it makes me greatly upset that everyone else and myself can see this potential being stuck somewhere, but I am unable to metaphorically push it past this blockage… I am unsure how!


    I have spoken through the financial needs with my parents and a few advisors at school, and I have decided that the financial burden shouldn’t worry me if this is the career I am going to truly want to persue.


    I volunteered at my horse riding stables for two years consistently, and this summer and the following half term holidays I have organised some work experience within a practise and on farms, also. I am hoping that this will help me determine what course will suffice.


    Thank you for your honest information and guidance, it’s so useful and comforting to get the information that truly matters! Sorry for my long reply, but I hope I answered all your questions
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    (Original post by Skeetlebug)
    Hiya, I'm going to RVC in September to do a BSc in veterinary nursing I was in your position about 2 years ago.

    I originally wanted to be a vet but was unsure about getting the grades, I did well at GCSE but found college much harder. I too suffer from anxiety and consequently, I realised I was putting far too much pressure on myself to get the grades. :rolleyes: I decided to try my best at college and see what happened on results day, I didn't apply for uni and took a gap year instead!

    Taking a gap year was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Before results day, I managed to squeeze in plenty of veterinary experience and had second thoughts about being a vet, the role of the vet nurse seemed much more well suited to me. I got my grades and then applied for uni, before getting an unconditional offer this year. Knowing that I had the grades for my course before I applied was a massive weight off my shoulders, and made the whole applying to uni experience so much easier.

    As mentioned previously, a veterinary degree is extremely demanding and very long! Perhaps a gap year with plenty of experience and research into the degree (and alternatives) would help you ensure you're making the right choice. Good luck! X


    Hello! What you said about doing well at GCSE’s and then finding college much harder sounds exactly like me. I worked hard for my GCSE’s and passed them all with A*’s, A’s and B’s. But the social pressure of this year has just spun out of control and it’s taken me a while to realise it… and now it’s a little too late.


    I have got some work experience planned for this summer before results day, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to experience the role of the vet and the veterinary nurse. I went to a presentation on the veterinary nurse when I was at Hartpury Open Day, but I didn’t feel like it completely suited me. I suppose it’s because 1) as a vet nurse you are unable to diagnose things, and 2) I was ultimately going to be a Vet specialising in Equine, and there are not many jobs for Equine Veterinary Nurses from what I have seen :/ What made you decide to become a veterinary nurse?


    I am thinking about taking a gap year, would you recommend it? How did you utilise your time?


    Thank you for your response, it’s clarified a few possibilities for me!
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    -I am not 100% sure, but if you want to apply to the undergraduate cohort, not as a graduate, I believe you can, even with a graduate degree. HOWEVER I think then you may need to use your school leaving grades, aka your A levels, exclusively or in addition. I could be wrong though. I do know there were graduate students on the 5 year course because their course didn't meet the criteria to be considered for the graduated/accelerated course (eg one girl was a business graduate-had no science background); however I actually don't know/didn't ask what grades they were asked to provide. Maybe contact different universities and ask? Or perhaps Silverstar or one of the other members has a better idea of this.

    So did you ever see a doctor, and get a medical diagnosis? When you say you got treatment, whom provided it? At uni-or at least at my uni-student counselors were available at no fee. Do you have access to any volunteer counselors, or does the NHS cover counseling in any way? When I was in high school (I'm Canadian not British ) I ran into some anxiety issues, and one of my teachers discovered I had issues with time limits/get too wrapped up and focused on a question and can't move on to do the rest of the exam/get anxious and shut down. She also discovered I did better if allowed to type my tests-so she allowed me to do so, at her discretion, for regular tests but then I would have needed a doctor's note/medical diagnosis for final exams. Due to personal circumstances/beliefs in my family, this didn't end up happening. Personally, I do think I don't do well under strict time pressure. I naturally move and process slowly, but if allowed to do so, do well. Realistically in this profession I don't always have that luxury. So whether I truly should have a medical diagnosis I see it as moot as I'm not going to be given "extra time" on my next GDV surgery, or bad hit by car, or whatever. However, I have a colleague and I had classmates with "true" anxiety, generalized anxiety, and not just test-taking anxiety, and with medication and counseling and general medical help they do well. They work at it to do well, don't get me wrong, I am sure it is a struggle. Anyways trying to say I can understand some of what you are going through, BUT without a medical diagnosis (and not sure I understand, with the NHS, why that should be a cost issue, but I admit to ignorance with details of the NHS) not sure there is much that can be done, and I'd be concerned this would keep happening. I'm not saying you can't learn to work through it-to some extent, I seem to have though not sure how that happened and I still get VERY stressed with time pressure including in surgery), but not sure it is just going to go away. Basically, I think it could help, and don't see how it would hurt, to talk to your doctor about this, if you haven't already, and see what testing, therapy, counseling etc. may be available.

