Help - Thinking of Dropping Out Watch

setthetempo
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I guess I should give some background. I didn't get an undergraduate degree - I went straight into veterinary school. I've never wanted to do anything else but be a vet.

I'm in my first year and having a horrific time. I'm by no means failing, but certainly not getting stellar grades. I study harder, longer, and more methodically than any of my friends and consistently score considerately lower than them on exams. My brain is not built for memorizing bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc. I'll learn anatomy and suturing and radiographs all day long. I can NOT learn infectious agents or parasitology to save my life.

I can truly say, I've never been more unhappy in my life. Not a single day of veterinary school brings happiness to me. Not one. This isn't what I thought it would be. Do I just truck through it for four more years and hope I don't die from the stress and depression? Do I drop out and become a firefighter? I don't know what to do. Does it ever get better?
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TCL
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Talk to your tutor! It may be that there is a lot of the stuff you find difficult in the first year and you can choose options you enjoy later, or it could get worse.

Some people who used to be at the top of their classes find it difficult when they get to competitive courses at uni and ALL the people on the course were among the brighteat in their year. Being average within a very able cohort is more than OK!
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VMD100
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I certainly have moments of feeling exactly like you do, and I think almost every vet student doubts themselves at some point and certainly makes comparisons to others. What matters is you are reaching passing grades. Certainly my first year way of revising was shocking and I am really having to change that to ensure I can continue to pass - 3rd year for us is basically solid pathology.

Definitely reach out to a tutor but don't compare there is just no need. If you pass you are equal to every other person in the year that also passed.
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Popsicle_pirate
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Agree with the others that it is important not to compare yourself to others too much, I know it is easier said than done and it's frustrating if you feel like you are putting in more effort but it will only make you feel bad about yourself and if you are passing then you are getting through it!

It sounds like you could do with a re-think of your study technique, the volume of work at vet school is overwhelming and if you don't have an effective technique that works for you personally then even the brightest can start to struggle. I suggest figuring out your learning style if you haven't already and try working in that way as much as possible - if you are a visual learner then make colourful posters and stick them all over the room, if you learn better by seeing then watch videos on youtube, listen to podcasts or record your notes and listen back if you learn better through sound. It may also be worth seeing if your uni has an educational department where you can set up a meeting to talk through study skills and how to tackle the areas you are struggling with.

It would be a real shame to drop out of a career path that you love because you haven't found your way of doing things just yet, good luck!
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animalmagic
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(Original post by setthetempo)
I guess I should give some background. I didn't get an undergraduate degree - I went straight into veterinary school. I've never wanted to do anything else but be a vet.

I'm in my first year and having a horrific time. I'm by no means failing, but certainly not getting stellar grades. I study harder, longer, and more methodically than any of my friends and consistently score considerately lower than them on exams. My brain is not built for memorizing bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc. I'll learn anatomy and suturing and radiographs all day long. I can NOT learn infectious agents or parasitology to save my life.

I can truly say, I've never been more unhappy in my life. Not a single day of veterinary school brings happiness to me. Not one. This isn't what I thought it would be. Do I just truck through it for four more years and hope I don't die from the stress and depression? Do I drop out and become a firefighter? I don't know what to do. Does it ever get better?
The hardest thing when you go from school to vet school is to realise that you will (probably) no longer get stellar grades, and you also need to realise that you don't need to, a pass is now definitely good enough.

If you want to DM me I would be more than happy to chat off list and see if I can help. You have taken the hard step and reached out, no need to drop out unless you are 100% certain you don't want to be a vet anymore, luckily the whole 5 years of vet school are not the same content as the first year stuff.
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by setthetempo)
I guess I should give some background. I didn't get an undergraduate degree - I went straight into veterinary school. I've never wanted to do anything else but be a vet.

I'm in my first year and having a horrific time. I'm by no means failing, but certainly not getting stellar grades. I study harder, longer, and more methodically than any of my friends and consistently score considerately lower than them on exams. My brain is not built for memorizing bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc. I'll learn anatomy and suturing and radiographs all day long. I can NOT learn infectious agents or parasitology to save my life.

I can truly say, I've never been more unhappy in my life. Not a single day of veterinary school brings happiness to me. Not one. This isn't what I thought it would be. Do I just truck through it for four more years and hope I don't die from the stress and depression? Do I drop out and become a firefighter? I don't know what to do. Does it ever get better?
A pass is still a pass, it is much better than failing and resitting!

This is a very common feeling among vet students, and although you may feel like it is only you I guarantee that there are 10s if not 100s of vet students across the country in the same position. I failed 5+ modules in my first couple of years at vet school and I was not alone. Some exams had a fail rate as high as 50-60% of my year group, most averaged around 25%.

In my experience most vet students don't know how to study properly. Yes, you may have sailed through your GCSEs and A-levels just by re-reading and re-writing your notes in some capacity, but that doesn't work on the degree course given the volume of information. You need to discover another way, whether it is flashcards, holding tutorials with your friends where you test yourselves, etc. I learned this the hard way by resitting a whole year of vet school!

Regardless of whether you continue with your studies or not there will always be aspects of your studies (or career) that you don't enjoy and have to endure (eg; health and safety training, TB testing, immunology, etc) to get ahead. The grass will always APPEAR greener.

If it is any consolation, scoring better in your exams does not guarantee you a good job or better employment prospects. In my experience it tends to be the opposite (ie; those that score most highly struggle to get and hold down a decent job) because there is so much more to it than simply passing exams (ie; communication, professional skills, empathy, team work, etc).

I can guarantee that there are mundane aspects to studying and working as a firefighter, and if you think being a vet is stressful it will be much the same as a firefighter. While in both careers you will have to make life and death decisions, as a firefighter you may have to stand up in a coroner's or crown court to defend your actions with the threat of legal action or even imprisonment...
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