Tuesday, May 22, 2012


     When I was 6 years old, my second grade class had career day.  A veterinarian named Dr. Delahay brought a cat skeleton, a pig heart, and several other things to the class to talk about what he does for a living.  I was one of the very few people (and the only girl if I recall) to go and touch the things that he had.  From that moment, I was enthralled.  I went home and told my parents that I was going to be a vet when I grew up.
     Fast forward to high school... When I turned 14 I ran one afternoon (literally... I was suppose to be training for cross country) from school to Brookwood Animal Hospital and asked if I could volunteer to walk the dogs in the clinic.  They told me they hired high schoolers to work that job, but they had to be at least 15 to work.  I waited a year, and came back, filled out an application, and called almost every day asking if Dr. Yeomans had decided to hire anyone yet.  Finally he asked me to come in for an interview and I got the job.
     For the next 3 years I spent working the kennel, cleaning the runs, feeding the dogs, picking up poop, working spring breaks, Christmases, Thanks Givings, and every other holiday and most weekends making minimum wage (at the time: $5.15/hr, but I got a few raises along the way).  I did this because I knew that if I wanted to get into vet school, I would have to have work experience and a letter of recommendation.
     I went to college, on scholarship: academic, soccer, running track, and doing community service.  I majored in Biology and picked up Religion later on to be more "well rounded".  During school, I found that the best time to study was Friday night.  That was when most of the people we would partying, and I could have the biology building mostly to myself.
     Every summer I would come back and work two jobs: the first as a receptionist/veterinary assistant at Brookwood (moving up in the world), and the second a Zoo Keeper at Zoo Atlanta in the reptile house.  I got THAT job by going to volunteer to sweep and clean the glass in the reptile house, and after a week or so of that every day, they asked me to come and help with cleaning out a few of the enclosures, and eventually they let me clean out the enclosures by myself.  Before the end of the summer, I was hired.  Through that experience I was sent to Panama and Vietnam to do frog conservation and a Herpetological Survey respectively.  These were amazing experiences that let me have a resume that stood out among the others.
     I was accepted to veterinary school at the University of Georgia.  After 4 grueling years of work, constantly studying, and having very little life outside of the school building... I was done.  But not after one more challenge: Boards.  As you all know, I didn't pass the first time.  I studied almost every night from August until I took the exam in November, and still failed.  It seemed that after all this work and sacrifice, my dream would not become a reality.  Instead of giving up, I pushed on.  I took an online course, found an amazing study buddy (Sas, I <3 u), and together we dominated the exam the second time.  I not only passed... I killed it.
     Finally,  it was time.  there I stood on the stage at UGA with my cap and gown on.  Drs Cornell and Roth put the hood over my head and my life-long journey came to completion. I AM a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.  I will be working at Brookwood Animal Hospital now as a Veterinarian starting in June.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something.  Don't every let circumstance change your desires.  YOU have the ability to make what you dream into a reality.  I was never forced to make any of these decisions... I made them because I saw the goal I was trying to achieve and I knew the path I had to take.  Im not saying I didn't have any fun.  I met friends that I will keep forever, I met and married the man of my dreams, and I have memories that will always be there.  I just knew that sometimes I had to make the hard decision... like getting a job and working during the summer instead of spending it having fun with my friends at the pool every day.  It doesn't matter your situation or your background, all that matters is how bad you want it. I wanted it.  And I got it.