Some people have posed the question, “If you didn’t get into vet school, what would you do?” I must admit, vet school wasn’t exactly my first career choice, psychology was. Well, let me rewind even further.
Growing up I wanted to be a veterinarian. I had never been to a vet, but I wanted to be an animal doctor regardless. That dream was amended slightly into a dream to work for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to work in Level 4 bio-hazard containment zone on the Ebola virus after reading the book The Hot Zone (coincidentally written by Pomona College alum, Richard Preston) when I was about 10 years old. (Yes, my mother even has a homework assignment from 5th grade or so saved from when I was asked to write my autobiography and the teacher wanted us to include everything we did up to and including how we died. Really it was more of an obituary, but phrased as a more euphemistic “autobiography.” I admit, reading that assignment today gives me an eerie feeling, but it spoke volumes to how badly I wanted to be involved in science and animals (it even mentioned my desire to be a vet).
Although I was very focused in science and math throughout high school, upon entering college I took no science courses and focused on making the most of my liberal arts education. Graduated with a degree in psychology, I worked for a year or so and then went back to grad school in psychology. While in grad school I took law classes in the hopes that some career path would strike me as being the one for me. I mentally scrapped the idea of being a Clinical Psychologist & Researcher as well as an Attorney and re-analyzed my options. I saw two: Pilot or Veterinarian. I looked into it and with a small investment (small in comparison to vet school costs) I could become fully trained to be an airline pilot in less than a year. Wow! That sounded awesome! Upon further consideration and consulting with friends and family, it seemed as if my life-long dream to become a veterinarian was the better option (for many reasons, many of which involved looking years down the line and imagining what my life would be like).
So essentially, that is my answer. If I were not in the field of veterinary medicine, what would I be: a pilot. I would want to fly huge commercial jets throughout the country and the world. But alas, instead I am in veterinary school and taking flying lessons. Granted the Cessna 152 I fly isn’t exactly a commercial jet, but I’m still pursuing a dream.