My previous post was difficult to write, mainly because I have SO many reasons behind why I want to be a vet. However, this post has definitely been the hardest. Usually, I forgive, forget and move on from things that knock me down, but my A-level results (2016) changed my life; financially, temporally and socially.
Now that may sound dramatic (probably from spending too much time with Jaydene), so I’ll start from the beginning… drag it all back up.
“A vet? you’re not clever enough to be a vet”.
I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong, but I reflect on this comment during hard times and remind myself that nothing worth having comes easy. No one is born clever. I must go over things numerous times before they begin to make sense. My teachers hated me; always asking questions, always writing too much, always defending my grades. I’ve been programmed to aim high and work hard. From SATs, GCSEs through to my AS and A2 levels, they’re all serving one purpose to me. Knowledge may be a power, but my grades were my place at a vet school. Science, forever a favourite of mine, maths was more love-hate and P.E was a drain until I started DofE. I began running with my family, a skill I overlook but thank them for teaching me. Since year 10 work experience, my time revolved around school work and my local vet practice. I worked in my parent’s café on weekends, went on ski trips, field trips, hikes and the odd DofE training weekend. I knuckled down at GCSE and spent hours revising. The hard-work paid off. I stayed on at my sixth form for my A-levels, I played an active role as deputy head girl. I achieved top grades in English language and reluctantly dropped it at A2. My application was due in well-before the rest of my peers. I had a 43% chance of getting an offer (less than that because I am female). I’d practised my interview answers on anyone that would listen and spent hours perfecting my personal statement (and helping someone with a very late application). I was invited to interviews and later confirmed my first choice at Liverpool vet school.
At A2, the new head of science took me under her wing, we spent hours devouring the biology AQA textbook until we’d practically memorised it. I had a genuine love for geography and my teachers. Lastly, my Achilles’ heel; chemistry. I could say a lot about my beloved chemistry lessons, but unless you have been faced with a 9 mark essay, at the end of what can only be described as the dog shit of all exams… you wouldn’t understand. An older, ex-student tutored me, I went on multiple ‘exam success’ courses, but it still wasn’t enough. Three days after my 18th, my birthday week came to a disastrous end. Results day; the worst day of my life. I hadn’t checked on UCAS, if I hadn’t gotten I’d panic, helplessly until I had my grades. I waited it out. My friends knew they were in, I was so excited to join in on their excitement. I deserved this, I’d worked hard for this. But sadly, the proof was not in the Yorkshire pudding. Some random nobody, I had never seen in my whole 7 years at school handed me my results and asked, excitedly, ‘Is this what you wanted?’. Much like a fight or flight response, I ran from the room. I cried for the best part of half an hour and then something came over me. I had two options: I could re-sit, give it my all (again) and risk losing out (again) on my final chance for a place at vet school since you’re only allowed two applications. Alternatively, I could apply as a postgraduate three years later. Desperate to leave the school I’d given my all with little to no support or sympathy in return, and no understanding of UCAS clearing AT ALL. I grabbed the head of science and we spent 3+ hours on numerous phones to reject my biochem offer from Nottingham; plan Z if I lost an arm and wasn’t physically capable of being a vet. My friends and their mothers managed to get me on the phone with my first choice. I needed an A in chemistry to be reconsidered, which equated to 3 more marks in that bloody exam. My place had gone to someone else. I signed up for zoology and I was then moved on to biovet during first semester. After my success, if you can call it that, I helped some others through clearing, and the year after too. None was quite as devastated as me, nor had three simple letters shattered their dreams. Everyone went out or results night, but I was so disappointed I knew I would end up being ‘the Debbie’. After a dog walk on the beach, a friend assured me I could still be a vet, her brother had gone on to do vet after completing his biovet degree.
My positivity and determination have kept me afloat, despite the Titanic-like throwbacks. Since coming to uni and meeting several ‘gap yah’, re-sit, post-grad and masters students. It makes you realise that age really is but a number. I should hopefully graduate at 26, but no one will be able to take away my first degree, I have matured, learnt, revised and developed skills I never thought I’d need until I came to uni. Biovet has not been a mistake but trying to blame people for my misfortune would be. The more I talk about my results day nightmare, the easier it gets. I was so proud of my friends that day, and that’s what I choose to remember, the rest is just a minor, 3-year, £45,000 setback… I have, and always will, have fond memories of my 7 years at school, I made friends for life, had the funniest times and learnt the true meaning of resilience. Next week I plan to explain the no-funding/ £45,000 uni fee shit, but also let you in on my hobbies and fab uni life in Liverpool. And on that note, big loves to all of my lovely teachers and best-friends, I wouldn’t be here without you, Evie xxx
P.S Thank you for the lovely comments and motivational texts, they really do make my day and keep me going. Please support me through my page or PayPal, the half marathon is weeks away! The freezing weather has been a challenge for everyone but especially the homeless and their dogs. Do your good deed of the day and donate your takeaway coffee money. The Trusty Paws Clinic are doing everything they can but their funds are limited.