V20 Survival Guide, from a V19

V20 Survival Guide, from a V19

The first year of vet school can definitely be a challenging one. You don’t quite know what to expect and the common “drinking out of a firehose” metaphor to explain how much you are learning is thrown around too often for your liking. Here are some tips to help make it through.


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    Take a break from solo study and spend some time with someone whose been in your shoes.

    Take advantage of tutoring sessions. Every Wednesday night, in the McGrath lobby from 5-7pm, second year students are available to help you with your classes. This is a great opportunity to have valuable one-on-one extra help with a student who has previously taken your courses. They can impart memorization techniques, useful acronyms, and overall general study advice. You don’t need to stay the entire time; you can drop in to ask a quick question or stay as long as you need to have difficult concepts cleared up. This is a great resource and rumor has it, snacks are served too!


  1. Big siblings Your second year big sibling is always there for support when you need it. All of the big siblings volunteered to be your “big” so we don’t mind if you reach out to us for advice or to answer a question. Our first year at Tufts is fresh in our minds. We know exactly what you’re going through. We are here to remind you that even when studying feels overwhelming, you’ll be ok! We all made it through the difficulties and changes that first year brings and so can you.


  1. Don’t be afraid to ask professors for help While professors don’t have formally established times for office hours like in undergrad, they still are more than willing to answer your questions, whether by email or setting up an appointment to meet in person. Since they are the ones writing the exam, it is advantageous to approach them if you don’t understand a concept. I have also found review sessions held before exams very helpful. Often considered “optional” on our schedules, the smaller attendance can be beneficial when hoping to get questions answered. Additionally, your student Veterinary Education Review Committee (VERC) rep can also reach out to professors for you if you have concerns about the course.


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    Cummings Support Center offers free counseling service for students and member of the faculty and staff.

    Cummings Support Center Located next to the Alpha Psi house, two counselors are available every Tuesday from 12-8pm and every Thursday from 10am-6pm. All appointments are confidential. The counselors are here to help with anything, including the stresses that come with the vet school course load. They are here to listen if you simply want someone to talk with, providing you with a different perspective from friends and family. The Support Center is a great resource Tufts offers to students for any difficulties they may be struggling with.


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    A picture of campus snapped by Alyssa while on a run this fall.

    Stay active! While you are constantly exercising your mind by listening to lectures all day and studying all night, it is important to also take care of your body. Break out of the four walls of the lecture hall or library and breathe in some fresh air outside. Join the Running Club for laps around campus or the Mountain Club to explore the beautiful mountains of New England. Don’t forget to take advantage of the free gym in the basement of  the AVA. Running is my favorite method to relieve stress and I can often be found going for runs during lunch or when classes are done for the afternoon. For me, everything is a little less stressful once I spend some time outside clearing my head. Even just a quick walk around AVA, HLH, or VLH between lectures can not only stretch your legs but snap you back into focus to the task at hand.