    You mention social pressure-I am sorry to say I can only see how this would get worse at vet school, as basically you have taken a lot of high-achieving high-performing individuals...and put them all in one class. Obviously, not all of them are going to be top of the class anymore, SOMEONE has to be bottom, and that CAN create a lot of stress/competition/etc. It can also make high achieving people that aren't used to this situation very stressed.

    The University of Edinburgh/RSDVS was offering an online course 'see what it takes to be a vet student' or something like that. I'll post the link if I find it. I think I would recommend that; it might help you get an idea of the learning and independent learning required. Go to university open days as well and attend lectures. Vetsim or similar might be beneficial as well, if you can swing it.

    It sounds like you have a start on work experience, but it is a start only (sorry to keep being a killjoy). Some unis put a cap on number of weeks 1 placement can count, plus you need VARIETY in your placements..so maybe a different type of stables as well, not just one dairy farm but two and/or a lambing or pig or poultry farm; 1 or 2 different small and large animal practices, etc. Lots of information on work experience on here; see the stickied thread at the top of this forum.

    Best of luck!
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    (Original post by Tarnia)
    -I am not 100% sure, but if you want to apply to the undergraduate cohort, not as a graduate, I believe you can, even with a graduate degree. HOWEVER I think then you may need to use your school leaving grades, aka your A levels, exclusively or in addition. I could be wrong though. I do know there were graduate students on the 5 year course because their course didn't meet the criteria to be considered for the graduated/accelerated course (eg one girl was a business graduate-had no science background); however I actually don't know/didn't ask what grades they were asked to provide. Maybe contact different universities and ask? Or perhaps Silverstar or one of the other members has a better idea of this.

    So did you ever see a doctor, and get a medical diagnosis? When you say you got treatment, whom provided it? At uni-or at least at my uni-student counselors were available at no fee. Do you have access to any volunteer counselors, or does the NHS cover counseling in any way? When I was in high school (I'm Canadian not British ) I ran into some anxiety issues, and one of my teachers discovered I had issues with time limits/get too wrapped up and focused on a question and can't move on to do the rest of the exam/get anxious and shut down. She also discovered I did better if allowed to type my tests-so she allowed me to do so, at her discretion, for regular tests but then I would have needed a doctor's note/medical diagnosis for final exams. Due to personal circumstances/beliefs in my family, this didn't end up happening. Personally, I do think I don't do well under strict time pressure. I naturally move and process slowly, but if allowed to do so, do well. Realistically in this profession I don't always have that luxury. So whether I truly should have a medical diagnosis I see it as moot as I'm not going to be given "extra time" on my next GDV surgery, or bad hit by car, or whatever. However, I have a colleague and I had classmates with "true" anxiety, generalized anxiety, and not just test-taking anxiety, and with medication and counseling and general medical help they do well. They work at it to do well, don't get me wrong, I am sure it is a struggle. Anyways trying to say I can understand some of what you are going through, BUT without a medical diagnosis (and not sure I understand, with the NHS, why that should be a cost issue, but I admit to ignorance with details of the NHS) not sure there is much that can be done, and I'd be concerned this would keep happening. I'm not saying you can't learn to work through it-to some extent, I seem to have though not sure how that happened and I still get VERY stressed with time pressure including in surgery), but not sure it is just going to go away. Basically, I think it could help, and don't see how it would hurt, to talk to your doctor about this, if you haven't already, and see what testing, therapy, counseling etc. may be available.

    You mention social pressure-I am sorry to say I can only see how this would get worse at vet school, as basically you have taken a lot of high-achieving high-performing individuals...and put them all in one class. Obviously, not all of them are going to be top of the class anymore, SOMEONE has to be bottom, and that CAN create a lot of stress/competition/etc. It can also make high achieving people that aren't used to this situation very stressed.

