Freaking out about my future

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Maxy24, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I've always wanted to be a vet, that was the plan, still sort of is. I'm in my second year of undergrad and I'm coming to the realization that I'm really not going to get into vet school. I only have a 3.2 GPA and I don't have amazing extracurricular activities to fall back on, I'm just in some clubs and I volunteer at animals shelters. Not being a vet wouldn't be awful, it's not like I'm absolutely crushed about it, what is causing me to panic is that I can't think of anything else I want to do, or nothing with which I'll be able to support myself financially. No I don't need to be rich but I don't want to be struggling either. Then again I don't really know what constitutes "good pay" either.

    I need ideas, advice, something...I need to figure out what I'm going to do after college. My mom keeps asking me what am I going to do if vet school doesn't work out? I need to have something. I don't want to go get random jobs for years on end until I just stick with something, I want a career. But I think about the jobs I know of and nothing interests me at all. I thought maybe I'd work at a zoo, but they make very poor money (or so the internet tells me). I don't want to just do research. I like educating others, but I DO NOT want to be a school teacher, I like to teach people who actually seem interested in what I'm saying. I love teaching others about pets for instance, at least people who seem interested in what I'm saying. When I bring in my various animals to the elementary school for an after-school club my mother runs, and the kids ask me all sorts of questions about them, I LOVE IT. However I have to be knowledgeable and passionate about what I'm teaching and right now that's animals. Other than that I don't know what else I like.

    I'm still going to apply to vet school when the time comes, but I don't have high expectations of success (I'm already freaking out about getting recommendations for that since I have non existent relationships with my teachers so far). Then what?? How do you choose what you're going to do with your life?
     
  2. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    When you figure it out, let me know :p


    This is why I am not freaking out about not finishing school right now, I have no clue what I want to do.
     
  3. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Maybe go the vet tech route to start and get some good experience under your belt, then apply?
     
  4. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    This lol
     
  5. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Did you go straight from high school to other schooling, or did you take time off? If you didn't, is taking time off an option? I seriously went from Program to program to program in school, couldn't decide what I wanted to do. Took a year off (unfortunately it was for family issues, not by choice), and I was able to decide what I wanted to do -- on my time, not on deadlines set by the college.
     
  6. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

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    I fell into my career through family and i love it but now i want to do something different so i'm changing it up and going back to school again.

    Any interest in nursing?
     
  7. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Ok, you're only in your second year, so when you get into the heavy classes for your major you will have a much easier time getting to know your teachers. I didn't know anybody in my major (and I started way late and had to cram classes like crazy) and still ended up with 3 recommendation letters from teachers after two years. I wouldn't worry overly much about that.

    I chose what to do by taking an aptitude test. Not even kidding. I was in the same spot as you, two years in (except I was in the teaching program), freaking out because I didn't know what I wanted to do, and talking about taking 6 months to a year off of school. My parents essentially bribed me to go back (lol) and I went to the career center, took their aptitude test and signed up for the Computer Science major the next day. It probably wasn't the best way to do it but it worked out fantastically, I (usually) enjoy what I do and I make decent money. Does your college have a career center that would offer something like that? Those aptitude tests are fun. :p
     
  8. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Yeah, straight from high school to college. If I stopped going now I probably wouldn't come back, so I need to just keep going and finish. I really hate college, not the school part so much, the living here part. Even if I took time off, I don't know how I'd go about deciding on something...I just can't think of something I'd like.

    I was thinking about that the other day, I know I've heard they don't make much money, but I don't really know what a decent salary is, so looking up numbers doesn't help me. All I know is what my parents made this year is bad, but there are two of them and they have two kids in college so what a bad salary is for them is likely quite good for a single person. This website says they make about $31,000 a year, is that decent or terrible?
    http://vet-techs.net/average-vet-tech-salary/

    Do you think being a vet tech for a few years would really help my chances of getting into vet school?

    It also seems like you don't have to get a four year college degree but would have to go to a vet tech college for two years. I fully plan on getting my bachelor's degree, I'm not deviating from that, so if I did go the vet-tech to vet route it would be 4 years undergrad, 2 years vet tech, then 4 years vet school. I wouldn't mind being a vet tech forever if the money they make is enough for a decent living...but then I feel like my bachelor's degree would be going to no use.


    No, I don't think I'd enjoy it or be any good at it. I have social anxiety and when animals are involved I'm pretty good because I'm very confident in those situations and really enjoy talking animal, but having to be one on one with people talking about non-animal things I have a real hard time.


