Day in the Life: First Year Vet Student (Fall 2017)

As, promised, here’s my day in the life as a first year vet student! Every day and every week is different, but today is more or less typical!

5:55am: Alarm goes off


I start getting ready for the day, and try to keep my roommate’s talkative kitty quiet.


She actually settles down instead of following me around meowing this morning.


6:20: Quick breakfast before running out the door. I have a flapjacked muffin and a few crackers.


6:40: Leave the house and realize it’s trash day. Whoops. In vet school I never can keep track of the days. I take out the bins on my way out.

6:45: Arrive at the teaching hospital. This morning I volunteered for the treatment crew for kitties burned in the Sonoma/Santa Rosa fires. We’ve gotten a ton of kitties transferred to us, so students come in in the morning and evening to take care of them to help out the normal hospital staff.


8:30: Finish the morning treatments. We finished a little bit early, which means I don’t have to sprint to lecture! The kitties are the sweetest things.


9:00: Lecture. With a lollipop. We’re doing immune system/hematology right now.


10:00: Lecture.

10:50-11:00: Take a quick walk before our 11:00 lecture to get the blood flowing!


11-12: Lecture

12:00: Lunchtime! I packed leftover zucchini noodle pad thai with scrambled egg. I accidentally put too much sauce on, so I threw in some lettuce.


1-2: Lecture/lab. We’re looking at pictures of bone marrow aspirate and identifying cell types, and underlying diseases.


2-2:15: Meet with my group to discuss how we are going to attack our group take home test/homework assignment.

2:30: Home! This is the earliest we’ve gotten out in a long time, and it’s because the other half of our class has a 3 hour lab this afternoon (we have it Friday). I have a snack and watch a short TV episode. I usually take a break when I first get home because my brain is fried, although today was pretty light so it doesn’t feel as necessary!


2:50-3: Start typing up this blog post.

3-3:30 Random stuff around the house. I bag up leftover Halloween candy for our group meeting, keeping out some for a baking project!

3:30-4:15: Go over lecture notes and make a study guide. For each lecture, I go through the slides (I take notes directly on the slides on my iPad. That thing is my life.) and make sure I understand everything, and summarize it all into a study guide. Colorful pens are mandatory. I try to go through all the lectures on the day of, because it’s easy to get behind, but some days (like Monday when we had 5 lectures) that isn’t practical. I get through one lecture so far.


Everyone has to find their own method of studying in vet school, and thus far this has worked really well for me. When I’m studying for a test, I can read through my study guides fairly quickly, although I still go through the lectures as well. Right now the study guides are enough and I don’t need flashcards, but that might change . Flashcards are more time consuming and part of vet school is optimizing time. Our next unit is nutrition, so I may need to start using them with that!

4:15: Get ready for Crossfit!

4:25: Leave for Crossfit.

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I wear running shoes because I’m trying to give my feet more cushion (my ankle bone has been hurting) and we’re not doing anything that involves squatting or any movement that would require flatter shoes.

Also: I really like this version of this song. The first time I heard it I thought it was the weirdest thing, but it grew on me.


4:45-5:30: Crossfit! I go to the 45 minute condensed class. It’s the same workout as the regular classes, but the pace is faster. We do 10 minutes of EMOM kipping pull ups, and I do 5 each minute. I feel like my strength would allow me to do more, but my hands get bruised and ripped.

The WOD was a 15 minute AMRAP of

30 sit ups with a 14# med ball

200m run

30 push ups

200m run

I only got to 2 and a half rounds!


When I get home, I make dinner right away and turn on Game 7 of the World Series! I can stream Xfinity, but what it lets you stream is weird. I can’t stream the World Series…but then I realized a couple of days ago, there is a loophole. I can stream the Spanish broadcast! I’ll take it! I know some Spanish, so I understood some things!


6:00: Sit down to eat. On the menu is Mexican style zucchini noodles. I season the zoodles with smoky seasoning, and then stir in Harvest salsa, chicken, and reduced fat Mexican cheese blend. Guacamole on the side.


For dessert, I pull a piece of pumpkin banana bread from the freezer.


7:30: Finally mute the game and get back to work. Normally I’d watch one show episode during dinner and then start studying, but Game 7 of the World Series is a special circumstance, clearly! Instead of going through the other lecture from today, I start working on making a giant diagram of all the immune system stuff we’ve learned this block. I really like putting everything together.


Somewhere in there, I snack on a granola bar. It’s so crumbly I have to eat it over the sink or I’ll make a mess. Annoying.


A cuddle break was taken also:


9:00: Astros win the World Series!