    The University of Edinburgh/RSDVS was offering an online course 'see what it takes to be a vet student' or something like that. I'll post the link if I find it. I think I would recommend that; it might help you get an idea of the learning and independent learning required. Go to university open days as well and attend lectures. Vetsim or similar might be beneficial as well, if you can swing it.

    It sounds like you have a start on work experience, but it is a start only (sorry to keep being a killjoy). Some unis put a cap on number of weeks 1 placement can count, plus you need VARIETY in your placements..so maybe a different type of stables as well, not just one dairy farm but two and/or a lambing or pig or poultry farm; 1 or 2 different small and large animal practices, etc. Lots of information on work experience on here; see the stickied thread at the top of this forum.

    Best of luck!
    Hello

    A few people have recommended that I go and see my doctor in order to get a formal diagnosis. I will talk with my parents about this, because it's one thing dealing with it, and another thing putting a label to it formally. I have previously had a lady that I saw weekly and she was so lovely to talk to - this was her job and she loved it, making it a lot easier for me to talk to her as I am a rather inward, introverted and self-contained person. Unfortunately, this ceased due to lack of funds, but i will talk to my parents about it.

    It's good that you mentioned this inevitable ranking within the class as it is something that does cross my mind - thank you for that

    I have attended a few open days and also VetQuest at Bristol. But I was only able to stay half a day there because of my anxiety, which is definitely upsetting. I will look into that link that you mentioned as it sounds like it could be useful to me. Thank you for your advise on work experience, also
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    I think there is a lot of fear of discrimination. or labeling, as you said, when it comes to medical diagnoses. However, your teachers, the university, etc. are very limited in what they can do for you/what accommodations they can make, without one. So I am concerned IF it is a medical issue (and I don't know that it is), what you describe will keep happening. Part of the reason it was never followed up with me was fear of stereotyping/labeling/etc. I believe there is a mental illness/challenge forum. Perhaps you could post on there and get an idea of what kind of labeling/stereotypes/discrimination, if any, people with anxiety-related disorders experience. I would also be concerned that it would occur in your workplace, as vet is a potentially intense, fast-paced and sometimes stressful profession. From the outside, I thought the **** Vet was very supportive of those with any kind of learning or physical challenge, and there was a strict policy against discrimination. I personally never heard about their policy 'behind closed doors'/privately being different, but then, I wouldn't necessarily.

    Now, if counseling helps, at least at the **** Vet that is available for any reason to any student for free; walk in service and by appointment, no medical diagnosis/underlying condition/whatever necessary. I would expect something similar to be at most universities, but I don't know for sure. I am assuming it isn't available at your school now, or you'd be making use of it, so that still doesn't answer what to do about your situation NOW.

    If you found VetQuest difficult to cope with, anxiety-wise, I would definitely be concerned with how overwhelmed you could be with 'real' student life and the associated stresses. Not that it is all bad there are loads of social activities, fun times etc. etc. but it is an intense program. Now if that was in the middle of your breakdown, before you started getting help, then I realize things may be different now. But I think that is something only you can answer and address honestly for yourself. And whether you'd be willing to go through getting a medical diagnosis in order to try and get it under control, and consequently have a better chance at the career you want.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by soulcalli)
    Thank you so much for your reply! To be a little more specific, at the beginning of the academic year I was unsure of why I was so nervous, tired and panicked in class & even just in school. It built up and built up until I completely broke down and mentioned it to my parents. They both suffered from anxiety also, so they managed to find me someone to talk to that would help me get the weight off my shoulders, and put me back on the right track.

    Unfortunately, we could not afford to continue this for a long. As a consequence, I think I was essentially dropped into the middle of a maze - confused, lost and having no idea where to turn next. And this state of mind subconsciously continued throughout the year and has only completely come to realisation once the stress has been released post exams.
    Does your school have counsellors you could talk to? Schools in the UK will normally have some sort of counselling service for their students which would be free.

    Otherwise, going to your GP and going on the waiting list for help on the NHS sooner rather than later would be recommended. The NHS mental health side of things is vastly underfunded, but if you don't ask then you don't get. It sounds like this anxiety is really affecting you.