    Yeah they do, maybe I'll go see if they can help me, it's worth a shot right?
     
  9. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    That was my suggestion also. Also it's only a two year degree rather than the approximately ninety million years it takes to become a vet; it will also be far cheaper (less loans.) There's actually a lot you can do with your CVT that doesn't involve working in a vet clinic... my hope was to actually eventually get into research at the university with mine. Auggie's breeder actually taught classes to the vet students while working at the university with hers. ASPCA likes to have CVTs on their staff for poison control calls. I'm sure it would be helpful to have your CVT if you wanted to become animal shelter staff one day, too.
    So there's some options even if you decide you hate working in a clinic, if you are still interested in going down that road.


    ETA: As to if 31k a year is a decent salary or not, that depends entirely on where you live and your cost of living. And yes, it's a two year program. Make sure you go somewhere accredited.
     
  10. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    As far as salvaging vet school..

    First of all, it is possible to pull up that GPA. Difficult, but certainly not impossible. Vet schools look for improvement and working ability as well as just GPA, LOTS of people struggle at first..

    1. Start developing relationships with your teachers. Talk to them after class, participate in class, sit IN THE FRONT, ask if they are doing any research they need student help on, go to their office hours to ask questions about class, exams etc...
    Here is a lesser known but very true fact, the perks of being the teacher's pet are VAST and wonderful. From later deadlines, to special projects, to experience, to hands on opportunities, and of course advice.. make the connections!!

    These people WILL be writing the letters of rec you need for vet school.

    (tip: look at your syllabus. Find out what the lecture is going to be on.. read the chapter. Lo and behold. every time the prof asks "Does anybody know x, y, z?" you will know. )

    2. Intern. Intern. Intern. Vet tech/vet office work is a GREAT thing to have on your resume but other summer internships are also available (I did the vet internship at a zoo and marine mammal aquarium, for example)

    3. Take leardership roles where you volunteer. Start a new program in your shelter (for example, a new program that teaches volunteers how to raise/wean puppies, or one that searches craigslist ads and matches them with shelter dogs, or one that helps volunteers see the signs of sick animals and provide basic care) Anybody can walk into a shelter and do some hours, vet school applicants especially. but what will set you apart is that initiative!

    4. Pick a vet school (or 3). I had my heart set on a school and started by getting my foot in the door. Took a tour, spoke to advisors, to admissions.. introduced myself, smiled, asked questions, showed ENTHUSIASM for the specifics of their program.
    Trust me. They WILL be impressed at the initiative of a pre-vet sophomore visiting the school and making themselves known.
    I toured 3 vet schools and by the end had the personal emails of 3 admissions/office people and the offer to email them anytime with ANY questions, an advisor and 2 professors. MAKE THE CONNECTIONS WITHIN THE SCHOOL.
    The more you know about the school, the program, the professors, the more your application will shine and they will see how much you not just want to go to vet school, but THEIR vet school.

    4.Most vet schools require 3 letters of req. Usually one has to be from a vet. Vets DO NOT appreciate last minute "OMG PLEASE LET ME WORK WITH YOU I NEED A LETTER!" requests. Start NOW. Offer to intern, offer to work for free, offer to shadow, offer to clean, offer to answer phones, tell them you are a future vet who admires them.. Get your foot in the door and make an AMAZING impression any way you can.

    5. Being a vet tech. Hands down this is the best kind of experience to have. This tells the school you know your meds, know the practicals and know what it TAKES to be a vet. Not just that you like animals.

    6. Try to get diverse working experience. Work/intern with dogs, cats, at an aquarium, farm, zoo etc.. It is important to have LONG relationships with the main animal you plan on working with (companion animal vet) but it's also good to be diverse in your experience.

    7. The average GPA of a student admitted into vet school is a 3.57. This of course isn't an iron clad FACT, but it's an average. It is possible to pull your grade up. Take courses over break, take GPA raisers, re-take courses you didn't do well on.

    8. Letters of rec. you will need 3.
    I like one professor, one employer (from an internship and such) and one vet. Keep that in mind, and KEEP THE RELATIONSHIPS with your professors, employers, internship leaders etc.. they can't write you a letter if they don't remember who the heck you are.

    ___

    as for, what else can I do with my life?

    Well, this is from a girl who obviously, was on the track to vet school. I had wanted to be a vet since I was a kid. Got into my top choice pre-vet program.. kept good grades.. only to realize that I don't want to be a vet.
    It's a bummer. but it happens. better now than 2nd year of vet school and covered in debt.


