Turning Turtle

Oops it’s me! Happy New Year, merry Christmas and whatever else I’ve missed over the past few months. I realise it’s been a while since my last post, but I do have a lot of exciting news and updates: Dry January looked promising until I finished my first semester of third year exams… I’ve had some rather embarrassing clothing malfunctions at interviews and as far as my latest challenges are concerned; ‘how many turkey dinners can you consume post-Christmas day?’ wasn’t really worth the sponsors. I’ve left my best fleeces in Yorkshire, and I’m back in Liverpool for my final semester of my Bio-vet degree. Now grab yourself a brew because this is going to be one hell of a whistle stop tour!

THIRD YEAR
We were warned in second year how difficult third year would be. There was no description of how it would be harder and beginning my final semester as a bio-vet student, my experience of third year so far has been exactly as predicted. For those of you who have seen the latest Mary Poppins film, the chaos and pressure of third year, I believe is best described by Meryl Streep in ‘Turning Turtle’. Except it’s every day in third year and not just every second Wednesday of the month…  it’s worth a listen.

With first semester exams now over, I never thought I’d say it, but I actually preferred the physics-based, biomechanics exam. I proved to myself that no matter how difficult something can first appear, perseverance does pay off. If at first you don’t succeed, fix your pony tail and get your head down. We can learn anything when we put our mind to it, even physics! With my dissertation and second semester exams (‘finals’!!) looming, I will be sad to spend less time in the lambing shed this Easter. Lucky for you Mum, I will be available to entertain your work colleagues when I next join you at work to revise in my office. Although, I can guarantee a quick ‘brain break’ will teleport me from my revision notes to the lambing pens on the other side of the valley.

Last semester I met Judy Puddifoot from BBC 2’s ‘Young Vets’. Her advice and anecdotes reminded me to reflect on my journey so far and explained some benefits of being a post-grad vet that I hadn’t even thought of. Post-grads understand how uni works, and they can use this to their advantage when freshers (first years) are getting themselves settled in. Her dyslexia was not diagnosed until late into her course, and so if she managed to learn the content, I sure as hell can too.

INTERVIEWS
Having received all four invites for a formal interview, between October 15th and late November, I am now nervously awaiting my final vet school interview in Nottingham. I have already attended interviews at the Uni of Surrey, Uni of Liverpool and the Royal Veterinary College, London. Soon after my Liverpool, 9 panel Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) in the cathedral crypt (some serious déjà vu), I received my first offer of a place at their vet school. I was elated when I received my offer by email. To clarify; I am going to be a vet! All there is to do is bag a 2:1 and I’ll be studying in Liverpool in September. That same day I was en route to London to stay with an extremely talented MTA student, and close friend from secondary school. I must thank her for having me and for her fundraising ideas as she too had to self-fund her dream course. I am still awaiting a response from the RVC, but as a post-grad course places are more limited. Last but not least, my most recent offer from Surrey came in the day after my first exam this January. They had been struggling to access my work experience forms… rather annoying as I felt the interview had gone rather well, despite my shirt unbuttoning at the chest mid-interview. I needn’t have worried because I know have my offer. Huge thanks to my Guildford family for having me, Surrey is a lovely place with a lot of character and the uni had fantastic sports facilities.

Fingers crossed I hear from the RVC soon, but I have bigger fish to fry with my Nottingham interview around the corner. Having a choice of vet school will be rather exciting, although I really don’t have a preference because I will still be a vet at the end of the course. When the time comes to decide I will have to assess the costs and benefits of each:

  • Despite the RVC offering a four-year course, Camden will be a challenge to afford living costs.
  • Liverpool is the best city ever, and I know it so well now, but I do love exploring new places.
  • Surrey has great facilities, but again the cost of living in Guildford cannot be ignored.
  • Finally, Nottingham would be the most affordable, it’s equidistant from home as Liverpool is and they produce highly-skilled vets. I will have to wait and see what the interview holds… 3 down 1 to go!

CHALLENGES
I thought it would be sensible to have a break from competitions and fundraising over the past few months; what with the Baltic weather, my interviews and quite frankly being far too unhealthy over Christmas. Apparently orange segments in mulled wine do not class as one of your five-a-day, Bailey’s is not a calcium source and Christmas cake every day for a month does have a downside… However, besides the odd Parkrun, I have been planning my next challenges for the coming year. In my last blog posts, I was raising money for St John Ambulance when I ran the Great North Run and two weeks later the Nottingham half marathon with Mum.

I plan to run the Liverpool 10-miler and complete a 2-mile Swimathon this March. Having not swam since before Christmas and excessive amounts of snacking halting my running progress, I could well be facing my hardest challenges yet. Please follow the links to see what my challenges entail. I will be swimming and running in aid of Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK. With 50% saved for my vet school fund. Here are the links for my PayPal and fundraising page too. I would be so grateful of your support. I appreciate asking for sponsors this time of year, especially after Christmas, is the equivalent of asking for anything other than chicken in Nandos, but your support would be amazing nonetheless. My interviews and vet schools offers have motivated me to study, much to my family’s delight, however I have been a little less inspired to exercise. Weeks of Christmas indulgence has left me questioning my idea of a healthy diet too.

I didn’t want to jinx my last interview by writing my tips for “smashing” interviews, so I will save them for another blog post, and hopefully by then I will have a good success rate and more experience. Between now and my next blog I will be working hard on my fitness (and diet), uni work and my Nottingham vet school interview. I can’t promise when my next blog post will be, but hopefully there will be more interview offers and the results of my Liverpool 10-miler and Swimathon, so long as third year doesn’t kill me off… tune in to find out!

Big loves,

The Gunnabe Vet xx

My office at PG

Pre- Surrey interview
Christmas dinner
Exam revision with Humphrey
My first vet school offer
Post-RVC interview
Parkrun with my fit fam

6 thoughts on “Turning Turtle

  1. Lovely read. Well done on your interviews and offer. Good luck for your swim and run. Love you loads. My amazing Niece! Xx

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