Tag Archives: vmcas

The Personal Statement

10 Mar

Yup, I’m going to do it. Against my better judgement.  So before the good stuff, you get to read some MAJOR disclaimers.  I will post my favorite personal statement that I submitted with my most recent vet school application.

First off, I was not accepted to school.  Take that as you will.  I was exceptionally happy with the way this essay turned out, but the admissions committee might have hated it.  I hope reading it over will give someone an idea of how these statements go, the way to utilize space, and mostly to step out of the box and dare to be different from everyone else.  If nothing else, you can see what you DON’T want to do in your personal statement.

Disclaimer 2:  I was afraid someone would plegerize my work, but honestly, I can’t use the thing so someone might as well be inspired by it (hopefully). If you’re lame enough to steal my idea or copy it word for word–well, you know what you did. You will someday fail at life when there is no one left to copy. Also, I hope whichever school or program you turn in it to is smart enough to Google it and gets connected right back to my blog.  But really, don’t be a ball-sack and steal the idea or content.

Disclaimer 3:  Writing these are difficult and time consuming.  I started out by brainstorming all the possible ways I could make such a formulaic, relatively short piece, both contain all the pertinent information, mention things I wanted the committee to know, and be a little unique.  Once I had my idea, I wrote the first draft pretty quickly.  Then the editing began.  I think I had at least 20 drafts–maybe more.  Everyone I KNEW read and made corrections and comments.  Every.  Word.  Counts in these things.  There is not one single word that wasn’t scrutinized for clarity, flow, and meaning both explicit and implicit.  Many thanks to my boss (especially!), my mom, who has always been a great personal editor, and Cool for helping me with some of the best revisions.  But thanks to assorted Facebook contacts as well for reading it over and helping me improve it.

So without further ado, here is my latest Veterinary School Application Personal Statement in all it’s glory:

Veterinary medicine attracts the type of person who loves bodily fluids. In my years of experience I have not yet encountered a veterinarian who does not take great satisfaction in draining an abscess and seeing copious amounts of pus.  In my daily duties as a veterinary assistant, I see urine, vomit, and blood and never think twice. Many times I am adorned by those substances, yet I find it amusing.  As I learned during my employment, in addition to loving disgusting things, maintaining good humor is imperative in the veterinary profession.


I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of veterinary medicine and I still want to engage in it.  One Christmas Day, and I counted 128 dogs and cats staying at the hospital where I worked for the long weekend.  Before I pushed the heavy swinging door open, I heard the cacophony of barking canines.  Once inside, the pungent aroma was evident.  As you can imagine, it did not smell like flowers in the kennel rooms.  As the dogs realized they were about to be momentarily freed, their decibel would intensify.  Flashes of brindle, wheaten, and merle three stories high Riverdanced a metallic jig, eager to escape their steel cages.


Stressed to be away from their owners, the animals would display negative behaviors. Since the pets did not always cooperate, maintaining their health and welfare required a degree of levity. As I hustled to walk, clean, feed, and medicate the patients, I would imagine what it would be like to be in their position.  I decided the best representation of me as a hospitalized animal would be the highly energetic and strong personality of a terrier.  Like the stubborn terrier that yanks on the leash, even after he has been corrected numerous times, my drive to enter the veterinary profession remains undeterred. As evidenced by my continuous animal experience, my ambition to become an animal doctor and own a veterinary hospital has never waned. Even when I have been issued corrections to “become a dentist” from practical pre-veterinary guest speakers, I continue to bound down the veterinary career path.


While in his kennel, a terrier might take his food, piece by piece, out of the bowl and rearrange it around the floor in an attempt to make the space more conducive to his needs.  Being surprised with an explosion of food bits when changing the harmless towel was a pain that required extra sweeping, but I could certainly empathize. If I were confined to a cubicle or a situation that stifled my desires, I too, would take steps to change my scenery.  In fact, growing up in a state without a veterinary college restricted my dream. I realize veterinary schools give preference to residents, so at that juncture I rearranged my life piece by piece and moved to Missouri to enter a strong Animal Science program and pursue residency in a state with its own veterinary college. Though relocating was a major adjustment and, at times, as messy as food confetti, I do not regret my decision. I gained agricultural experience and knowledge that was unavailable to me in my home state.


My trajectory toward veterinary school was not just shaped by moves halfway across the country.  I encountered resistance even when I received that coveted letter of acceptance to veterinary school.  The week before I was supposed to matriculate, my loan fell through and I had to drop my seat in the class.  It was devastating, and I had to mindfully conjure a terrier whose spirit is difficult to break.  I thought of my favorite terrier who hated his complimentary baths and would miserably shake off the water the entire time, but would regain his characteristic zeal immediately after he was dry.  I vowed to gather up my resolve and “shake it off” as well.  Back at square one, I had the opportunity to move to any state with a veterinary program to pursue my goal. In the same way I chose Missouri for its agricultural advantages, I picked Washington State due to the excellent reputation of its veterinary program.


