In August 2013 I start the 4-year BVM&S “programme” at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Scotland.
I know what you’re thinking:
1. Did that girl seriously just spell “program” with two “m’s” and an “e?” Yes. I did. That’s how they do in the United Kingdom (Or, as we “locals” like to call it, the “UK”)
2. Did she just say she’s going to be a Royal Dick Vet? Yes, yes I did!
Now, I’m not much of a believer in fate or destiny. One time, I may have even threatened to shank a friend who told me that my newly derailed relationship wasn’t “meant to be.” I’m embarrassed to admit I responded with something along the lines of, “Of course we are meant to be! Just because he dumped me doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me anymore!” It wasn’t my most brilliant declaration, but in my defense, I was full of heartache and tequila. Not a brilliant combination.
I am, however, a big believer in opportunities. I am blessed to have had many wonderful opportunities in my life. But having an opportunity is not the same as seizing an opportunity. I seek out and chase down opportunities, tackle them, alligator wrestle them to the ground, and, if there is anything left, claim the remains as mine. I consider myself brave for taking these chances. Other people may not use the word “brave” to describe me. In fact, I’ve been called: reckless, impulsive, unorthodox, and hardheaded. But the people who know and love me usually say I’m: free-spirited, inspirational, a hippie, and…hardheaded.
But enough about me. Let’s talk about how I stumbled upon this most recent and awesome opportunity.
Like many aspiring veterinarians, I’ve wanted to be an “animal doctor” my whole life. My personal statement explained how I smuggled my hamster into science class back in elementary school. However, I also wanted to be other things, like a fighter pilot, and I had a chance to kinda – sorta – almost do that by going to the United States Coast Guard Academy where I hoped I could learn to fly helicopters, which is quite similar to flying fighter jets, to my understanding. Anyway, it didn’t take long for my pilot dreams to metaphorically crash and burn, allowing me to turn my energy back to my other childhood passions.
When I got out of the Coast Guard I moved back to my native land of Colorado and enrolled in the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. I loved it. I maintained a 4.0 GPA, volunteered with the animal shelter, and got a job as an Exam Room Assistant at the very best veterinary clinic in Denver.
But, while my Bio-Chem degree from the Coast Guard Academy, Bel-Rea GPA, volunteer experience and job all helped me be a competitive candidate for veterinary school, the reason I am heading to Edinburgh in 3 weeks is because I worked for the YMCA.
After a particularly distressing conversation from the representative from the University of Glasgow’s Veterinary School, I came into work at the Glendale Sports Center talking about how I could come up with a better strategy. The executive director overheard me and perked up. She said she knew someone who was going to vet school in Scotland and offered to put me in touch with him.
I was e-introduced to T, who told me how much he was enjoying studying veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh. I then reached out the the admissions contact with a basic request for information as an international student.
That night, I woke up at 2:30 am, 9:30 am Scotland time, and checked my e-mail. The University had already responded with information about applying! In the e-mail, Ms. H informed me that the school was accepting late applications should I want to start classes in August 2013 instead of August 2014. I decided an informal application was perfect, since I wasn’t planning on getting into the programme on my first try, I expected the feedback they gave me on my application to be beneficial when I applied in the fall.
I compiled a resume, a curriculum vitae, my unofficial transcripts, my personal statement and personal references from past mentors, instructors and commanders. I only needed one, but I felt like 3 would be better.
About a week after my package had been sent to the admissions board, I received an e-mail congratulating me on my acceptance to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. I was floored. I sat in class re-reading the e-mail for an hour. Then, I posted something cryptic on Facebook making it sound like I was pregnant or engaged or something, just to rile up some of my friends. Then, I called my mom. She told everyone in her office that I was moving to Scotland to become a veterinarian. Then, I started shouting from the rooftops. Everyone was pretty surprised because I had kept my plans to apply relatively secret, only sharing with my inner circle. I just didn’t want the world to know I was applying and failing and applying and failing. Success is so much more becoming on me, so I was playing it safe.
I had to fill out an official application to get my official acceptance, of course, but everything has been flowing as smoothly as things can flow across the Atlantic. On July 1, my financial aid should be sent to the school for processing and once I get that approved, I’ll be able to apply for my student visa.
Standby for overseas adventures! I hope you keep reading it as you never know when I’ll be posting a picture of myself with my arm up a cow’s vagina.
Peace and Love