9:15: Break to blog. My diagram is done for now. Rina is snoozing. She often comes up and meows at me when it’s time for bed!

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I’m going to sign off now. I’m going to take a crack at my immune system homework problems I’m meeting with my group about tomorrow, and then I might read for a few minutes. I’ll probably call it a night around 10:30!

Pup Comes to Vet School


Be ready for pup overload today, because I’m recapping the adventures of Chloe coming to visit me here at school!


My mom brought her up last Thursday when I had a break in my schedule, and we went out to lunch.

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Once I was done with class for the day, I hurried home to take Chloe for the first of what would be MANY walks around the neighborhood.


My mom brought me some of my favorite soup, plus a giant bag of Pirate’s Booty. Because the pup was so labor intensive, this was about how every meal looked:


I also learned that Chloe LOVES Pirate’s Booty. It has been sad to eat it alone since she left!

Chloe actually got along super well with Rina. Rina stands her ground, so Chloe mostly left her alone minus some sniffs here and there.


Unfortunately, her relationship with my roommate’s sweet golden was a little rockier. Chloe recently started getting a little territorial with other dogs in very specific situations, and having another dog at home was a little rough. Most of the time they were fine, but occasionally Chloe would get super barky.

Friday morning, we were up with the sun to walk before class.


And then Friday night, I took her to one of the breweries with a bunch of vet students. She can be barky in social situations with other dogs, but we’re working on it, and she was really good!

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She made a doggy friend. Another vet student dog. She was super barky when they first arrived, but then calmed down and we all sat together and it was fine. At the end of the night, we let them play it out. When they saw each other the next day, Chloe was totally chill with her!

Chloe is great with other dogs when she meets them on walks, but when she meets them in large groups of dogs and people, she gets pretty overwhelmed and can get riled up and barky.

My Saturday was spent like most of the week, alternating between studying and walking, and then studying WHILE walking. Chloe was pretty wild/jumpy/barky/energetic the first couple oft days especially. Because she is a high energy breed, she needs a ton of exercise. I would walk her, then study while she slept, and when she woke up and starting getting wild and bratty, I would walk her again. And repeat and repeat. Despite the somewhat constant interruptions when she was wild (her favorite thing was to drop my roommate’s dog’s numerous tennis balls under the couch where she couldn’t get them, and then bark until I got them for her…), she was pretty helpful for my studying. When she was sleepy, I felt a lot of pressure to get some good, focused studying in. I also started relistening to some of the lectures I was confused about while walking her, which was really helpful. I’m definitely more of a visual learner than an auditory learner, so listening to things forced me to conceptualize the information myself.

Here are my babes:

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Study buddies <3

That afternoon, I took Chloe to a big vet school event with all the first and second years at a nearby park. We were only a mile away, so we walked there to get some extra energy out. Chloe met a ton of people and dogs, and saw her friend again. Overall, she was a good girl! I could tell by the end though that she was totally over it.

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Later that evening, I brought her to another brewery with friends, and she was AMAZING. She has been getting better (the behavioral issues are fairly recent, only several months), and I discovered her favorite treats in the whole world that she’ll do anything for. It takes the right motivation, and vigilance on my part! She got barked at aggressively and even growled at, but she stayed quiet as we walked through.


When I got home I had to study some more, which was productive thanks to the most beautiful sight: everyone PASSED OUT.


Sunday I volunteered at a clinic, and had to leave her alone for 5 hours. We did a short walk before, and then a lengthier walk after while I listened to a lecture.

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That evening, we took the dogs to the park so they would have some time to get to know each other better. They’re TOTALLY fine outside of the house, at least! Chloe also had her first off leash experience. The golden played fetch, and ran like crazy 100 yards out for the ball….and Chloe watched from about 10 feet away from us. She doesn’t like fetch, and didn’t quite know what to do off leash.



Monday night, I brought Chloe to school with me! The buildings are obviously very dog-friendly. We went around 7:30 to study, and so I could show her around where I spend most of my time!

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We stayed in a study room together, and she was the best study buddy! I don’t know if I would have liked being alone in a windowless room at night, but having a dog to snuggle with every so often to break up some dense study time makes it so much better.

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Tuesday, we ended up walking 2 hours! Our morning walk+an evening walk with a friend along the campus trails.

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And then we were back at school to study that night. This girl <3

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Wednesday morning, we went for one final long walk just as the sun was rising. Before coming to vet school, our walks with a podcast became one of my favorite parts of the week. It was even more so here. There’s nothing better than watching the sun rise with an adorable pup, and being up and out while the world is still quiet. It was honestly so nice having her right before a test. I let her off leash one final time…and she just sat there, a little ways away. The previous day I let her off leash at the park when she was wild and she ran around like crazy, but she’s still learning about the world of off-leash!


