Getting into vet school is very challenging. The process of applying can be quite daunting. There are so many hoops to jump through, it can feel endless. It’s a long-drawn-out process that can be consuming! Not to mention the complete heartbreak you feel if you get rejected from your dream school. I’m here to remind you that while it is challenging- you can do it! It may not be as straightforward as you hoped it would be, but as long as you persevere, you’ll get there. If you don’t believe me, take a read of my journey towards vet school to see for yourself.
For me, getting into vet school was not straightforward at all. I’d like to say I went from A to B easily, but I went a lot of places in between. Spoiler alert: I got rejected from vet school multiple times! So if you are having difficulty getting into vet school, don’t worry! While not everyone may experience rejection, it is still pretty common. Alright, let’s get started!
The Beginning Of My Journey To Vet School
While in my fourth year of undergrad, I applied to the vet school and was promptly declined. I was not granted an interview as my grades were not deemed high enough. This was so devastating! I think I cried for weeks. My world seemed like it was ending and that I wasn’t meant to be a vet. I remember calling the school to find out what had gone wrong. The response was: you need higher grades. This was surprising to me as I didn’t realize that it was just your grades that got you an interview. I thought it was based on experience at that point as well, so I was so disappointed. That being said, I did know that some of my colleagues had to try multiple times to get in so I decided I had to give it another try.
My Second Application
I still had to take another semester at school, so I completed that and applied again the next year while working. I thought for sure I was going to get in this time, or at least be granted an interview. My marks were higher than previous and I had acquired more experience. Sounds like a sure shot right? Nope! I was refused admission again with no opportunity for an interview! This felt like a huge setback. I was so frustrated and heartbroken because I was less than 0.5% away from getting an interview. At this point, I strongly considered stopping the journey right then and there. I was having some serious moments of reflection, wondering if I was wasting my time trying to get into this school. Would I ever get in? Or will I remain stagnant?
My Third Application
After some deep thought, I told myself that I owe it to myself to persevere by applying again. I had been basing all of my academic and occupational decisions thus far in life specifically towards vet school. That’s a long time! I couldn’t throw in the towel just yet. Here in Ontario, we are granted four attempts at getting into vet school. So, I decided if I was going to try again- I better give it my all.
I even looked into schools in other provinces but, unfortunately, that was not an option. Each school has such different requirements that while you are busy trying to jump through hoops for the school in your province, you are missing all the hoops for other schools. Moreover, to apply to a school in another province you must be a working, non-student resident for a year before you can apply to their vet school. For me, this just was not an option. I was tired of feeling like I was wasting so much time. I began to look into an international school in the US as well. But, I realized that this wasn’t for me as I was not willing to incur a substantial amount of debt being an international student. And again, the requirements are much different so for many schools I was not a qualified candidate.
Changes I Made For My Third Application
This led me to enroll in post-degree undergraduate studies at the university where I completed my biology undergrad. I was offered a master’s but wasn’t prepared for a two-year commitment and it wasn’t something I was interested in. Post-degree undergraduate studies just means that I was a student without a declared major. I enrolled in two semesters, 5 courses each. I did this in hopes of being able to increase the marks for the full-time semester requirement, and replace a few of my pre-requisites. Enrolling in these courses wasn’t very easy as I found myself having to get overrides into my statistics and chemistry courses because I was previously a biology student. Just more bumps along the way!
After enrolling in these extra semesters I thought it would be best to reduce my work hours. I knew I already had a lot of experience in the field, and that grades were paramount. So, I adjusted my work schedule to be able to better focus on my studies. I was working ~20-25 hours per week throughout my undergrad. While this was great for experience, I needed to focus on school.
Once I completed those semesters I spent the summer working and applied again that fall! This time I had also applied to other programs, in case I didn’t get into vet school. April rolled around, and I had accepted an offer of admission for another school, not a vet school because I wanted to be prepared for another rejection. But, this time I was granted an interview for vet school! I hadn’t expected this at all so I hadn’t spent any time preparing. I quickly bought an ethics textbook and began preparing. Thankfully, I got in and the rest is history!
Once I got into vet school I realized that many of us didn’t get in on our first try. Some did, but a lot didn’t! Being rejected doesn’t mean that you aren’t meant to be a vet. It just means that your journey at vet school isn’t starting this year. It’s not a matter of if you get into vet school, it’s when. As long as you persevere, it will pay off.
I hope you find comfort in knowing that my journey wasn’t straightforward. It’s easy to notice someone’s success after the fact but my “success” didn’t come without hardships. But, those hardships made the acceptance into vet school even sweeter. Remember to be kind to yourself throughout your journey to vet school, if it were easy- everyone would do it.