My musings of being a terrier aside, it was satisfying to leave the once complaining pets in the kennel rooms happy and treated.  If the job had started out simple, without mess or struggle, the end gratification would have been substantially smaller.  Analogous is my journey to veterinary medicine–acceptance to veterinary school in particular. At times, the task feels monumental, the road to success convoluted and bleak. I am persevering, realizing my dream of entering into private practice in a rural setting will bring the utmost satisfaction.


My prolonged journey allowed me to amass technical skills, garner coping mechanisms, and observe veterinarians in an array of practices in diverse regions. If I had been easily accepted into a program on my first attempt, I might not appreciate the career this much. It is not in spite of my long struggle that I am currently applying to veterinary school in Washington; it is because of the struggle I know I belong here.

Vet School Interview [GRE Vocab from my App]

6 Dec

1.  cacophony-harsh and meaningless mixture of sounds.

2.  pungent-sharp, biting, acrid smell.

3.  decibel-unit used to express the intensity of sound.

4.  levity-lightness of mind, behavior, or character.  Lack of earnestness.

4.5.  earnestness-serious in intention, purpose, or effort.

5.  juncture-critical point in time made important by concurrence of circumstances.

6.  trajectory-the (curved) path (of a projectile) in air/space under influence of forces such as thrust,

wind, resistance, and gravity.

7.  coveted-to have a wrongful desire.

8.  conjure-to bring to mind or recall

9.  zeal-eager desire, passion

10.  musings-contemplation, reflection

11.  analogous-corresponding or alike

12.  convoluted– complicated

13.  bleak– without hope or encouragement.

14.  amass– to gather for oneself.

15.  garner– to get, acquire, or earn.

16.  volatile– changeable, mercurial.

17.  enervated– to lesson the vitality or strength.

18.  restive– restless, uneasy.

19.  aberrant– deviating from the ordinary.

20.  reticent– reluctant or restrained.

Must. Do. Productive Things.

16 Sep

My life has been consumed with work and vet school application and essay writing as of late.  And isn’t it funny while you’re working so hard on one task a million things you want to do pop into your head?  I guess out of need for change or boredom or something.  So here’s mine so I don’t forget now that I’m FREE:

Paint anatomy animals

put songs back into playlists (effing itunes!)

“Rinse” songs

download more music

write and put corresponding pics of ANTM

make a blog on trafficking

Shoot, I think I already forgot about a bunch of things!  See what happens once you free?  It’s like your mind just wanted other stimulation.  Oh well, I can always add more later.

Now for the Waiting. . .

15 Sep

Last Thursday I submitted my VMCAS and today I turned in the WA supplemental application!  I feel good about it, except I couldn’t get my required courses to list in chronological or number order.  I guess everyone will be in the same boat on that one though.

This is the part that sucks the most:  Waiting until Dec-Jan to see if I get an interview or not.  To distract myself, I will accumulate even more animal experience by volunteering at the zoo in town.  I will get the application for it on Saturday-and ask for MORE letters of reference.  I am also going to help one of the vets at work draw blood on her personal chickens so I can add wildlife/zoo and poultry to the species I’ve worked with.

I will also be going over possible interview questions and probably writing some of my answers on here–to practice what to say and get comfortable with what I plan to say.  Ugh-interviews are not until January 23-25.  Kill me now.

Oh, and I’ll be submitting some applications for my various back up plans.  And of course completing my FAFSA and saving money.  I guess there is some stuff aside from work to keep me busy while I wait.

PTSD or Burn-Out?

11 Sep

I don’t really know what’s going on with me.  I honestly don’t THINK my performance at work has slipped, but my employers and co-workers are really making me feel like it.  I’ve been getting complaints and chastised–mostly for cleaning-related issues.  Here are the reasons I suspect:

1:  I was previously too willing to take on the (extra) cleaning jobs that nobody else wanted to do ie–being the lone cleaning person and staying late to accomplish this and watering the outside plants daily.  Now that I have scaled back (just a little) people are noticing.  Since they took my extra help for granted they feel as if I am slacking off.  When truthfully I am still doing my job, plus extra–just not as much extra.

2:  Maybe I was overwhelmed when Cool had her bipolar incident and left.  I was upset, but didn’t have time to show it b/c our receptionist was on vacation and our tech was simultaneously sick.  I was working extra during that time AND doing the cleaning still AND working on my vet school application.  So maybe the instability and fear of her leaving again is hitting me late.  Making me more stressed and less productive at work.