    I understand that the grande boundaries are there for a reason, and that's why I am respecting them by asking whether my grades would mark me as "unable to cope". I achieved really good grades at GCSE, but my anxiety only came into play this year. I hope to boost my grades in A2 and I am taking this summer period to do some mind clearing and hopefully find someone to talk to again.
    You should email individual universities about this, although, without a formal diagnosis of anxiety/other then you might not have a leg to stand on when you apply to University. Tarnia has summed up perfectly why a diagnosis is important if you want to be receiving help at school/uni. I know when I was doing A levels, because I had a formal diagnosis I was able to get extra time in exams which helped me quite a bit.


    My grades started to increase as the year went on, and I was mainly achieving B grades, but they were still wavering and were not very constant. I am not very fond of resitting a year... it's not really been something that I want to do, but I will look into it further once I have got my results back
    Why don't you want to resit a year? If you resit one year it might be a lot easier than doing an undergraduate degree and then doing vet (which would not guarantee you entry by the way, and is an expensive route). I honestly don't regret doing an extra year at sixth form - I felt a lot more mature and able to general cope with uni by going a year later. As I had a formal medical diagnosis at the time, the unis treated me as a regular applicant and pretty much disregarded the fact that it took me 3 years to get my A levels when most applicant got the same grades in just 2 years. A year in your entire life is just a small drop in the ocean. But you should only resit a year if you are getting help with your physical and mental issues so that that extra year can make a difference to you.

    Hope this helps
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    (Original post by Tarnia)
    I think there is a lot of fear of discrimination. or labeling, as you said, when it comes to medical diagnoses. However, your teachers, the university, etc. are very limited in what they can do for you/what accommodations they can make, without one. So I am concerned IF it is a medical issue (and I don't know that it is), what you describe will keep happening. Part of the reason it was never followed up with me was fear of stereotyping/labeling/etc. I believe there is a mental illness/challenge forum. Perhaps you could post on there and get an idea of what kind of labeling/stereotypes/discrimination, if any, people with anxiety-related disorders experience. I would also be concerned that it would occur in your workplace, as vet is a potentially intense, fast-paced and sometimes stressful profession. From the outside, I thought the **** Vet was very supportive of those with any kind of learning or physical challenge, and there was a strict policy against discrimination. I personally never heard about their policy 'behind closed doors'/privately being different, but then, I wouldn't necessarily.

    Now, if counseling helps, at least at the **** Vet that is available for any reason to any student for free; walk in service and by appointment, no medical diagnosis/underlying condition/whatever necessary. I would expect something similar to be at most universities, but I don't know for sure. I am assuming it isn't available at your school now, or you'd be making use of it, so that still doesn't answer what to do about your situation NOW.

    If you found VetQuest difficult to cope with, anxiety-wise, I would definitely be concerned with how overwhelmed you could be with 'real' student life and the associated stresses. Not that it is all bad there are loads of social activities, fun times etc. etc. but it is an intense program. Now if that was in the middle of your breakdown, before you started getting help, then I realize things may be different now. But I think that is something only you can answer and address honestly for yourself. And whether you'd be willing to go through getting a medical diagnosis in order to try and get it under control, and consequently have a better chance at the career you want.

    Good luck!
    I can see what you mean about the VetQuest situation - at the time, while I was there, I said to myself that I couldn't go to University and I would have to find another way because it was merely too stressful. I had just started having someone to talk to, so I may have been a little more overwhelmed than usual because I was so aware of what was making things happen inside my head; beforehand, everything was just happening because I thought that was how I was. Now it was happening because of an external stimulus.

    As time went on and the uncomfortable feelings and stress of VetQuest passed over, I felt upset at how I managed the situation. But now I think I have gone in a full circle as I cannot see how I could have managed it differently. Even if there was the possibility of me doing so, I don't think I would want to. So, what I am trying to say is I suppose University and it's courses is something for me to decide over this summer with a bit of reasoning and research

    Maybe my Sixth Form does provide this care, or maybe it doesn't - I'm not aware of it... I guess it's because I am so reserved :L I will look into it when I go back in September.

    I will also talk to my parents about the benefits of me personally going to the GP and what they would suggest to be the best possible course of action - I will take your advice onboard!

    Thank you
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    (Original post by SilverstarDJ)
    Does your school have counsellors you could talk to? Schools in the UK will normally have some sort of counselling service for their students which would be free.

