Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's good to be a sophomore

...because that means that I am not currently freaked out about tomorrow first freshman anatomy exam!

The poor little freshmen... they have been conspicuously absent from club meetings and student events this week, due to an onslaught of terrifying exams and the requisite panicked studying that must occur in the preceding days.

I remember the feeling of approaching your first exam, ever, in vet school, and being totally sure you were going to fail. To put it in perspective, I would rather take 5 capstone exams than be back in the current shoes of the freshmen and not know what I'm up against.

All of us sophomores know that the freshmen will be totally fine. They will almost all do really well on the exam. They will come out of it saying, "That wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be" and "Wow, they really did ask fair questions like they said they would." We can tell the freshmen these things, but they won't believe us till they see it for themselves.

It's tradition for the sophomore class to prepare a surprise for the freshmen on the day of their first anatomy exam. In recent years this has tended to include some sort of homemade silly video played immediately before the exam and intended to loosen up the poor stressed out freshmen.

I remember being SO nervous last year, certain it was only a matter of minutes before I found out that I really wasn't cut out for vet school.

They had us come about a half hour early for "pre-exam preparation." Once we had all sat down, the entire sophomore class filed into the room, clapping and cheering for us. It was such a cool thing to do that I actually teared up a little and felt like I finally knew what college is supposed to be like.

Then the sophomores played a funny video they had made, with parodies of various aspects of freshman life, anatomy class, etc. In retrospect, I don't remember many details and I'm guessing it wasn't actually all that hilarious, but we were all so tense that just about anything would have made us laugh.

This year, we're going to do the same thing for this year's freshmen - cheering and a video. Even as I write this, they are undoubtedly spending a few more frantic hours cramming for tomorrow's big exam. Some of them are probably sure they'll fail, certain that tomorrow will be the first step on their path toward getting out of vet school.

But they'll be fine!

It's great to have a year's worth of perspective to look back and see that things really weren't that bad. One of the coolest things you learn as a freshman is that all of the faculty here just want you to succeed. Vet school is pretty awesome.

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