3:  I just finished my last vet school application.  Maybe I’m disenchanted by the field as a whole.  Maybe it just took so much effort to get the thing right, there was little left to give work.  Maybe sending in the app just reminded me how temporary and unimportant this job is.  Possibly seeing how hard I’ve worked for this goal made me bitter and therfore made me expect more from my work (higher pay to start with).

4:  I do know my scaling back on the extra cleaning has a lot more to do with my perceived value at work than it does with the actual tasks.  I truly do not mind cleaning, or doing things beyond the scope of my employment.  It is the fact everyone seems to expect it–and from just me.

I keep expecting my boss to pull me aside to reprimand me for cleaning issues and wanting to leave my work days NEAR ending time (the same time as my co-workers).  I am heated over this and don’t know what I’ll tell her.  I’m also contemplating initiaing a talk with her to tell her how it bothers me that I’m feeling devalued at work.  I don’t know if I should tell her how it makes me feel worthless when people expect ONLY me to do the cleaning stuff, or just ask for a raise so when I do extra things I’m not irate that I get paid least of anyone, but have those high expectations placed on me.

I feel my good work ethic is being taken advantage of, and that makes me want to quit.

What a BIG Day!

8 Sep

After a lot of nit-picky editing and reading, reading, reading, I submitted the VMCAS portion of my final vet school application today.  I will post my diversity essay and personal statement on here after the final VMCAS due-date just because I’m paranoid about some other student stealing my awesome ideas.  I’m pretty proud of my personal statement in particular in that I think it is different and creative and also a clever way of conveying my whole life story.  You’ll see soon what I mean.

I still have to submit my supplemental application, but it is finished save for a couple more sdits on my semester of poor performance explanation essay.  Let’s just say it’s SO nice to quickly type something in my blog without having to edit, edit, revise, and edit it some more.  I can’t stand to even LOOK at those three essays because I have been refining them so much.  Every.  Word.  Counts.  and when you only get 2000 to 5000 to convey that much information and you have to do it in a noticeable, yet professional way–it’s seriously tricky.  I can probably recite all three essays verbatim from memory by now. . .

I’m glad that’s over.  Now to prepare for a possible interview *crosses fingers* and some back up options.  I’ll think of that stuff a little later though.  For today, I’m finished with the difficult stuff and off to drink a smoothie and kayak.

Insert Vocab

21 Aug

We huddled together in my dark closet, apprehensive to make noise, and worried he would return and do something worse than defacing property.  My roommate dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone and told the operator in a wavering tone that our volatile landlord had assailed us by kicking in the front door during a fit of rage.  The operator got the address to our secluded basement apartment and ensured us she would send help.

This was just the latest in a series of escalating acts of harassment since 2004 began.  Preceding this, I heard a sound in my living room and walked out of my bedroom to see my erratic landlord had used his keys to let himself inside without prior notice, or even a knock.  I still have no idea what he was planning to do that day, and I began to use my chain lock regularly because did not want to find out.

My roommate went to stay with her boyfriend after our implacable landlord antagonized us by shouting invective through the window a few hours after he was arrested for defiling the door.  I had nowhere else to go, forty days left on my lease, and fall finals in one week.  I was fretful the arrest had inflamed the fractious landlord even more and he would come in while I was showering or sleeping and do terrible things to me.  I locked the screen door and the front door–not that it mattered as he had they keys to both.  Then, I barricaded myself inside by pushing my futon in front of the door.  After a sleepless night, I went to get a restraining order against my intractable landlord.  I was granted an ex-parte that kept him from setting foot on the property, I was still overwrought though.  I figured if someone was willing to break a door down, and was reckless enough to come over and have a tirade outside the window after being jailed that day for snapping the chain lock,  why would a piece of paper stop him from terrorizing me?

This atmosphere of paranoia and chaos was not conducive to studying, to say the least.  At the time, aside from being enervated from fear, I did not realize I had any recourse.  I assumed since the University of Missouri was closing for winter break, and that it would not have been possible to take finals later or retake all my exams, so I muddled through hoping for the best.  In my restive state, I bombed every test I attempted, probably dropping my grade about a full letter in each class.

If something extraordinarily aberrant like that happened to me these days I would inform my professors and at least attempt to get accommodation on my final exams.  This disturbing incident taught me how to be more self-sufficient and utilize the police, the courts, and the university system that are all there to help me.  I will no longer be reticent with my school when I am in crises.  I hate that I had to go through such a trying time, and especially that my grades suffered because of my resulting lassitude, but from that situation I learned the lesson to ask for help when I need it.


14 Aug

We huddled together in my dark closet, terrified to make noise, and worried he would return and do something worse.  My roommate dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone, it was the first time I had ever had the need to call the emergency line.  She spoke in a wavering tone that our landlord had kicked in the front door during a fit of rage, and we were scared.  The operator got the address to our finished basement apartment and ensured us she would send help.

