The most important part of undergraduate preparation for vet school, in my opinion, is making sure your classes and social life are in the right balance. Too much or too little of one can dramatically decrease the quality of the other and the “perfect” balance is so individualized it’s probably stupid of me to even attempt to advise anyone on the matter.
However, for someone who has really, really struggled to keep up a healthy balance of work and play I will definitely recommend taking advantage of groups on campus. Pre-vet club, triathlon team, and my sorority have all helped me to stay mentally active despite the rigor of classes here.
Also, know that even though you may bust your butt to get straight A’s, is it really worth it if you never get to go have fun on the weekends? Message from senioritis-land: NO.
I used to stay in every night and study for hours for science midterms up to 3 weeks in advance. There I’d be, night after night, writing flashcards and drawing colorful diagrams every weekend of spring semester 2012. One night my roommates hijacked my flashcards (the stack was 5 inches thick) for bio and made me go out with them that night. I still did well! It’s all about quality study time and not always quantity. Nowadays I find the key to studying is going to a fun cafe with one or two friends where you can take study break to chat or snack or caffeinate. Iced almond milk lattes <– running through my veins.
Tricks to “study:”
- I admit to attending the local run club with organic chemistry reactions drawn on my fingers to “study” the night before a midterm… who was I kidding, they sweat off after 5 minutes.
- Reward yourself. Getting to watch a 20-minute episode online or having a handful of your favorite cereal is great motivation to finish up that paper. It’s also helpful to get your roommate to keep you on track (changing Facebook passwords or keeping your phone).
SPARK NOTES: All work and no play= sadness, stress, burn-out. All play and no work= seriously you’re in undergrad, work please. Work + play = golden ratio.
Good luck in your studies!!
Check out my previous posts about the Pre-Vet Checklist: