Getting into vet school

Emails went out a couple of days ago, telling students whether they got into the Ontario Veterinary College for September.  It brings back lots of memories for me.

Neil is a summer student working at the clinic for his second year.  I had been talking with him over the past month about his interview, trying to give him a few tips.  “I have news”, he said with a big smile on his face.  I waited.  With quiet excitement, he said “I got in”.  I congratulated him and gave him a big hug.  “Enjoy the buzz!”, I told him.  He was beaming throughout the rest of the work day.

Shelley, a volunteer over the last two summers, didn’t get into the program.  She told me just as I was going into a euthanasia appointment.  I was sad for Shelley’s news and disappointment.  It was unfortunate timing as I didn’t really get a chance to talk to her, having to concentrate on the grieving family that I had to be with next.  I wish I could have spent more time just then.

My story? I remember my experience like it was yesterday.  Four tries in four years.  Sarah McLachlan CDs, sleeping, baking thimble cookies, working on my Masters…these helped me get through.  It hurt to get the letters (does that date me?) that said sorry not this time.  Finished my Honours Bachelor & then Masters of Science, before I got one of those coveted spots.  I don’t think of myself as smart for having done all that extra education.  I am just stubborn!  I really wanted to get into vet school.  As for the acceptance letter?  Getting it meant so much to me that I have kept it in my files to this day.

The lesson here for me was about just being with the person as they experienced their moment.  Not saying too much.  I resisted telling my story to Neil or Shelley because the moment was not about me.  It was enough that I knew what each of them was going through because I’d been there.