This was just the last in a series of progressively terrorizing acts of harassment.  When I complained that my electricity and water had been turned off for three days despite my religious payment of utilities and rent, my landlord had issued menacing phone calls telling me to stop complaining, especially to my parents.  Another time, I heard a sound in my living room and walked out of my bedroom to see my landlord had used his keys to let himself in without warning.  I still have no idea what he was planning to do that day, and I did not want to find out.  It was that incident that prompted me to start using the chain lock.  This time, my roommate and I had not come to the door quickly enough after he knocked, so he broke it down.

When the police arrived and walked around the corner to where our front door used to be, they were shocked at the damage.  While taking pictures of the door, which had shredded wood along the sides where it had been broken off the hinges, they made a special effort to capture the broken chain lock on film.  They said, though our landlord technically owned this property he had broken our reasonable expectation for privacy by severing the chain lock.

While the police were still there, the landlord returned, presumably to fix the door he had kicked in earlier that day.  The police told him to stop walking towards us and put his hands above his head.  Coming closer, he started to argue that he owned the house, and refused to comply.  The confrontation reached a point where the police had to physically restrain my tall landlord and put him in their car.  They told us, because he did not have a prior record they would have to release him in a few hours.

We knew that he would be furious when he was released, and my roommate and I scurried about trying to regain a semblance of safety by putting the door back up.  Miraculously, the door was back on its hinges within the hour, and we were inside, still shaken from the earlier episode.  That evening, we heard shouting at the front of our house, and entered the living room to see our landlord’s angry and contorted face peering into the screen window, shouting to let him inside.  He wanted the keys he had left in the door back.  We had no choice, but to give the landlord the keys to his property.

Now he would be able to enter our apartment any time.  And we had no chain lock to keep him out!  My roommate went to stay with her boyfriend.  I had to stay in the basement apartment by myself. . .  I had forty days until my lease was up, and my landlord had reason to come back because not only was he furious with me for getting him arrested, he was dating the lady that lived upstairs.  I was afraid the landlord would come in while I was in the shower or sleeping and do terrible things to me.  I locked the screen door and the front door–not that it mattered as he had they keys to both.  Then, I barricaded myself inside by pushing my futon in front of the door.  I was still unsettled so a friend loaned me her pit bull.  The flaw in that plan was the pit bull was not the least bit aggressive, and I forgot that I would have to take her outside to go potty.  After a sleepless night, I went to get a restraining order against my landlord.  I was granted an ex-parte that kept him from setting foot on the property, including the upstairs portion of the house, until the trail for the restraining order.  I was still afraid though.  I figured if someone was willing to break a door down, why would a piece of paper stop him from doing something else?

This atmosphere of fear and paranoia was not conducive to studying, to say the least.  I did not think it would make a difference to speak to my professors about my living situation.  We were going into summer break, and there was just no time to take finals later or retake all my exams, so I muddled through hoping for the best.  I bombed every test I attempted, dropping my grade about a full letter in each class.

Just a Taste

11 Aug

Sight, Smell, Hearing, Touch, Taste

Before I pushed the heavy swinging door open, I could hear the cacophony of barking dogs.  The shrill yips of the Chihuahuas, the baying of the hounds, and the deep woofs of the Rottweilers were incessant.  Once inside the mahogany door, the pungent aroma would hit you.  As you can imagine, it did not smell like the Yankee Candle store in the kennel rooms.  As the dogs realized we were about to walk, feed, and treat them the decibel would increase.  The loud noise echoed off the dingy, stained walls and made talking in normal tones impossible.  Flashes of brindle, wheaten, and merle three stories high Riverdanced a metallic jig, anxious to get out of their steel cages.


7 Aug

I just finished the first draft of my personal statement for my veterinary school application.  I don’t know if I will post it on here or not.  It would be JUST awful of some tool copied my ideas, or worse yet stole the whole essay.  I’ll mull it over.  It’s not like I have many readers after all, and who would do such a douchy thing anyway?

About the essay–I have to say I’m pretty pleased with it.  I think it’s attention-grabbing and creative in a way that the majority of responses will not be.  Also, it tells my journey to veterinary medicine without being negative or overly starry-eyed.  I know for certain it is too long.  I mean, how could it NOT be?  Tell your life story and aspirations in 5,000 words.  Try it.  But I guess that’s why they say writing is revision.

I know!  Maybe I’ll post it on here after I’ve submitted to to VMCAS and the deadline has passed, so you can bask in the awesomeness (or criticize it if you have no taste at all) but I won’t have to worry about copyright issues.  On to the paring down process I go!