Q&A: I’m Older, Is It Possible To Start A Family In Vet School?

I just came across your blog. I need an insight form somebody who is a vet student. I’ve always liked sciences growing up but I always avoided them because I thought they were too hard. I got a certificate in fashion design, and I’ve been just changing my mind for my bachelors. I finally decided and realized how much respect and love I have for animals so I will be getting my bachelor’s degree in Biology (I still have 3 years left) but I don’t know how realistic it is for me to get into a vet school, I feel “old”. I will be 32 when I get my bachelor, I’m married and plan on having kids. There are no vet schools in the state where I live but for example all the medical students I’ve met are so young. Are vet students very young too? I know nobody can answer this but is it even possible for someone to start having a family while in vet school? Especially women since they are the ones carrying the babies? In vet school is it allowed to take a semester off? Sorry if this question is a bit weird but I just wanted to get an idea. I see all the time people with kids or pregnant in school but they aren’t in any medical field so I wonder if it’s even doable.

Thank you for your time!




Hi NW –

Your concerns are definitely more common than you may expect. There are a lot of women out there who are older than the average veterinary student, who are considering pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. I was one of them and I have many other classmates who are older than average. Surely the majority of students who enter veterinary school are around 21 years old, but the older students like you and I inflate the average age to something like 24 years old (at least that’s how it is at Davis).

Do not worry about being the “old” person in your class. Chances are there will be others like you in your class and you won’t be treated as if you are older. The students in our class who are in their 30s and 40s get along with the 20-something’s perfectly well and no one feels ostracized.

Furthermore, we have quite a few parents in the class – mostly women – and their children range in age from newborn (as in born during first year of vet school) to ~10 years old. I have to imagine it’s hard to balance family and school, but they make it work and sometimes there are sacrifices that are made in the attempt to balance things out. No one in my class took the semester off due to children. Two students (a male and a female) had newborns during first year and they didn’t miss much at all. I recall the female was back at school a day or two later with a giant smile on her face! I do believe that there was someone who had twins and chose to take some time off to be with her children and she joined the class below her the next year.

It’s definitely possible to be married, be pregnant, or have children while in veterinary school. It’s not going to be easy, but having a child is never easy and marriages always take work. If you know what you want in life, you will make it happen!

Good luck with everything!

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