a little happy. a little sad. a lot tired.

It's been awhile, I know. I'd say I'm sorry and I won't do it again, but I'd be lying. So, let's just move on.

Vet school year 2: ass. kicker.

After a super busy summer of working 70 hour weeks, diving back into school 8 weeks ago was and still is... brutal. Second year, my friends, is no joke. Tests every week are literally driving me bonkers. Between that and work, I'm pretty sure sleep is something I will never see again. I know my last post talked about being the most tired, ever. But frankly I was naive. I didn't know! I didn't know what was in store for me! So, folks, be kind to your veterinarian. People don't realize that yes, we are in medical school. Yes, it is a grueling four year program. Yes, I have to learn about every animal species known to man (slight hyperbole, but you get the point). Yes, we have to take board exams to be licensed.

At the end of this year we also have a cumulative exam over the material from Y1 and Y2. No pass, no move on to Y3. It's terrifying and I feel like it's the monkey on my back that keeps bopping me in the head. Hard to focus on one block at a time when you know in 8 months you have to take a test on allllll the blocks. Ever.

Clearly, it's not all rainbows and sunshine over here and frankly, it's the exhaustion talking. So, things that have happened since summer? I moved! New apartment, new roommate, and it's amazing. I love my place and I love my new roommate. We also adopted 2 older kitties. I didn't know if my heart was ready after losing my buddy in April, and while it still hurts to think about him and I miss him dearly, these two little fur nuggets are a joy. We adopted a 15 year old and an 8 year old. Best decision we've made thus far. Photos of them will happen eventually, but right now I'm too tired to upload them.

I also ran my fourth Disney half marathon, though I use the word 'ran' loosely. Note to the universe: do not run 13.1 miles without training and while you have the flu. It nearly killed me. But I did it and then spent 3 days in Disneyland popping cold meds, blowing my nose and hanging out with my family. Vacation well spent.

Those of you in California, and perhaps afar, know that we've had some wicked wild fires this year. There were two recently that were close to the Sacramento area and I'm so proud of how my school responded. Faculty and students spent countless days and hours searching for and rescuing displaced animals. The hospital has taken in over 50 burn and smoke inhalation patients and is treating them purely from donations, as well as any other funding sources they have available. It is astounding to see how this community has pulled together to provide top notch care to these injured and scared animals. I had the honor of working with many of the burned feline patients on a clinical rotation yesterday and I can honestly say that it was life changing. Thankfully, about half of the patients have been found by their owners, but the others still need to find their people! If you're so inclined, check out the UC Davis SVM Facebook page for more information and spread the word. And, if you have the urge to share some generosity, donations are still gladly being accepted as many patients still require intensive care.

That's pretty much the extent of exciting and happy news in my world. If you only want happy, move on now. I suggest looking at these adorable photos of cats using dogs as pillows.

On to more serious business. In the past year the veterinary community has lost several beautiful souls. Some to tragic accidents and others to suicide. We can't control the accidents, but we can do something about the suicides. This is a wonderful, rewarding and truly amazing profession. I have joined a family of brilliant, caring people, not just at UC Davis but across the globe. I think one would be hard pressed to find a tighter knit profession than this field. So when one part of our family suffers, we all do. Last week a second year student at the Ohio State veterinary school took his own life. As with any suicide, we will never know the reasons why or what demons he was fighting that were telling him he wasn't good enough/strong enough/worth it. But to his friends, family and classmates I would say, you are not alone. We feel your sadness and confusion with you. To those who have had the same thoughts I would say, hold on just a little bit longer. You matter. You are good enough. You are smart enough. You will make it. This is a demanding field and getting through these programs take a serious toll on you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Just hang in there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Find your joy again. Remember why you wanted to dedicate your life to this field. Your classmates and your colleagues are here for YOU. You MATTER,

I repeat. You matter. #VetStudentsUnited