    If I were you, I would go the vet tech route. Other than being just great job wise, it's amazing experience if you DO want to be come a vet.

    Other work in the animal field.. start with interning at zoos. I interned at a zoo and aquarium and the work is HARD (physically especially) but wow, you really WANT to come to work everyday.

    Animal behavior is a great study to get into. I am really into dog/animal behavior, loved my classes and research institutes (like the "domesticated fox" one in russia, the dog ones, etc.. sometimes do have internships)

    Take some time off if you need to.. find out what you want to be. and go from there.

    But if you really want to be a vet.. I would say stick to it and work your booty off and make it happen.
     
  11. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    I had a scholarship and had to go to university after high school. I had to pick the thing I was good at, theatre as I had no idea what I wanted to do. Within my first year I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do.. but my parents told me I had to stick with it till I found something else. I got my honours BA in the end.. and was still stuck.

    I took odd jobs, ran a dog boarding kennel, landscaped, became a ski instructor and ski patroller. Had a perma job for winters at the hill, but still didn't know what I wanted. I started to think maybe something medical, but I was missing pre-reqs..

    Took 2 years to get off my butt and finally going back to get 2 high school credits and applying to be a paramedic. There are still some days that I'm not 100% sure I made the right choice, but I think it's the pressure of the end of college (done in 7 weeks). Makes me feel I wasted my time and should have gone back sooner, but I don't think I was ready to go back, and succeed.

    I didn't think I'd ever do more school after a 'break', but if it's what you want to do and you feel passionately about it, you do make it work for you.
     
  12. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Ugh, I hear you girl. I've been soooo wish washy and back and forth with what I wanted to do. Back in high school, I wasn't even sure if college interested me. But I got a job at Toys R Us my senior year and was shocked at the amount of adults who were applying for their 2nd or 3rd jobs because they had to support their family or whatever, a lot were doing night shifts or over-night packing and stuff. It was a wake up call for me that college education was going to be important for ME because I don't want to get stuck working retail jobs the rest of my life or whatever. And I know not everyone who doesn't go to college is like this, but I feel safer getting a degree. All my friends I know from HS that did not go to school and still just working job to job, different retail jobs, some out of a job, etc.

    Anyways I started with a business major. I looked into a LOT of different things -- paralegal, vet tech, psychology, radiologist tech, criminal justice... seriously, did not switch to all of them but just did a lot of searching around. Then I finally came to a decision that I felt confident about (and still kind of do) and that was education. Found a program at the college 5 minutes near my dads house where you can get your bachelors degree at the community college thru a higher education program; THEN just discovered that they were only going to transfer 16 of my 42 credits since switching majors. So I was like OMG, I am not starting completely over... and went back to my original business and will just plan on getting my business bachelors degree, and if I really want to pursue education, get my masters (which I was going to do anyways possibly). And I feel like a business degree will at least leave me with more choices and opportunities. I did not want to do one of the 2 year programs and then be stuck doing ONLY that or not having as many options.

    So basically, at 21, with about 42 credits - I still don't EXACTLY know what I'm going to do, but have a basic idea, and a few goals in mind, and just know I really want my degree (for two reasons: to prove to myself that I CAN do this, as most in my family never finished college, and also to of course have more job and salary opportunities). So I'm going to keep going!
     
  13. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I feel for you. I have one more semester left (of, like, maybe 9 credits if that) before I graduate. I'll be graduating with a BS in Animal Science...and I have no idea what I want to do. Potentially starting my own pet sitting/boarding service. Potentially working as an uncertified vet tech (a "vet assistant", I suppose). If I enjoy that, I may decide to become a registered vet technician. Who knows. The original plan was vet school. Sophomore year, I decided that wasn't what I wanted to do. I would love to get involved in animal research, either doing behavior studies or actually being the person to care for the laboratory animals, but I have no idea how to even go about doing that.

    But honestly, what I really want to do with my life? Settle down, have kids, and be a stay at home mom, working a part time job on the side that I love doing for some extra money. But, apparently, this is frowned upon by society.
     
  14. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    This is what I want to do.
    And F what society thinks. Its YOUR life, not ANYONE elses.
    YES I do want to go back to school, and I am busting my butt to go back. My ONLY opinions is Penn Foster and Ashworth. No other school will take me because of that BS with my old college.
    Though I do have college under my belt, 26 credits, that were going towards the Army. They won't transfer. Which sucks.