    Otherwise, going to your GP and going on the waiting list for help on the NHS sooner rather than later would be recommended. The NHS mental health side of things is vastly underfunded, but if you don't ask then you don't get. It sounds like this anxiety is really affecting you.



    You should email individual universities about this, although, without a formal diagnosis of anxiety/other then you might not have a leg to stand on when you apply to University. Tarnia has summed up perfectly why a diagnosis is important if you want to be receiving help at school/uni. I know when I was doing A levels, because I had a formal diagnosis I was able to get extra time in exams which helped me quite a bit.



    Why don't you want to resit a year? If you resit one year it might be a lot easier than doing an undergraduate degree and then doing vet (which would not guarantee you entry by the way, and is an expensive route). I honestly don't regret doing an extra year at sixth form - I felt a lot more mature and able to general cope with uni by going a year later. As I had a formal medical diagnosis at the time, the unis treated me as a regular applicant and pretty much disregarded the fact that it took me 3 years to get my A levels when most applicant got the same grades in just 2 years. A year in your entire life is just a small drop in the ocean. But you should only resit a year if you are getting help with your physical and mental issues so that that extra year can make a difference to you.

    Hope this helps
    Quite a few people have suggested for me to go and see my GP about my anxiety. As my Mum was the one to organise my counselling before, I will talk to her about this and take the advice I have had from you and others into consideration while doing so


    I didn’t realise how much a formal diagnosis could aid me until I had read the replies on this post and others. Again, I will take this into consideration - thank you


    Someone on another post mentioned the Open University for me, and apparently they allow you to resit your A Levels. I don’t know much about this, so I will have to look into it as it may be a good pathway for me to take.


    Thank you, it definitely helped and has provided me with something to research and think about
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    (Original post by soulcalli)
    Quite a few people have suggested for me to go and see my GP about my anxiety. As my Mum was the one to organise my counselling before, I will talk to her about this and take the advice I have had from you and others into consideration while doing so


    I didn’t realise how much a formal diagnosis could aid me until I had read the replies on this post and others. Again, I will take this into consideration - thank you


    Someone on another post mentioned the Open University for me, and apparently they allow you to resit your A Levels. I don’t know much about this, so I will have to look into it as it may be a good pathway for me to take.


    Thank you, it definitely helped and has provided me with something to research and think about
    You don't need your mum's permission to go to your GP or school counsellor. Do what you think is best for you. Obviously having her on your side and her support will be helpful but if you really need to speak to someone please reach out.

    You might be able to resit a year of your A levels at your current school/sixth form. Mine weren't too happy but eventually let me do so as the local council would pay for you until you are 19 (not sure if this has changed now).
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    (Original post by SilverstarDJ)
    You don't need your mum's permission to go to your GP or school counsellor. Do what you think is best for you. Obviously having her on your side and her support will be helpful but if you really need to speak to someone please reach out.

    You might be able to resit a year of your A levels at your current school/sixth form. Mine weren't too happy but eventually let me do so as the local council would pay for you until you are 19 (not sure if this has changed now).
    I am not asking my Mum for her permission, as she was the one to organise my counselling for me beforehand I thought it would be reasonable to talk to her about future action as we tend to work through these things together.

    I know that resisting a year at my Sixth Form is possible, but - for me - I think it would only make my anxiety worse as I would be in technically a new year group. I'll have to consider other options before I think
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    OK, so I have another question for you to ask yourself then: how would being with a new group of students in 6th form differ significantly from being with a new group of students at university? Especially if that is at vet school, a highly stressful and intense program, in another country (yes, I realize that is several years down the road). Be honest with yourself about that, as I do think it is relevant.

    It sounds to me like the poor grades is not the real underlying issue here. I think someone with intense determination but poorer grades has a chance to make it, as one option IS to resit and improve your grades! However, I am not at all sure I think that someone with intense determination but high anxiety issues, to the point that they couldn't handle a mock vet course, had poor grades, and is uncomfortable to the possible point of refusing/not being able to do something that might make a big difference to her being eligible for her 'dream career' (that being resitting A levels); that I am less comfortable saying determination could overcome, as it doesn'/t sound like it is. I truly don't meant to be harsh; however I am concerned you are setting yourself up for more and more anxiety attacks and endless spiralling. As an outsider, you really aren't striking me as someone for which vet would be a healthy career. NOT that that is my decision to make-it absolutely isn't! But listen to what you are saying here. Do you think you are possibly grasping at straws and maybe asking a little much of yourself? We lost one student in the year below me to suicide when I was in fourth year. Vets have the highest rate of suicide of any profession in the UK. I don't want you to be one of them.