We had one last study session together before my mom picked her up.

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My mom and I went for our pumpkin spiced drinks of choice to recap the week, and future training goals for Chloe.

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PSLs are not quite my thing; I don’t love sweet coffee. I got a decaf cappuccino with a single pump of pumpkin spice, and it was perfect! Not too sweet, but still the hint of fall!

Chloe and I had such a great week together. I want her to come back soon, but I have to wait until I have another week where I’m not in class for such long blocks of time! I miss my girl, that’s for sure!

Full Day of Eating on a Study Day

Guess what? I have my first test of vet school on Monday. As a result, this has been a very study-heavy weekend. I felt fairly caught up on the material, so it was a leisurely study day. I actually like studying, especially when it’s not stress-studying. I tried to keep things fresh for myself today, and take some much needed study breaks. Let’s dive in!



I started my morning before 8am at my favorite coffeeshop, and had a decaf cappuccino and GF blueberry muffin while reviewing my notes. After almost 2 hours, I switched it up and headed over to Starbucks where I sipped on mint tea and continued working.


I took a break around noon and headed to the gym. I’m restarting my squat program. My goal is strength maintenance. We don’t do back squat strength much at Crossfit here, so it’s good to sneak in a day of my own lifting. I finished my strength work with a little conditioning, sit ups and double unders. Guys. My doubles were AWFUL today. I don’t think they’ve been this bad in years. I could string like 2 together….last week I strung like 40 together. Um, excuse me? My left forearm got whipped to death, and I think I even managed to bruise my elbow. So frustrating.

For lunch, I made my usual weird salad with turkey, cheese, guacamole, and ketchup, and had some crackers.


After lunch, I got back to studying on the couch. Rina decided to join me, and as the day wore on, it became forced studying because I couldn’t disturb her nap and the only thing within arm’s reach was my study materials.

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Somewhere in there, I had a NuGo bar as well.

Around 5:00, I took a break to go to a vet school fundraiser at a local brewery. Such a great study break. Delicious hefeweizen!


There’s nothing better than sitting outside with a beer in the summer. I needed the break and the human interaction. I feel like today I was sort of in a mood because coffeeshop hopping made me REALLY miss St. Louis and the amazing time I had there last fall.

For dinner, I microwaved a veggie bowl with beans, kale, tofu, and rice, and topped it with cheese.


Then I got to work on my evening activity! I’ve been on the verge of going pumpkin crazy for a while. (It started with an embryology lecture…apparently association is very strong because I took a developmental biology class during the fall a few years ago.) It was time.

I decided to make my healthy pumpkin bread, which is technically pumpkin banana bread, so it’s sort of easing myself into pumpkin season. Wow though, this recipe is amazing. Better than I remembered!

I ate a piece of dark chocolate while whipping everything up.

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I swirled in a mixture of whipped cream cheese, maple syrup, and a shake of cinnamon.


Somehow I didn’t eat the entire loaf, and that’s an accomplishment!

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Well, it’s back to studying for me!

Who’s ready for all the pumpkin??


Study Break

It’s dead week. I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day of fall quarter classes! My last fall quarter here. Gulp. I’m currently sitting under a blanket of exercise physiology class notes, but I met my studying goal for the day so here I am!

What is it about exams that make us want to eat ALL THE THINGS? I’m not even stressed! (—yet. I have nothing due until next week so the good old strew response driven productivity has not kicked in yet.) I’m doing my very best to not eat ALL THE JUNK and at least shove food into my mouth that wan’t cause too much damage-leftovers of actual food, granola bars, banana with carob chips.

So what’s been up lately? How’s this for college life: I stayed up late crafting a colorful flat faceless human, and we currently have a cricket under a cup duct taped to our floor.

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I had to make an anthology for my Native American Literature class, so I made a physical representation of a human made up of stories. I lovely refer to him as my flat faceless human.

On the workout front, I’ve done some running, some spin, some Crossfit. I taught my last couple of spin classes until the next session starts up in January!

I also went to a spin class at a nearby studio. It was fun—it’s always nice to go to a class other than my own! This was the view post-class:


To start the week, I had a couple of chilly runs.


One 4 miler, one track workout—6x400m. Since my official training for my class is over, I’m trying to slowly increase the number of repeats I do to get in 5k speed shape.


I am firmly on the yogurt bandwagon. Lately, I’ve been putting jam in it. I usually eat breakfast immediately post-workout, so I want the quick carbs!