    I graduated May 09, went back to school Jan. '11, and now I'm out. I have absolutely no clue what I want to do.
    I am thinking Business but I'm not 100% sure.

    Go for.... under water basket weaving. It sounds fun and you get a cool oxygen tank and you get to be underwater :D
     
  15. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    This. I had the same experience as Fran101 except I even made it to the interview stage (obviously didn't get in) before I realized that I really didn't want to do it.

    I agree with getting vet tech experience, and if you still want to apply, get as much, and then some more, experience in as many different areas of vet med possible. I don't know if all vet schools are the same, but OVC really favored students with a ****-load of volunteer experience. I guess it shows that you're serious.

    Also, working as a vet tech lets you see how the career really is day in and day out, and that was a major determining factor in me deciding not to pursue vet med anymore.

    As to your future, don't freak out! I'm 31, still finishing my BioMed degree, wasted 2 years in university taking Nursing, and not 100% sure what my next step is. It'll work out.
     
  16. GlassOnion

    GlassOnion Thanks, and Gig 'em.

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    A 3.2 isn't bad, and you have Tufts near you which accepts about 50% of its student base as Massachusetts students (I believe y'all count as in-state as well). Plus, you have two years to bring it up. People have definitely gotten in with 3.2s and a bit lower as well. I wasn't too very far off with a 3.4 when I got in.

    Also, overall GPA isn't the only thing they look at. Most schools look at a variety of GPAs, such as your science GPA, cumulative GPA, Last X hours GPA (generally Last 45), pre-requisite GPA, and then individual formulations that the adcomms of that school thinks is relevant.

    Also, I'm going to disagree with going the vet tech route unless you live in a state that requires you to be an LVT to work as a vet tech. Veterinary assistants generally get paid on par as an LVT here in Texas (can't speak for Massachusetts), and it's my understanding that it's about the same elsewhere that doesn't have required LVT training, so there's not any point in spending the money. If you want to use vet tech school to bring up your GPA, I'd suggest a master's program instead. It's about the same amount of time (dependent on if you do a thesis program or not) and you'll get a stipend. Only downside is you're locked in, as vet schools will absolutely not tolerate someone leaving their Master's program early unless you've a written letter from your advisor saying that it's OK with them, and even then some still frown upon doing so.

    I did an MBA while trying to get my grades up, and that took a year and the admissions committees liked that I went that route too because a lot of vets have no business skills at all (because they just want to practice medicine, not manage a practice) and end up in dire straits. Just another option to consider. Business classes are rather laid back comparatively.

    I wouldn't worry about recommendations from professors. I, like you, never established a real good rapport with my professors so I didn't even bother asking one of them. I just got recommendations from 3 vets that I worked with instead and that worked out just fine. You should be working in a vet clinic during your summers (or sooner; if you could start in one tomorrow, you should), as you definitely need at least 1 vet to write you an LOR. Some schools require 2.

    Not really, no. It won't hurt your chances, but it won't improve them much either unless you're just doing it for the GPA boost.

    Yah but why waste 2 years at vet tech school if you're ultimately wanting to go to vet school? You could be 2 years into vet school by the time you get out of vet tech school. It's a good plan B if you need it to work in Massachusetts (or where ever you eventually want to live), but if not, I'd look into a Master's in a biomedical related field, as that'll impress the adcomms more. They always like to see research.

    Naw vet school is only 4 years unless you plan on specializing, then it's 8. So if you do vet tech school for 2 years, you'd be two years short of a veterinarian had you just gone to vet school.


    If you've got any other questions let me know. Might be a while before I can get back to you though as we're in the middle of our mid-terms.
     
  17. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    It all works out eventually. I wavered so much then graduated with a degree that I knew would be marketable but had no idea what to do with it (mathematics). I was biochem, then genetics, then math. And I assumed I wanted to teach. But then I realized I was just choosing teaching because it was one of the only options available that I knew of.

    These days I really wish I'd gone into engineering sometimes. Other times I'm pretty happy with my salary and lessened job duties than the engineers. Some days I really enjoy my job, other days it's dull. But I think most jobs are like that. I've given up on finding a job I'm passionate about and just finding one I enjoy most the time.

    Anyways, I'm a geotech and if you would have asked 2 years ago I would have had no idea what that even was. :p I haven't decided if it's going to be my 'career' job or not yet. I make decent pay but getting the rest of an engineering degree would easily immediately double my pay. It also means I have to work a lot of OT though and the idea of going back to school is very unappealing right now.
     

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