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Class of 2017 Story: Memories That Can Never Be Duplicated

Laura Johnson
Hometown: Larkspur, Colo.
Focus/post-graduation plans: Small animal; rotating small animal internship at the University of Pennsylvania

What sticks out in my mind the most about the CVM is how much it has felt like home to me.

Even in my first year, I loved the sense that everyone here is working so hard, but we are all working together. We all know that our instructors are working hard right alongside us. Learning veterinary medicine is an all-immersive experience and being surrounded by so much opportunity and information has been both overwhelming and exciting.

There are so many memories, snapshots from my time here. Getting high-fives from one of the instructors as we walked into every anatomy practical exam. Watching a calf take its first steps on a warm afternoon after lab in the Teaching Animal Unit. Resuscitating a feline patient who arrested. We got him back and he did well.

I also remember many, many long hours of studying, holed away with friends at 2 a.m. in some nook of the school building. In fact, very few memories of my last four years are not connected to the school in some way. Like I said, it’s a very immersive experience.

I have learned that it’s OK to embrace my passions. Vet school — and vet med — only works for people if they can learn and do what they are most passionate about.

In my third year, I learned that I have a knack for and love of diagnostic imaging. It was the last thing I expected, but once I had the radiology bug I realized I couldn’t deny it.

My plans changed completely. I now am working toward becoming a radiologist and working in academia.

Veterinary school is a time of extremely concentrated opportunity. There is so much you can see, do and participate in that won’t be available to you after graduation. Nevertheless, your time is limited, so take a look at the entire buffet before you start putting things on your plate.

My advice to current and future students: veterinary school is hard. No one gets through it without putting in a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Be gentle with each other — and with yourself.