    Now, do I think determination AND HELP/support/therapy/whatever could do it? Yeah, possibly. So if pursuing a diagnosis and/or therapy is in the cards, that's great.

    Now, you asked about a gap year above, and while you weren't asking me specifically, I thought I would comment on that. I took a gap year-two years actually; but not before university; instead I took it between my undergrad degree and my MSc. I also know people that took a more 'traditional' gap year (before entering university). I am a big fan of gap years, when used appropriately. I think they have the potential to hugely increase your experience and growth as a person, as well as potentially improving your application. Having said that, I don't think a gap year intrinsically changes anything. Let me put it this way:

    -person A is a school leaver, has great grades, great work experience, a super personal statement, and comes across as very mature, etc.
    -person B has taken a gap year, but is otherwise equivalent to person A. Do I think person B has any advantage over person A? No, I don't.

    However, if
    -person A is a school leaver, has good (10-15 weeks +) work experience, a decent personal statement and good grades but seems a little immature/young (he/she is, after all, only 17 and never lived/worked away from home/on their own)
    -person B is a gap year student, has great experience (used the gap year to, say, help with an animal charity outfit in both small and large animals, making for say 20+) weeks, good grades and a great personal statement (part of their gap year was spent completing DofE gold, or volunteering for habitat for humanity, or something), and comes across as more confident and mature due to their personal growth over the last year, I DO think person B has an advantage over person A.

    Make sense?
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    (Original post by Tarnia)
    OK, so I have another question for you to ask yourself then: how would being with a new group of students in 6th form differ significantly from being with a new group of students at university? Especially if that is at vet school, a highly stressful and intense program, in another country (yes, I realize that is several years down the road). Be honest with yourself about that, as I do think it is relevant.

    It sounds to me like the poor grades is not the real underlying issue here. I think someone with intense determination but poorer grades has a chance to make it, as one option IS to resit and improve your grades! However, I am not at all sure I think that someone with intense determination but high anxiety issues, to the point that they couldn't handle a mock vet course, had poor grades, and is uncomfortable to the possible point of refusing/not being able to do something that might make a big difference to her being eligible for her 'dream career' (that being resitting A levels); that I am less comfortable saying determination could overcome, as it doesn'/t sound like it is. I truly don't meant to be harsh; however I am concerned you are setting yourself up for more and more anxiety attacks and endless spiralling. As an outsider, you really aren't striking me as someone for which vet would be a healthy career. NOT that that is my decision to make-it absolutely isn't! But listen to what you are saying here. Do you think you are possibly grasping at straws and maybe asking a little much of yourself? We lost one student in the year below me to suicide when I was in fourth year. Vets have the highest rate of suicide of any profession in the UK. I don't want you to be one of them.

    Now, do I think determination AND HELP/support/therapy/whatever could do it? Yeah, possibly. So if pursuing a diagnosis and/or therapy is in the cards, that's great.

    Now, you asked about a gap year above, and while you weren't asking me specifically, I thought I would comment on that. I took a gap year-two years actually; but not before university; instead I took it between my undergrad degree and my MSc. I also know people that took a more 'traditional' gap year (before entering university). I am a big fan of gap years, when used appropriately. I think they have the potential to hugely increase your experience and growth as a person, as well as potentially improving your application. Having said that, I don't think a gap year intrinsically changes anything. Let me put it this way:

    -person A is a school leaver, has great grades, great work experience, a super personal statement, and comes across as very mature, etc.
    -person B has taken a gap year, but is otherwise equivalent to person A. Do I think person B has any advantage over person A? No, I don't.

    However, if
    -person A is a school leaver, has good (10-15 weeks +) work experience, a decent personal statement and good grades but seems a little immature/young (he/she is, after all, only 17 and never lived/worked away from home/on their own)
    -person B is a gap year student, has great experience (used the gap year to, say, help with an animal charity outfit in both small and large animals, making for say 20+) weeks, good grades and a great personal statement (part of their gap year was spent completing DofE gold, or volunteering for habitat for humanity, or something), and comes across as more confident and mature due to their personal growth over the last year, I DO think person B has an advantage over person A.

