It has been a while since I posted. This semester as a second-year vet student has been a struggle, to say the least. To give you a brief overview of the courses I took, I created a table (see below).
I had a lot on my plate this semester, so I wanted to break it down for you in this update, piece by piece. At the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, we begin each semester with our “core courses”. We had our first exam after just two weeks of classes in Epidemiology, and the rest of the semester basically continued like that. Exam after exam. This is to be expected in any professional program, but it was really tough considering that I was adjusting to being single again.
Both of my animals were experiencing severe separation anxiety. It got to the point where the Purina veterinarian I work with offered to help me pay for my dog to go to a veterinary behaviorist (THANK YOU!). My mom ended up having to take my cat, Monkey, because he was peeing all over my couch. I don’t think I would have been able to survive this semester without my family’s support.
Additionally, I decided that I would take on a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, research for elective credit, my extra-curricular leadership positions (Zoo Med Club Treasurer, International Veterinary Students’ Association President-Elect, Purina Student Representative, etc.), treatment crews (Large Animal Emergency Surgery and Wildlife), and tutoring for histology.
Yoga Teacher Training
The 200-hour YTT I am currently enrolled in is certified by the Yoga Alliance. The training takes place over nine weekends from August through March at m3Yoga in Athens, GA. The hours are Friday 7pm-9:30pm, Saturday 8am-7pm, and Sunday 8am-1pm. You can read my yoga teacher trainee bio here. Needless to say, YTT is no joke and a huge commitment. I could not do more than one weekend per month in veterinary school. However, it has helped me stay on track with both my physical fitness and more importantly my mental health. We had to come up with a yoga teaching mantra, and mine is to give my students the tools to cope with obstacles on and OFF the yoga mat. My favorite stress relieving tool that we have learned is Pranayama, or breath work. I absolutely LOVE Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, or Alternate Nostril Breathing because it is something that you can incorporate into your everyday life to ease anxiety and stress. If you are really struggling with anxiety, click here to read my 5 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety.
Benefits of Alternate Nostril Breathing:
- Infuses the body with oxygen
- Clears and releases toxins from bodily channels
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Calms and rejuvenates the nervous system
- Helps to maintain balance of hormones
- Supports clear and balanced respiratory channels
- Balances the left and right side of the brain and channels of the body, and brings balance to the masculine and feminine energies
- Fosters mental clarity and an alert mind
- Supports the ability to concentrate
Here is a youtube video that you can follow to help begin a practice of Alternate Nostril Breathing:
Additionally, I started research with Dr. Branson Ritchie, an exotic animal veterinarian who specializes in infectious diseases. Instead of working in a lab, I mostly focus on literature reviews. I had no idea how much work would be involved in this, but I have read hundreds of papers and still only have a working draft. Research is tough! However, I encourage veterinary students to get involved in literature reviews or journal clubs because this opportunity really enhanced my ability to read (and understand) scientific journals.
This semester, as treasurer or Zoo Med Club, I helped coordinate finances for a One Health Workshop that was organized by my advisor and her lab. Although I couldn’t attend the event, it was a huge success and I was very proud to be involved. If you would like to see one of the talks and have an interest in wildlife medicine, here is the link: Seminar – One Health.
Next on the horizon…
I am trying to eliminate some of the unnecessary responsibilities I have accrued. Vet school is hard enough without me adding to it. I hope you all are enjoying some much-needed vacation and R&R.
And TOMORROW, I will be hosting a surprise giveaway with some lovely ladies in medicine. Can’t wait to share with you all.
Until next time!