Yogurt with sun butter and raspberry jam, plus some leftover roasted sweet potatoes.


Yogurt with persimmon and sun butter.



I packed a lunch because I didn’t have time to go back to the house. This was leftover quinoa with butternut squash and dijon roasted brussels sprouts. We have temporary chef right now who is fantastic! I actually miss packing lunches—I feel like I end up with a better amount/mix of food so I generally feel better throughout the day!


Chicken, wild rice salad, fruit. Plus tomato basil bisque with cheddar cheese. If you don’t eat tomato soup with cheddar, you’re doing it wrong. This was perfect for a rainy day!




This was a snack before spin-a persimmon and a Luna bar. I also had a couple of tortilla chips with leftover guacamole.



Chicken piccata, salad, and veggie chili over greens. I think I could have used some more meat though because I found myself snacking the rest of the evening!

Oh-one last note. My blogiversary is coming up! As you may or may not have noticed or cared, I’m not doing 12 days of Christmas this year. While it has been super fun to do, at this point my blogging isn’t as regular as it once was and therefore it doesn’t merit the time that goes into putting that together! I will still likely celebrate my blogiversary though 🙂 Can you believe it’s almost been 3 years??

The Best Ever WIAW

Happy Wednesday! One day away from the big day! Let’s get into the celebratory spirit by celebrating food with Jenn.


This is probably the best WIAW I’ve ever had. I’m on vacation in Napa right now, and to say I’ve been eating well is an understatement. I’ve really been embracing balance this trip-I’m not worrying about eating decadent foods, but I’m getting in enough of the good stuff at well that I still feel great, healthy, and happy.

This morning, I slept WAY later than planned. I somehow ended up with a king size bed to myself-I’ve never slept in one before, and I’ll probably never sleep in one again, but it was glorious. Anyways, a later morning meant a light breakfast was necessary before my run, so I had some cranberry bread and blueberries.


I also had a bit of pannetone. We get this every year around Christmas-we don’t exactly like it but we always end up eating it. We got a mini one this year, but it was a bit dry.


Then, it was time for a run! It’s interesting to run in a place I’ve run once every year-I used to think a 3-4 mile loop was crazy long!








I have to make a note about this picture-this is around the spot that I ate pavement a few years ago on a run (luckily I made it through this run in one piece!). The best part? I was running to a restaurant to meet my family for breakfast. My mom snapped this gem of me before she realized I had blood streaming down my leg. Oh, memories. 


After cleaning myself up post run, we drove to a small town nearby, St. Helena.



My parents felt lunch was a priority, and after walking through downtown looking at menus, one place in particular place caught our eye. This was SUCH a good choice. My gosh, this was by far the best food I’ve had in a LONG time. We ordered some appetizers to start-grilled artichokes plus brussels sprouts.



These brussels sprouts were mouthwateringly amazing. I have no words. They were by far the best I’ve ever had. They were cooked to perfection, and so, so flavorful. 

For my entree, of course I ordered the avocado salad.


The ingredients were so fresh-all this salad was was fresh mozzarella, tomato, avocado, lettuce, olive oil, and salt and pepper. All the flavors were perfect together.

Then, we stopped at one of our all time favorite places-Woodhouse Chocolate. These candies are amazing-the flavors are just so fresh and spot on. The mint tastes just like a mint leaf. And they’re beautiful as well!






Confession: this whole box is for me. 


We also tasted some olive oil and picked some out to bring home with us. Then, we stopped in a coffeeshop so I could do some studying. My mom and I both ordered decaf cappuccinos.


The milk foam was good! Not like the amazing cappuccinos I get at school, but a close second, and definitely better than Starbucks!

Before dinner, we stopped in another small town to explore a bit-check out these adorable shops in old train cars!


Then, it was off to dinner at an Italian restaurant that we always go to. We started off with fresh bread and their signature dipping sauce, made with caramelized onions. I haven’t had this much quality olive oil in so long!


For my entree, I ordered the salmon, which came with polenta and steamed spinach. Everything was cooked to perfection. I have to confess, I’m a big salter. But the food this weekend has been just so good and perfectly seasoned that it just doesn’t need anything! It’s amazing to have well cooked flavorful food, a big contrast to dining hall food!

And since it’s vacation, dessert needed to happen. We shared bread pudding with maple rum sauce and a brownie a la mode.



This bread pudding was nearly as good as our family recipe, which is saying a ton! Definitely by far the best restaurant bread pudding I’ve ever had-hot, custardy, with plenty of delicious sauce. 

That’s all I have for you today! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

What do you eat on vacation?