    Make sense?
    Not to be rude at all, but I decided to post on this forum for people's opinion on the intensity and content of vet school. I did not want someone to point out all my flaws and mention how this would then put me out of this career field completely, which it won't. Being determined is one thing, but being determined to face a fear is another; especially when asked to do so in a short period of time. The responses on this forum would enable me to think what would be best for me, matched with my experiences at my vets this summer, and then enable me to make the right choices according to what is right for me. I have not had to deal with anxiety for long - before I would be unable to walk into school let alone attend a University open day, yet I have managed to progress slowly, albeit by myself, which is a demonstration of determination - a different type of determination - in my case. I thank and respect your opinion and I understand that you know what you are talking about, and I don't question that.

    I don't know much about gap years, so your information was a development on what little I knew. I will do a bit more research on them and see, when the time comes, if it would be a good choice.

    Thank you
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    Actually, I don't necessarily know what I am talking about. As regards the intensity of the vet course-yeah, at least to some extent, I do; I went through it. But as regards mental illness...not necessarily. I am a layperson. These are my opinions, and believe it or not they are offered in your best interest, but I make no claim to being "right" or knowing you or having access to all the information and being able to give "the answer". I don't personally have a medical diagnosis of anxiety. I have friends that do, but none are close friends that I have been through the "whole journey" with and I make no claims to knowing exactly what it is like. I MAY have a form of anxiety of my own, but I DIDN'T do what Silverstar and I have suggested you do-follow it up with a medical exam and possible diagnosis.

    Having said that, I don't think you can really separate "asking for advice on the intensity of the course" and your underlying difficulties/the anxiety. I'm sorry that my previous post came across as crossing a line/offensive-I admit I knew that was a risk when I posted it-but I feel the sorts of underlying challenges you describe, and/or uncontrolled/unsupported anxiety in anyone, not just you, anyone, even someone that had the grades and was the 'ideal applicant' on paper say, would be an issue for the intensity of the course. However, I will fully admit that I know practicing vets with an underlying anxiety disorder. They are good vets and though I am sure it is a continual struggle, I see one fairly often and I feel for the most part she copes with the anxiety and her often high-paced/high intensity job well.

    It seems I misunderstood-I thought improvement had plateaued when you stopped having access to a counselor. My apologies for my misunderstanding. I agree determination can do a lot, and if it is improving even without access to conventional therapy, then perhaps it WILL be enough.

    Something that (sadly) occurs in this profession a lot is people telling interested applicants that they SHOULDN'T or CAN'T do it, and while I acknowledge that, like me, most probably mean well, it is perhaps a case of the road to h*ll being paved with good intentions. Only you truly know what you can do. I still have concerns, but I don't know you, all I know about you is what you posted above.

    Just please, be honest with yourself, take care of yourself, and if you need outside help/support/whatever, ask for it when (if) you need it. I won't argue that boundaries, limitations etc. won't expand if we don't push them; but don't irrevocably harm yourself trying.
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    (Original post by soulcalli)
    I am not asking my Mum for her permission, as she was the one to organise my counselling for me beforehand I thought it would be reasonable to talk to her about future action as we tend to work through these things together.
    Sorry, I stand corrected and may have misinterpreted your comment - it is good your mum is on board with you and that you can work together with her to sort this.

    (Original post by soulcalli)
    I know that resisting a year at my Sixth Form is possible, but - for me - I think it would only make my anxiety worse as I would be in technically a new year group. I'll have to consider other options before I think
    (Original post by Tarnia)
    OK, so I have another question for you to ask yourself then: how would being with a new group of students in 6th form differ significantly from being with a new group of students at university?
    I hope you don't feel I am ganging up or being negative, but Tarnia has hit the nail right on the head with her comment above. If you aren't going to be able to resit a year because of your anxiety then you are really going to struggle at University. We are not pointing out any flaws at all; we are both just worried that your mental health problems may get worse at uni depending on how much you improve between now and then.

    Resitting would open up more doors for you to achieve your dream. If you don't intend to resit, I would e-mail unis you wish to apply to in order to ask what is the lowest grade they could offer in your circumstance so you know where you stand (again without a formal diagnosis you would definitely fail to get into any vet school programme in the UK, excluding gateway maybe). Do you meet all the entry criteria for gateway course if you're considering this by the way?

    I would also be careful about setting your sights on Australia. Yes your family may have plans on moving there, but what if they don't move in the near future? What if something happens or they change their mind? A lot could change in a few years; life in unpredictable so do think what you would do if they don't move there (or only move there much later on).

    Can you cope academically? Maybe assuming you could have gotten the grades if it weren't for your anxiety. However, the University WOULD expect you to pass your exams even if you have mental and/or physical health problems (they can give you support e.g. extra time, using a computer etc. but you still need to pass).

    Can you cope with uni life in general?To give you a general idea of the challenges you may face, this may include: living with people you don't know, possibly far from family/friends. You will need to learn to be independent and manage your money carefully (debt is a big stressor for some people). You may need to do presentations in front of your year group and participate in group work, even with people whom may dislike you. You may need to approach lecturers yourself to ask them questions. The vet course is intense in terms of volume of information you need to learn - if you get behind some find it impossible to ever catch up.

    I have never suffered from anxiety, but I have suffered from mental health problems which made me resit (part of) a year in my case. I was almost 100% mentally well when I went to uni, and, if I am honest, the pressure and stress in the first year was quite difficult and if I wasn't in a "good place" with sufficient coping strategies I may well have ended up in a very poor state.

    Hope this helps a bit. Do research all your options and do get in touch with unis to discuss your situation as they should let you know where you stand.

    And in the mean time, do keep looking after yourself and reaching out for professional support to help you improve. best of luck
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    (Original post by SilverstarDJ)
    Sorry, I stand corrected and may have misinterpreted your comment - it is good your mum is on board with you and that you can work together with her to sort this.





    I hope you don't feel I am ganging up or being negative, but Tarnia has hit the nail right on the head with her comment above. If you aren't going to be able to resit a year because of your anxiety then you are really going to struggle at University. We are not pointing out any flaws at all; we are both just worried that your mental health problems may get worse at uni depending on how much you improve between now and then.

    Resitting would open up more doors for you to achieve your dream. If you don't intend to resit, I would e-mail unis you wish to apply to in order to ask what is the lowest grade they could offer in your circumstance so you know where you stand (again without a formal diagnosis you would definitely fail to get into any vet school programme in the UK, excluding gateway maybe). Do you meet all the entry criteria for gateway course if you're considering this by the way?

    I would also be careful about setting your sights on Australia. Yes your family may have plans on moving there, but what if they don't move in the near future? What if something happens or they change their mind? A lot could change in a few years; life in unpredictable so do think what you would do if they don't move there (or only move there much later on).

    Can you cope academically? Maybe assuming you could have gotten the grades if it weren't for your anxiety. However, the University WOULD expect you to pass your exams even if you have mental and/or physical health problems (they can give you support e.g. extra time, using a computer etc. but you still need to pass).

    Can you cope with uni life in general?To give you a general idea of the challenges you may face, this may include: living with people you don't know, possibly far from family/friends. You will need to learn to be independent and manage your money carefully (debt is a big stressor for some people). You may need to do presentations in front of your year group and participate in group work, even with people whom may dislike you. You may need to approach lecturers yourself to ask them questions. The vet course is intense in terms of volume of information you need to learn - if you get behind some find it impossible to ever catch up.

    I have never suffered from anxiety, but I have suffered from mental health problems which made me resit (part of) a year in my case. I was almost 100% mentally well when I went to uni, and, if I am honest, the pressure and stress in the first year was quite difficult and if I wasn't in a "good place" with sufficient coping strategies I may well have ended up in a very poor state.

    Hope this helps a bit. Do research all your options and do get in touch with unis to discuss your situation as they should let you know where you stand.

    And in the mean time, do keep looking after yourself and reaching out for professional support to help you improve. best of luck
    Thank you for your response. Regarding Australia, my family have been planning this for a few years so it's a pretty secure decision. Whether I move there or not, my career should be the same - within reason - either way.

    Regarding everything else, I have recognised these "aspects" previously, just realising what to do from now was difficult. Now I have a good resource of information that I have got from you and others so that I can research more - thank you
 
 
 
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